From my room, I could the owner busily chopping vegetables as she prepared dinner for her husband and baby boy. For 6 weeks I have lived here, in a strange space between a house share with a family, and feeling slightly voyeuristic, observing their life without actually participating in it. I hear the kisses she gives her son everyday when they come home, and his cute gargling laughter; I hear the endless baby talk. I hear the low hum of discussion over the dinner table; them laughing at sitcoms on TV; the water running when they wash the dishes. I hear when they retire to their bedroom, the click of the door and subsequent silence.
As I take that as my cue to come out for a midnight snack of cereal, I can’t help but feel like I’m a negligible entity who has injected themselves into a family’s life. Even though I am paying rent, they are very pleasant, and this is purely a formal sublease agreement, I feel both a strange sense of loneliness and guilt at being present.
Well, never fear. As this was just a short-term arrangement, I’ll be moving out this weekend.