Word of the day: hackle – pluck or spirit; to show hackle – to be willing to fight (originates circa 1860)
I used to be quite confrontational, you know? People were scared of me. Sometimes it would be useful to have that power back. I spent a good ten minutes just staring at my phone. Then half an hour straightening out my cupboard. Then ten minutes growling at myself. Then I realised I’d lost the landlady’s number and had to get it off Neville. Then, fuck it, I called her.
For anyone reading who has no clue what I’m on about, I drew the short straw [breadstick] to call the landlady and ask her why she thinks it’s ok to go into our rooms when we aren’t here.
She’s very nice, but she’s one of those people who seems able to use niceness as a tactic of war. Along with guilt. I’ll try to represent this as well as I remember…
Landlady [launching into unstoppable niceness]: Oh hello, how are you doing in your lovely new home? I got it painted freshly for you all, you know? I didn’t want you living in a hovel, and the last tenants left it in such a mess. It nearly broke me when I saw what they’d done.
Me [trying to interrupt]: Yes…well…we won’t do that…
LL: But it’s a lovely flat, isn’t it? I don’t think you could find cheaper in London.
Me: Yes, but we’re a bit concerned…somebody has been coming in our rooms, moving things around, we’re a bit worried.
LL [suddenly quite sharp and shrewd]: Well, did you leave the door unlocked? That’s very dangerous, I don’t want someone breaking in and causing damage. That makes my insurance invalid, you know?
Me [a bit sick of the softly softly]: And Neville said that you’ve been coming round while we’re at work.
LL: Hmm? I need to go in a minute, I have a hospital appointment, I’m a slave to my knees, they say I have to have an operation.
Me [sod the softly softly]: Have you been coming into our rooms?
LL: Only if I need to.
Me: Like when you moved my ketchup?
LL: Well, it should be in the fridge, I’m not sure why you put it your room. You’ll bring in ants!
Me: You shouldn’t have been in my room to know that I had ketchup in there.
LL: Oh you don’t mind me visiting my own flat, do you? The previous tenants didn’t mind.
LL: Well, I’ll come round at the weekend, and we can all discuss it then.
Me: Discuss what?
LL: See you then! Bye!
I was still trying to argue into my phone, but she was gone.
I have no idea how to discuss with someone so blatant about lying and manipulation.