The first invoice coming through was amazing. The relief of having my own money, money that hadn’t been borrowed from anyone, was incredible. I sat down and transferred various amounts to pay off the many debts I’d started to rack up in 2017 so far, both to friends and to corporations. In a few hours of paying people back €1600 became €400, but I didn’t care. It was €400 of my own, and I was getting paid again three days later, so it would be fine!
I ate well. (I didn’t, but I had junk food that cost six pounds, not junk food that cost one pound.) I went out and got drunk.
And I had a home. My gay rabbi-healer and his gay boyfriend were going to take me in and we were going to be a big gay family. I was so excited. I was so ready for the next phase, ready to make London my own.
So of course, everything exploded in my face. I got a text from my new landlord. He was sorry, but he’d given the room to someone else. In one sense, I was shocked, but in another I wasn’t. He’d offered me the room so impulsively that it was no real surprise that he had offered it to someone else just as impulsively.
I stayed up late to wait to be paid on Thursday night. I had money in my Irish account, but I was excited to see money go into my UK account too, and I don’t know how people go to sleep when they know money will be going into their accounts at midnight. They’re all clearly among the super-rich, and don’t care about money.
I was expecting the best part of a thousand pounds. Only a hundred and forty eight appeared in my account. I was stumped. I wrote an angry email to my boss and went to bad angry. In the morning, the day I was due to move in to my new flat, my boss emailed to say that the woman who does payroll had broken her arm, and they’d got everyone else’s pay right, so that was fine and the correct amount would go into my account later that day. And it did, but I can’t get at it. My card wasn’t working and I couldn’t make online transactions and ATM machines and online banking were telling me to report to my branch.
I think I know why. I think HSBC has frozen access to my accounts as if I’m Robert Mugabe, because all their letters to me about my credit card debt have been bouncing back to them. The address they have is for the hostel I was staying in before Christmas, which isn’t keeping letters for me. I’m dreading going into the bank and begging for my money. I still don’t have an address and I’m fairly sure that HSBC aren’t OK with homeless customers. I’ll see what I can do.
I booked into the cheapest hotel I could find for the weekend. I couldn’t face the idea of another hostel night. I wasn’t in a good mood as I dragged my suitcase across London for the seventh time this year.
But getting to the hotel was great. The EasyHotel Croydon is no palace, but I have a double bed all of my own and a socket all of my own and I decide when to turn the lights off and I have a shower and a toilet just for me and after months of hostel life it’s glorious. Glorious. I immediately got into my bed and scratched myself vigorously, like I haven’t scratched myself in ages. Read that sentence in any way you wish.
I started chatting to some men on my apps, as I am wont to do. One of them soon caught my attention. He didn’t just want me to send him ass pics. I have learned that men of Middle Eastern heritage on Grindr universally want to see my bottom. It’s basically Newton’s Fourth Law. This man didn’t want that. He also didn’t want payment, or to put me in a leather harness, or for me to list what I’d eaten that day. He wanted to actually get to know me.
This was novel. We chatted for about three hours. We learned all about each other and I’m getting a train to see him on Tuesday night. He was very clear that this would be a date, and not just a sordid hook-up (though he also made it clear that I’d be staying the night – I’m not getting a train for nothing!) A date! How heterosexual! I love it.
And, it’s such an up-yours to my childhood. Because he used to be a priest. AaaaaaaaaaaaaaaHHHHhhhhhaaahhhhhhhh! If 16-year-old Connor knew that he’d end up in bed with a priest on a Tuesday night when he was 36, I don’t know how he would have coped. I know you’re all picturing a frail pensioner now, but he’s younger than me.
Nothing is perfect, and this lovely man who tried to get to know me well has his issues. He told me a lot of stories, including about his last boyfriend. Their relationship ended when his boyfriend got a gastric bypass and lost lots of weight. The longer I spend in this world of “chubby chasers” that London has allowed me into, the clearer it becomes that if I want to ever lose weight, then I can’t really stay with any of these men long term. But that’s Tomorrow Connor’s problem. Today Connor is just delighted to be being wooed so much.
And in other news, I got a text from my rabbi-landlord-who-wasn’t last night at midnight. He said that the person who he’d chosen instead of me had paid his deposit and signed a contract, but that he “didn’t make him comfortable”, so he was happy to offer the room to me again.
He’s a total flake. Not only does he pull the rug from under me, but then he’s going to do it to this man too. I texted him that I’d be delighted to move in. But I almost immediately regretted it. I didn’t tell him that I’d have to fight HSBC to let me have the deposit, but I told him I wouldn’t be able to pay until Wednesday (when my next invoice is coming through, and I’ll be rich again, regardless of HSBC). He’s very anxious to get my money as soon as possible. I’m going to text him again and tell him I’m not going for it. There are better options for me out there.
When I googled him, I didn’t just find out that he was a rabbi. I also found out that he’d been jailed for a year in 1995 for insurance fraud. The headline is amazing though, as it refers to him as “A prominent rabbi and alleged homosexual”.
It would have been an adventure, but I’ll save my adventuring for perverted Polish ex-priests. I’ll find somewhere else to live.