Wednesday, November 26, 2003

Deep breaths

My life in Cambridge is, by and large, a bowl of peaches. Not a cloud in my metaphorical sky.

(As opposed to the hideously persistent clouds in the literal sky, with their constant light drizzle – not enough to stop me cycling yet, but I suspect the onset of another cold.)

Anyway, nothing to complain of – well, almost nothing.

I am fairly close to snapping when it comes to a certain someone.

Remember the fairly mad, unsleeping, late-night mathematician? The one who scrawls his equations everywhere? (His latest point of attack is the surface of the bath-tub, pictured.)

He has started lecturing himself aloud in English (not brilliant English, but probably better than my French – which says precious little) while solving problems on his whiteboard. I had to go downstairs at 1 and 2.30 am to ask him to keep it down.

What madness is this?

On top of that, in a deadly quiet house, he has no concept of how to shut a door or drawer quietly. Everything closes with a bang. Probably not one you would notice in the day, but that shows a distinct lack of consideration at night.

Then there's the erieer sound of rythmic pounding: like finger drumming but with fists, or by kicking something. I am deeply afraid I will surprise him one day beating his head on the table in an effort to extract the solution he's seeking.

He has got the message that he is blamed for everything that goes wrong in the house. Frankly, this is fair enough: he is incompetent, inconsiderate, of dubious personal hygiene (learn to flush you moron!), smokes in violation of the lease, leaves ash on the stairs and in the toilet bowls … it just goes on.

At least he’s been terrorised into cleaning up after he cooks rather than leaving pans of rotting pasta on the sideboard for days.

However, he has apparently told one of the others we all hate him because he is here to work (18 hours a day) and we are only here to have fun.

I’d get a crap-load more work done, buddy, if I could get any sleep before 2 am.

I tried not to make too much of an issue of things for a while, working under the delusion he’d secured a transfer to accommodation closer to town. He apparently declined the offered substitute accomodation as there were “no shops” nearby.

Meaning that we’re stuck with him.

So, my new watchword is “zero tolerance”. OK, that’s two words, but I have extended the last courtesy of which I am capable.

An underslept Douglas is a beast not to cross.

Stay tuned.

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