I've been in India for a month travelling, and moved house upon my return. Interestingly, having spoken already of Love, I find myself now the steward of an old registry office somewhere in the depths of North West London. It is large, and empty and smells like burnt marriages.
I recently wrote a piece for Radio Four about being a Property Guardian, which you can hear HERE.
In the garden out back - where clearly many a drunken vow has been spilt - there is a scorched bin which overflows with dog ends. It Overflows like a bottle of diet coke with a polo dropped in it. Volcanically bubbling dog ends, toiling out of a bin's gaping mouth and thinning top.
I came to the realisation that weddings are the best place to smoke. There's a lot of standing, a lot of drinking, and a lot of boring shit to deal with - like admin, and meeting other people's families.
As I stand on what is now my fostered patio, I can imagine us all, at the wedding of the century. A patchwork quilt of Next suits, looking down at the photographer who shoots animal porn on weekends, hoping that he bags that final shot where the groom docks into the ass of his bride and they clench fists just above her pubis. Marriage is a strange, strange thing.
The garden is overgrown now anyway; beneath what is now a rusted floral, archway, sit's a dormant 'Love bench'.
A weird design where one seat sits in opposition to the other, which I don't understand as it means that either the bride or groom will be facing the trunk of a tree the entire time. I suppose the idea is for the back facing party to swivel and peck at the front facing party, thus breaking up the drawl of shots where people stand and hold hands and look down the lens.
The love bench is supposed to be an interesting, romantic location, despite it's positioning beside a main road, and opposite a pound land. On it's arms are two small, embossed doves, as though to offer the impression that these alternate seats are actually the two sprawled wings of entwined love doves, mid flight. Therefore the bride and groom are riding the wings of said doves, beneath an arch of roses, sipping prosecco whilst the animal porn enthusiast Kodaks himself stupid.
In truth, the roses are death, smothered by honeysuckle, the seat is blanketed by a film of moss, and the archway is bare and rusted and looks like a kind of miniature Thunderdome.
Another thing I have noticed; outside of my room, which is the main room where the ceremonies would have happened, is a disabled toilet. Only recently did I see that the external lock - the part that turns red or green depending on occupancy - is chewed up like a Drumstick lolly. It struck me that it must be from the many keys, coins, and lighters that have been tried against it in an attempt to get at the incarcerated bride/groom within. Nothing else can explain this level of lock deformity, other than the cold feet of various brides and grooms having breakdowns moments before having to sign their lives away to a person they probably don't love, but have been told their love by DFS's winter, year long, sale.
A daily reminder that love never lasts, nor is it real, yet nor can it ever, really, be faked. Just as easily, this room that would be held by many as the room that housed the most beautiful moment of their lives, can be switched into a room where a person like me sleeps. This is the true wonder of living in strange, unconventional buildings. You learn quickly that nothing lasts forever, and that we humans like to throw our shit at the walls and hope that something sticks. We like to know that walls are deeper, fuller and more in love with us than Plaster and brick can ever be. In truth, the room owes you nothing. Everything comes from you and you alone. An Everyday projection from our living souls, to the dead world that surrounds us.