Because I Hear the Voices

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Our First Home

“Hey, pretty boy! Do you think you can tear yourself away from that mirror long enough to help take these damn boxes in?”

I turned away from the bathroom mirror that I had just been polishing in my attempt to clean up this dump we had decided would be home, before we began to clutter it with the junk we had managed to collect over the years. In fact I never realised how much stuff I owned until I began sorting through it all for this move.

“You wouldn’t need any help, shit-head, if you hadn’t decided to pack up every goddamn thing you owned. I bet you didn’t bother going through this stuff and chucking out what you didn’t need,” I retorted after tossing the used paper towel I’d been cleaning with into the waste basket, and rushing over to help him lift the box he was carrying through his bedroom door.

“Oh sure, this from the guy who not only brought with him junk he already owned, but had the audacity to go out and buy more just yesterday,” Devlin returned.

“And if I hadn’t we wouldn’t have a fridge or a washing machine, besides they were second hand and for $50 bucks a pop, a damn good bargain in my opinion,” I answered shoving the box we were carrying at him, causing him to stumble predictably.

We set down the box with a satisfying thump and both grimaced at the sound of breaking glass from inside its depths.

“Oh yeah, and what about the prissy shower curtain, towels, sheets, mats and wall unit you also managed to cart in here,” Devlin asked as he headed back outside to his utility to finish carting his stuff inside.

“We needed towels, or were you going to air dry yourself after a shower? And sheets, surprise, surprise are pretty necessary on a bed. As for the mats, the one for the bathroom is so you don’t slip and break that hard head of yours after you get out of the shower, and the front door mat, was, may I remind you, your purchase,” I said defending my actions as I followed him outside.

“Yeah, but Sean did you have to buy shower curtains with flowers on them? It’s enough to give me nightmares,” Devlin shuddered as he hefted up a box that was so full it couldn’t be shut properly.

“You know since I landed bathroom detail when we were organising our agendas, I figured a shower curtain is at least going to save me 15 minutes cleaning time a week, so it was, in my opinion a necessary buy!”

We began to squeeze the box through the front door, with me almost tripping over a mat that begged potential visitors to go far, far away.

“But flowers?”

“Would you have preferred the pretty pink fairies or the red love hearts instead? You were with me they didn’t have anything else!”

“We could have gone to another store,” Devlin reasoned with me.

“And pay 15 bucks for something we picked up for $1? We are on a budget here Dev. Besides, all we have to do is say it came with the house. Next payday I promise to go and find a nice manly one with decapitated heads on it just for you,” I tried appeasing him as we manoeuvred our way from the hall into the bedroom once again.

“Or perhaps Astroboy,” he said as he burst out laughing and fled to the nearest exit with me close on his heels.

When I caught up with him at his car, I gave him an elbow in the ribs, which was both a satisfying and expected retaliation. He simply grinned and placed another heavy load in my arms and reached in for one of his own to cart inside.

“What about the wall unit?” he asked, innocently throwing me off guard.

“The what?”

“The wall unit. Why did you have to go and buy something worth $400, and then complain about spending more than one miserly buck on a shower curtain?”

“Because it was the only unit that could fit all that junk you bought. Why you had to go and spend almost our entire savings on that wide-screen television, DVD, surround sound and jukebox stereo system anyway is beyond me!”

“Well they are all necessary equipment for two young men expanding their horizons and wanting to give outlandish parties, where they can meet chicks and get lucky. A small price to pay, besides you have to admit, they go so well in that wall unit,” Devlin grinned cheekily; easily sidestepping the kick I aimed at his calf.

Devlin went outside to bring in his last box while I went into the living room to survey our impressive equipment that literally took up the entire far wall. Since that morning we had already moved what seemed like decades worth of dust from the tacky brown carpeted floor, cleaned the grime off the windows, the mould and mildew from the bathroom and most of the stains from the green counter top in the kitchen, all we had to do now was put everything away. I reached down to open up the packet that had our new beanbags in it. As we couldn’t yet afford couches, we had to make do with several beanbags that we would scatter around the room, which would be otherwise devoid of furniture.

The lounge room opened onto a tiny dining room, just big enough for the two blue camping chairs and old aluminum card table that we had placed in it. The kitchen ran directly off the dining area, small and cramped with none of the comforts of home, like a dishwasher or microwave, but our new fridge, with its peeling white paint, fitted so well with the décor, it appeared to have been made for the kitchen. The three rooms ranged side by side across the rear of the house, and were accessed by a short narrow hallway, which effectively split the house in two. On either side of the front door were two rooms, one slightly larger than the other, with the bathroom situated on the right hand side of the hallway between the lounge and Devlin’s bedroom. The laundry was in a cramped corner of the car garage, built onto the side of the house. The whole house had been painted a sickly yellow colour, which together with the brown linoleum and carpet had made our parents wonder what was wrong with us, that we would choose to live in such a house. Actually it had been the enormous yard and two words on the rental contract (pets allowed) that had sealed the deal for Devlin and myself after looking at everything from brand new townhouses to dumps far worse than this one. Our fathers’ had bet that neither of us would do anything towards the upkeep of the yard, but what they didn’t realise was that the yard would be used for outdoor parties, and being so huge, would give us more chances at loud gatherings than if we had a neighbour only 2 meters away as was the case in those fancy townhouses they had preferred. Yep this house was definitely our idea of home.

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