I used to have one, one of my own. About ten years ago. It was a very nice condo that The Mom kindly purchased for me (spoilt, I know, I know) when my last apartment in Toronto, which came with a free crowd of rats, became, due to the rats, untenable.
I actually put that address on something official, something the government required me to have an address for. I don’t remember what it was, but I do remember having to learn and then copy down my postal code. In and of itself something of a novelty for me.
But before I moved to England, The Mom insisted the condo be sold. It would appear she didn’t feel like adding landlord to her many titles. Fine. Never mind the fact that the value of said condo would’ve by now skyrocketed, it is what it is. So, after that, I didn’t really have much of a fixed address. At least, not as far as the government was concerned.
And then, because I was living in a whole new country, I developed a whole new government with which to deal with, and a whole new bunch of entities that wanted something in a more stable address for forms and the like.
Whenever I can, I just put The Mom’s address, however, certain things like my mobile bill, and my UK bank, and the local council, require something more… local as far as addresses go. I used to use my friend’s place in Glasgow, but once I moved back to London again, it seemed silly – if not inconvenient to have my post delivered all the way up there.
But when you rent flats, you see, and move often, it’s tricky. Because the last thing I want to do is have to keep telling these places that I’ve moved. The bank alone refuses to believe me half the time. When I gave them my latest address, they told me my post code was wrong. They even rang me back to tell me this. I informed them, in no uncertain terms, that this was the post code the council had for me so their computer was going to have to bend to my will this time.
What really poses a problem is when I enter Canada again. There’s a form – a landing form – and one must write down one’s address. I always put The Mom’s. It is my address – at least the closest thing I’ve got to one. And I figure, well, I’m in Canada, a Canadian address is probably good.
I never understand the reasoning behind this – and in fairness, I’m loath to ask because customs officials freak me out. I live in fear of The Tiny Room. And being called into it one day to explain myself. They are not going to believe anything I tell them, regardless of how truthful it is. My life often seems to me to be largely fictitious, I can’t very well expect them to believe it if I struggle to.
But, let it be known that when asked by customs officials (in Canada at least) that I proudly declare The Mom’s address as my own. It seems reasonable. When they ask the reason for my visit, I say, I’m coming home for a bit. Or, I’m visiting my mom. I’m from here.
That usually sounds sweet enough that they let my unstable address pass. Good thing too, because I don’t have anything near as stable here. It would be ever so much easier if I were able to say, when asked where do you live, if I could reply, Oh, here and there. I get around.
I do wonder if one day I will ever have anything as fixed as a permanent address. If not, I suppose I’ll keep using The Mom’s… until my suitcase can get its own post code.