I am incapable of telling my landlady the truth. I don’t know why, it just seems to come out like word vomit. Today is a perfect example – she turned up at the door unannounced, with a builder in tow, in order to fix the broken roof which has been broken since the beginning of time. Probably before the house was even built. Being an unemployed/self-employed tramp, everyday is a potential weekend, and so I was still in bed, asleep at midday. The pleasant ding of the doorbell woke me, but instead of answering it like a normal person, i hid in the bedroom, peeking out of the curtains and into the street.
Interesting side note, the cat also heard the door and got excited, ears pricked and with full on puss-in-boots-on-crack eyes staring at the bedroom door waiting for the inevitable invasion.
Outside, I can hear the landlady talking to the builder, saying things like “it’s this house here” and “yes, I’ve got keys”. The Boyfriend is ringing on the mobile, presumably to tell me he forgot she was coming over. Emergency clothes are thrown on, the kind where it doesn’t matter if you’re not wearing a bra at midday, because no one will notice, and the door is opened.
There is the casual “Oh! You are in!” and I tell the truth: “Oh, yes, sorry – the doorbell woke me; I was asleep!” followed by my first lie: “It’s my day off.”
I felt the need to explain my diva-like late afternoon lie in, particularly in front of the builder who has probably been up since 5am.
I couldn’t just say “this is my life now”; the lie seemed easier, and so more lies followed: “Oh, I’ve lived here for two, maybe three years now” and my favourite “there’s nothing else broken in the house”
But worse than any lies was when I started telling the truth. The builder vanished to do builder-y things elsewhere, and the Landlady starting making polite conversation on the stairs, the sort of “what are you up to now?” questions. So I told her I was doing a lot of writing – didn’t tell her I’d quit my boring but regular income job to do it, but that I enjoyed it. She asked “what kind of writing?” and I said “oh, commercial stuff, product descriptions, web content yadda yadda… But what I’m really interested in is writing stories, so I do a lot of those as well”.
To which she replied with not so much as an “oh, that must be interesting”, but a low hissing sound and a widening of her eyes, which was non-verbal communication for “oh gods, you poor thing. You’ll never make a living doing that!”
But, i console myself to the fact that hey! At least she wasn’t lying to me.