Saturday, September 2, 2000, 04:07 am.

Four AM. And I'm awake. Ho hum. One of my feet is tucked under me and the acrylic leopard fur of my slipper rubs against my right thigh. The sleeves of my dressing-gown - nylon, I think it is, and covered with a hothotHOT pink and yellow and orange flowerprint, like a Versace dress gone to hell - are slipping down my arms towards my elbows. And my eye, it hurts like I've been poked in it. I suppose it's because I've been crying. Sniff.

I haven't been crying very much, OK? I'm not a girl. Well, I mean I am, but... I've been crying in a very surrupitious, steely way. With the covers over my head and my thumb in my mouth. Or, alternatively, lying on the rug (it's a tigerprint rug, but there's not a theme going on here - leopardskin slippers or no leopardskin slippers) with my head resting on it, one eye pressed closed against the wool, the other staring straight at a knot of fluff which might as well bear a small sign saying 'you need to hoover, you lazy, unsuccessful excuse for a competent human being'. So either some fluff got in my eye or my eye got too squashed or my eye has still got some unexpressed tears in it. But they'll never get out now, these recalcitrant tears, because I've rubbed the eye so many times that the tears are probably squashed against the back of my eye. I can just picture 'em, cartoon legs waving, teardrop bodies no longer curved and plump but smashed squashed flat against the circle of my eyeball. Tough shit, tears. You can suffer too.

At five pm British time the American woman called up and said 'I've got bad news' and I sat in the chair and the boyfriend looked up at me, and I gave him the thumbs down sign, whilst trying to keep my voice very calm and mature and rational. The American told me my job, my lovely dreamy job, was coming to an end.

Ever since then, I've had Elaine Paige and Barbera Dixon in my head, singing 'Nothing is so good it lasts eternity.....Perfect situations must go wrong', in quivering operatic falsettoes. Do you remember the song? It was number one for ages in the early Eighties. My mum loved it. If I could see Paige and Dixon right now I'd bang their heads together for writing a crappyass song that years later was to form the smug mental soundtrack to a night of job loss angst.

A poke in the eye and early Eighties opera songs stuck in my head. Whatever next? Oh, I know.

Now I've got to write a new CV.


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