‘It is like living in a rabbit hutch’ She often said emphatically and metaphorically, and He replied with
a shrug, nothing to say in reply. It was; and it would take long enough to pay for. Four rooms. Eight-floors up,
eight flights of long turning concrete rubbish chute and stairs, and fire escape, for when the elevators did not
function anyway, which was often and took days sometimes to repair. A balcony open passageway at the front, looking over the street below, now starting to become busy with traffic. They had lived with his parents for a time, and then after they were married, in a small rented flat in The City, before they needed to afford
somewhere to live together, and to bring-up their two small children.
Both saved, and with some financial help from a relative (deceased) they had managed to get this place. When the housing market was ‘buoyant’, and mortgages easy to get. The Home was bought with a loan, a promissory note, deposited and co-lateraled together with their combined lives and the home itself. They were afloat. Both worked to pay-off the loan, which although it was supposed to re-duce each year did not seem ever to keep up with pay and prices. The loan would anyway be paid-off many times over if they were ever to pay off the debt.
If this place was ever to become their own owned nothing to pay-back; then, if they managed to keep paying-off the loan for the ‘Shelter from the Storm’ as they called Home. That they did not actuarily now own, and may not ever, actually own, lose-lose. To sell-back at Market Price, the difference between the paid-back buying-price and selling-price, and of which they would have lost completely to The Bank…The Mortgage Company.
Their Home-Mortgage rent no(t)()-insurance their assured-pension against dire-poverty and homelessness.
No social-recourse and be homeless, to parents and over-crowding again, or with friends similarly fixed, sofa-surfing their home, such as-it-was de-faulted, re-possessed. A two-bedroom apartment, she thought of: kitchen, lounge, shower-bathroom toilet and tiny balcony onto the world below, between them and the sky above. Each day, each month, and each successive year into the unthinkable future; two-thirds of two-lifetimes at least, two-thirds every month of what they were both paid-in wages-for-work earned.
She did the household accounts, and she knew.
The Home. The Loan. Would have been paid for several times over by the time if ever it became theirs and The Childrens’; and perhaps even their Grandchildrens’ by the time the shared-property many-floored building was un-inhabitable, de-molished land let-again, built-on freehold not-leasehold extended for-bonus payment un-earned…re-build in the new style, in a traditional place, or otherwise breaking into farmland and ocean beyond.
But that is the nature of the human animal, is it no? To do over, and be done-over to again and again she thought
want more and more, for less and less and in the quiet mind wandering moment of pillared door, a room, a table, a bed let go and a bed sheet left behind ready to be buried with perhaps as they did in the olden- times shrouded as now by thin curtains pulled-back. Each-Day: like a two-step forward and quick-step foxtrot tango later backwards one-step…
Home and Away.
Both worked to pay-off the loan on the house and to pay for and cook food, with bills and extras, clothes, and nights-out occasionally. Maybe once a month, or not at all.
Then He had been laid-off work at The Bakery.
Three-day-week and three day’s wages.
The Home mortgage was re-negotiated and they continued struggling to pay-off the loan and other loans, credited and directly debited debt from what they both earned together.
There was never an issue of who would earn more, and be the main breadwinner, they both earned more or less the same low wages as most the people who worked and they would do the most caring of each other and the children: the unpaid responsibilities shared around the home, and in the world of work.
Shopping and holidays and other friends and family out there.
All indebted, or in credit day2day. Week to week, month to next month, years, minute-by-minute. They were equal, without even having to think about it or confront societies and others’ false expectations of gender and families.
They were equal in debt and credit, and supported each other’s frail and fragile egos with a natural equanimity respectful and loving…
Each contributing their best and differently in-differently knowingly to make the whole; whole.
It’s not all doom and gloom She did often think, and he tried not to think on it.
The homily homely claustrophobia only had to be relieved by going out. To the cinema, to a bar or restaurant. But that was not very often de-finitely now there were children as well.
Sel-dom. did extras make their mark, clothes bought carefully a piece at a time, re-placement rather than extravagance.
The cupboards filled with groceries and emptied by the time the next weeks shopping is needed and the next week’s earnings…already spent.
She was awake, first this morning, and she got up from the bed on which he still lay awake but not yet awake enough to leave its’ night-time warmth. She went through to the next room. The bedroom led across the narrow-passage to the living room, which led directly to the tiny gallery kitchen and balcony on one side and door to the front room, on the other side balcony corridor and more doors along.
Except it wasn’t the front-room, exactly fronting only unlike the Front-Room of her-childhood playing on the street and door directly to the rugged ragged matted smell of cooking from the stone wall white-washed country kitchen.
Upstairs two bed-rooms and on the gallery landing for the children and a closet room to flush away with a basin of water from the kitchen sink-tap and toilet-well into the slurry sump, where you could hear it ‘slurry’ all the way down, filtered to spray on fields all around; and then back downstairs to replace the water from the kitchen-tap and outside clean-well.
Pumped-up from the well, refilling the fired china clay bowl for washing and zinc-metal bucket, ready
for the next use. Log grabbing toughened steel plasma-cutters hydraulic-ram chassis panel welded together.
