Crowley’s Flat in Mayfair
Crowley‘s flat is situated in London — more precisely in Mayfair, according to Lisa Morrow’s “tenth-hand mailorder lists” (297). It is the “epitome of style” (239), like all of Crowley’s human effects, and “everything that a flat should be: spacious, white, elegantly furnished” and lit with “spotlights and white neon tubes” (241). It has “that designer unlived-in look that only comes from not being lived in” (239). This is because Crowley doesn’t live in the flat; it is “simply the place he [goes] back to, at the end of the day, when he [is] in London”. It also has double glazing.
The flat contains a lounge, a kitchen, an office, a bedroom and a bathroom. The lounge has a “huge television, a white leather sofa, a video and laserdisc player, an ansaphone, two telephones […] and a square matt black sound system” that lacks speakers but works nonetheless. It also holds his book collection, his houseplants, his CDs and his collection of Soul Music (all alphabetically organised). The Soul Music is “real Soul music. James Brown [isn’t] in it” (242); this indicates a different kind of soul than the music genre. The kitchen’s fridge is “always stocked with gourmet food that never [goes] off” (239) and it never has to be defrosted, “or even plugged in”. The office has an unconnected fax machine and a “sleek” computer, which looks like “a Porsche with a screen” (239-240). The bedroom’s beds are “always made”.
Crowley’s only attempt at decorating his minimalist flat is a “framed drawing” (241), which is the “cartoon for the Mona Lisa, Leonardo da Vinci’s original sketch”, bought from the artist himself. Crowley and Leonardo agreed it was “superior to the final painting”. Before using his Thermos flask of holy water on Ligur, Crowley kept it in a safe behind the drawing, with the combination 4-0-0-4, the year he “slithered on to this stupid, marvellous planet” (243-244).
The only mention of other tenants in the building is the “little old lady on the floor below” (244), which places Crowley at least on the second floor.
Crowley’s flat shows how appearances are more important to him than functionality. His computer has “the intelligence of a retarded ant” (239), and yet he upgrades it often because it is “the sort of thing Crowley [feels] that the sort of human he trie[s] to be would have”. His fax machine is disconnected, his stereo system lacks speakers, and he most likely never uses his bathroom. If Crowley needs something, he need only create it from thin air — yet both he and Aziraphale have taken on human aspects over the years which, in reality, are unnecessary to them. In this respect, Aziraphale’s bookshop is the corresponding item to Crowley’s flat.
Edition referenced in this article: UK Corgi paperback (1991)
Written by Linn