Double room available in clean, modern flat...

I am too old to live with other people. This is the prime of my bachelorhood. I don't see why I shouldn't get drunk in my boxer shorts in the dark if I feel like it. But in the compromised world of the flat share self expression is taboo. The great lie that is pretending to want to live with other people is especially obvious at the moment as we are looking for a housemate so our resentments and prejudices are lurking nearer to the surface than usual. Meanwhile, I am receiving lots of anxious messages from people keen to sound relaxed. A young French boy has written a long letter explaining how he “would like to live in a flatmate to speak”. I almost emailed another applicant who is “looking for a new family” to explain that he will never find a room in London by flagging up his loneliness but I couldn’t be bothered. Religion is a no-go. I don’t trust men who mention yoga. And my friend is suspicious of South Africans and can’t abide an Australian accent. The room is definitely too cheap which is clear from the fact that the only English person to apply has been living on his friend’s sofa for six months and was witless. Evidently no one familiar with London prices believes we’re legit. And the poor bastards that have been over… One guy was keen to leave his flat because his housemate forgot to mention she was popping back to China for a few months and incidentally sublet her room to three randoms. Another wanted to flee the inhuman noises that would escape his flatmate's bedroom. And I was worried a sweet German boy might actually cry as he described some of the places he'd looked at. But pity isn’t the best reason to rent someone a room. The best reason is obviously money. And I now think the second best reason might be to learn another language. My friend wants to know who we should pick. So I have sent her my language-learning objectives and absolved myself from further responsibility for filling a room that looks so good empty...