LATELY — 7 August 2001

House Hunting

Hi. I’ve started work, and am looking for a place to stay near to Richmond Station. If you have any leads, let me know!

Or maybe not: I’m actually quite enjoying going to house interviews. You get to see how people live–how they set their lounge room up, the posters they stick on their walls, where they stash their shoes–and you also get to ask personal questions of people just as soon as you meet them–what do you do? how old are you? what sort of hours do you keep? do you cook? It’s a gloriously voyeuristic experience.

Someone compared it the thrill of watching Big Brother but it also reminds me of Fight Club and Jack and Marla’s (ab)use of support groups for the terminally ill. Night after night after night to a different group they go: the meetings of course seep with anguish and grief, death and dying, but in fact neither Jack nor Marla is looking for anything so morbid: what draws them in is the emotion raw strangers put out. You don’t customarily get strangers crying on your shoulder at some point between your Ikea-filled home and work. Or between work and your Ikea-filled home. People can sit right next to you on the subway, talk to someone on their mobile phone, and completely ignore you. This is why it’s necessary to fight, to turn placid, impassive strangers into men of mutual hate.

Doing house interviews doesn’t come close to capturing the emotional grit of a support group or a fight, but it does (I would say) fall on the same axis. Perfect strangers are kind, welcoming and interested. They show you round, offer you coffee, talk about their future plans; and you do the same.

It’s all very interesting, and it’s not yet (after two weekends) tiresome. But I do hope I find a suitable somewhere soon.

I’ve added some things to Beebo.Org recently: there’s now a colophon and a search page. There’s also a list of words I’ve looked up on-line.