HOLLY MIRANDA SMALE

Writer, photographer, "rapper" and general technophobe takes on the internet in what could be a very, very messy fight. But it's alright: she's harder than she looks, and she's wearing every single ring she could get her hands on.







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Friday, 2 April 2010

Neighbours

There is a lesson to be learnt from everything, and today's lesson is: you never know who is in the next room.

After I walloped the hell out of my pillow at 3am last night, and screamed into it, and bit it a little bit, the only thing I could reassure myself with was that nobody knew, apart from the man next door who turned his television on approximately twenty seconds into my violent outburst (actually it was more pathetic than that: in my head it was a little like a Rocky montage, but in reality it hurt my wrists quite a lot and involved a lot of flailing and ouching). Today, I met the man with the television. He was sitting next to me in my teacher training. 

"Where are you staying?" I asked conversationally when the boring man in the suit had stopped talking for five seconds.
"Comfort Inn," he said, so we walked back together. When we got to the reception, I told them my number. 
"1345," I said.
"1346," he said in a strange, flat voice - as if he didn't know that I knew that he knew what I was doing last night at 3am - and then he wouldn't look me in the eye. Or maybe he would look me in the eye: I don't know, I was too busy staring at the carpet. This is the girl who screams and beats things in the middle of the night, he must have been thinking. This girl, who seems totally sane, pretty much, in the daylight, is the fruitloop I've been scared of running into in the corridor in case she thinks that I am also part of the bedroom furnishings. 
"What's really nice, though," I said after the long elevator silence where I tried to look as much as possible like a passive, non-angry, non pillow attacking kind of girl, "is that the walls here are so thick. You know, not like normal Japanese walls. Proper, brick, thick walls."
"Yup," he said, staring straight past me (or maybe he was staring straight past me: I don't know, I was still staring at the carpet). "Very, very thick walls."
"Soundproof, in fact," I added, and then he looked at me strangely and I wondered if possibly - just possibly - the television had been coming from 1344 instead. So I resisted my next planned remark, which was that the pillows are terribly difficult to fluff, aren't they?

I think my secret might be safe. Until, of course, I meet my neighbour on the other side. And - knowing my luck - he'll probably turn out to be my boss.