Mark was a friend throughout Art College with whom I lived with in the third year of our course fairly successfully. We remained friends throughout this strange and transitional final year and chose to live together with others for our final summer after graduation. In hindsight, I should not have moved in with two male friends and their new girlfriends, said gf’s being eighteen and in no way bored yet by all the pretentious bullshit flying about the place.
I was the only house mate to have a regular job. Importantly, I needed to maintain my employment for reasons of not wanting to starve to death, an alien concept to everyone else around me. I would return home from the pub I worked in at past midnight to find the electricity meter had all been drained, as had the gas. The fuckers had even used up the emergency instead of purchasing more when it was their turn, leaving me to sit in the dark, with no entertainment or way of winding down and with no way of cooking food. They, on the other hand, were lying around on josstick and spliffy stinking rugs upstairs, with a ton of candles on and some shit guitar or bongo playing for entertainment. When we first moved in there was a bed in my room that had a mattress on. Mark’s room had no mattress so he took mine. When I inevitably found out and kicked off about it, he reasoned that there were two of them and only one of me, so they deserved the mattress. I screamed at them (maybe) to contact the landlord and get a fucking mattress sorted, which they did, I think.
Yet again in my life, with hindsight I should have predicted nothing less than a messy outcome from getting too close to these people. Mark once set up a shit poetry group in our third year, whose only members were himself, myself and our other female housemate at the time. I hasten to add that I think I was merely there at the right/wrong time rather than being an active club member. I certainly had no poetry to contribute. Those other two fuckers did though and were so concerned with getting their innermost bullshit out there onto any ears that would have it that my lack of input was entirely unnoticed. Mark read out his most cherished piece, which was titled “Jelly Mould”. I think it began something like: “I am the jelly mould…” and the dominant concept was one of being moulded, like jelly, which is liquid and free, but put into a mould and then into the fridge, sets and becomes moulded to the will of the person who designed the mould and/or the person who bought the mould, say perhaps a mum who is hosting a kids birthday party in a few hours or whatever.
I began cathartically writing to my friend in London about my ordeal and left the writing pad in the lounge whilst at work. Mark predictably read it because he was well accustomed to going into my room and taking things that he liked, so reading a notebook that I left in the lounge was no biggy. Apparently, he did not like being described as being an arty little cunt who’s poems were shit and who’s feet stank.
After this I only had one more psychedelic techno bongo party in the flat to get through until they all left me to go travelling around Thailand with some imaginary money. I think Mark apologised for being a massive cock hole before he left but I was so sedated by this point that I can barely remember and may have dreamt it up as a coping mechanism.