Expertly Put-together giant wheels axle brake. Pumping-oil to cool the engines’ turbo diesel s-carbed grapple
telescopic arms the claw car-crusher mattress-shredder then the skid-board tracking:
Carbon-fibre e-road automobiles
Wind farming blades and wave-machines
Generating heat&power and swimming in clean-air&water:
> Low-No: installation& maintenance#
<Cost year-on-year into to un-seeable thinkable future.
Apparently, free. At her first childhood home, bed-time children first, then the adults. Rats nested runs, beetles
and cockroaches were kept away by the domesticated cats and dogs that shared the yard and house with horses at the local stables for the carts and filed machinery; to ride, at week-end day-off, and many Holy
Days each week, several times into the market town for food supplies, and the children’s treats.
Their whole world a Living Market Place of Work Trust and Play.
Now, great enclosed parked superstores and supermarkets and factory outlet warehouse.
Where goods are now transported she thought of: to-and-fro and by foot and horses’ hoofs carried and
motor vehicle, train and massive-tanker and container-ship
electric-solar-sails cutting through the air otherwise the absolute frozen hydrogen&helium of outer-space
A one-metre flight through almost nothingness
> One-click: Low-No-cost subscription no-way out…
< N/nnn…paid-up…again and again.
From the docks and airport, at the city harbour hub humming away, remote yet directing everyday life, everywhere.
They Holiday Passengers and Freight Cargo.
The affordable flight, to get-away from-it-all: a change; a charge necessary move, once in a while, and
not at-all. Every year they to visit family here and there and elsewhere, or else you’d go stir-crazy.
Do a night-time flit, flip!
Leave the rent, the mortgage, un-paid.
Only, to otherwise keep on fighting for the bargains: cheap-est with-in budget, to get through to the
Next-day and the day-after-that.
When debts and fines could not be paid, the debt collector bailiffs. The-Auctioneer: selling- off of the personal possessions; sometimes, on the Global Markets;
and then sold-out: the personal; and, T.V. public…the laptop computer on-sleep and awakened, opened, placed on the table, booted-up and She blogged instantaneously her-thoughts:
#We all need a roof over our heads and to put Food on the Table!
without any other word or contextual continuity that did not remain obvious to this early day morning.
Everyone and anyone in the same and similar circumstances getting the same hastily tapped-out messages excluding, those without tablet, home or food; and those with patently far too-much those who employed had an Administration and management land and people to do that for them…
and her-thought continued in the context of the mindful moment and that which we all have to pay extortionately for over and again even when the food is eaten and the crap washed away there remains a nasty stain, a nasty taste. Original wages sinful sweated over day upon day, and loans ever in negative equity to who?
Them! Income-Tax&Corporation-Tax paid/un-paid through government-deal(s):
Extortionate debt-interest credit-profit and volatile prices, losses on last-accounts records ever higher
BELTWAY-BANDIT BINGO! and pay…ex-terminating share-prices collapsed indebted…
Looking up, and down again now, not in dejection, but circumspection against ever apparent possible failure.
With desperate optimism, toward un-realistic perfectionism. Only auto-mechanized buffer-traffic building-up
as soon as into a busy rush-hour congestion be-low…cars and buses, bicycles, motorbike and motorized
delivery truck pantechnicon from here, only another view.
two-sides; and every side… every ride.
Along the passage corridor
the sleeping children slept, earlier peeked into soundless in beautiful dream or dreamless seemingly startling worrying death-checked for breathing.
Crossing from night into daytime TV remotely automatically turned on, confirmation, that
life goes on…
The living-room she entered bore all the chatter and the silence of one who listens. Still and safe, cosy and secure. The other rooms took over the emotions and needs: sleep and food, love and silly serious and abated arguments. The central room, the central chamber, looked on and awaited eventual, almost inevitable, but never certain re-conciliation, and rest.
Indulged-in social-(e) vents, noisy chatter and quiet evenings indoors.
The furniture was adequate and filled the room. Table, chairs, television, a drawer and shelved cabinet standing against a wall, displaying various special icons; plastic flowers family photographs in frames, a portrait of a film star, or a print of a famous oil painting. Ornaments, statuettes, figures of worship and of novelty. The furniture, the infrastructure, from the livelihoods and eventually the roof over our heads…’in over our heads’ heard as if originally spoken there were unopened envelopes and cajoling leaflet advertisement:
KILL YOUR DEBTS!
Kill your debts!
she thought of letters and bills for payment, propped up behind a ticking clock. There was a picture postcard from someone-else’s holiday forming a picturesque frontage to hide the stack of demands for reply and payment which lay beyond.
She-drewback the curtains and looked out of the window across the balcony with its unflowering plants growing in flower-pots and inside vases. There was a real still rising mistiness outside from the early morning warming; and she gazed over an area where many lived, and it seemed to her, this morning, where they too only just lived-out their lives: day to day, week to week, minute-to-minute…
They too thought to-themselves as she looked-out onto the dawn of a gradually opening new day that the world must have always been this way.
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