I’d just moved to London after graduating, to a shared house in Leytonstone. I was sharing with a set of local students, most of whom were attending the University of East London, which had the unusual prestige of being the bottom-ranked institution in the country. These guys were all a bit weird, but one guy I particular made me uncomfortable.
He was a Polish neo-nazi with an obsession with knives and who spent a house ‘party’ ranting at me about his violent fantasies of beating up leftists and tearing down migrants’ houses. The oddity of this guy being an immigrant to the UK, here on only the slimmest of official justifications – he was doing some part-time study for what wasn’t even a full degree course – twisting himself in knots of rage at the prospect of Kosovans ‘flooding’ the rest of Europe and Muslim immigrants ‘consuming the west’ was not an irony lost on me, but not one I felt I should raise when he started showing me his favourite knifes.
This guy had a very Nordic neo-fascism; he talked a lot about returning to nature and the purity of the mediaeval European lifestyle. He reasoned that knives were the basic human tool, so he should do everything he could with his knives.
One day, when I was in the bathroom, I heard a calamity outside in the group kitchen. Shouting, running, agitated words. This sort of thing seemed to happen every weekend. Like when Misfer got a ‘virus scan’ popup and his laptop and decided he’d lost all of his university work, and started bawling his eyes out. Or that night when he thought the sound of a mouse was a ghost. (I fucking wish I was kidding). After four months dealing with this crap I decided to just take my time in the shower and wait for it to calm down.
More voices, more urgency. This was not calming down.
What happened was pretty absurd. Misfer wanted burgers for breakfast. The burgers were frozen and stuck together. Knife boy came in and insisted that the only way to handle any kind of food preparation in a legit, ‘historical’ way was with knives. So he takes these two, frozen, slippery disks of meat, and tries thrusting a knife between them. And you know what he does? They part and he plunged the knife right through his fucking hand.
So he’s stood around acting like it’s not a big deal and he’s in barely any pain because ARYAN STRON or whatever, and Misfer is actually running in real life circles wailing about the disaster. And there’s blood everywhere and his girlfriend’s crying, and all I can think about is whether I still need to keep up pretences of friendship or whether I can just walk straight out and get breakfast at KFC instead.
I chose the latter and put my notice in not long after.