FRIDAY 30 MAY 2003
OF BICYCLES AND BROKEN TOES

What in the name of ass are you doing?

I am asking this question of my computer, which coughs and spurtles apocalyptically when asked to open Word or a new window in Explorer: but I am also asking it of my self. Of my ass. Of my limp-haired, broke-dick, broke-toe ass. Poor me. Poor ass.

Levels of self-pity such as this room has borne witness to today and last night ought not to be tolerated by the wall's eyes. It is a horror movie more horrid than any other, to see me cry: worse than Basket Case, yeah, more vile than The Leghairs of the Kaki-Huri - (ok, I just made that last one up, because I don't watch no Jap-horror shit, no: what do you take me for, a depresso-boy?)

But yeah, to see me crumple upon the bed, surveying a swollen toe all black and purple and bruised: to see these big-ass brown eyes tremble and swim with tears; to watch the tears spill out and crash onto my heaving, sobbing bosom, clad so cutely as it is in baby-pink Superlovers hoodie; no, it is a scene best left on the cutting-room floor. A cell best deleted; snipped into sections with safety scissors, then cast upon the four winds.

Who knew, after all? Who knew such desolation could sweep a soul, when one has broke one's toe on one's flatmate's stupid bike, and when one has no one to make one a cup of tea, or a hot water bottle in one's Peter Rabbit hot water bottle cosy? No one to plump up the duvet pile and Mongolian fur cushion on which one's damaged foot rests? No one to look at the horrible bruise and go 'oh god, poor you!'? No one to make jokes about whether it would be a good idea to just snort a load of ketamine and try and push it back into place for a laugh- who knew?

Yes, yesyeyes. Last night I tucked my hair behind my ears and I bleated. Not because it hurt, because it fucking didn't, that traitorous toe. Apart from the agonising moment the twitching fool who had the misfortune to still be in my bed that morning flicked his leg and struck it, the toe just sort of…sat there: sausage-plump, deathly-mottled, and silent. The toe was a ticking timebomb, alright unless you stood on it, unless you tried to walk, unless your bed-mate kicked it; then, all was chaos.

Nope. Last night I wasn't bleating from that kind of pain. I was bleating from the other kind. I've had a good one, you know, a good innings, yeah. I've got this far and never had a cri de couer like it. I've sobbed at fucked exam results and dead grandfathers and murdered pets and the like, other woes: but someone's always been asleep beside me, their arm a dead weight upon me. But, no more. Now all the someones have gone.

My bestest flatmate? Out at 93 chasing cute Texans. My favourite friend? Clumped home in her cowboy boots, wet from the rain, her mouth an acrid scowl. My sister? Loved up and making love with her cute Jarvisalike. She don't need no me, a sister like a dead weight, clinging like a toddler to the strap of her bag. She offered dutifully to repay March's pell-mell hell-dash to Casualty, (I had to accompany her due to her septic tonisils, which had swollen up till she was almost unable to breathe - smoking with tonsilitis will do that to ya, kidz!) but I set her free. I sat on my pink bed, and bleated till my top was wet.

Time Out reckons that 22 per cent of London's ladies are 'happy' to be single, compared to 14 per cent of men. I'm no one to judge who is and isn't lying in this survey: studies have long shown that men tend to flourish within a relationship, whilst women flourish outside it; and certainly my ex's dash to reimmerse himself in long-term loveitude would seem to support this.

All I can say is that I'll wager my right tit that none of the happy ladies in this survey clumped down the stairs on the morning they were surveyed, and MASHED their foot into their stupid flatmate's bike, till their toe was sticking out at a 45 degree angle and had turned all heinous and purple, and then had no one to talk to all that night, and just lay on the bed, in a sodden heap of self-pity and rage.

Because that's what it's all about, being single, isn't it. Really. It's fine as fuck when the second pill is kicking in and your hair's looking magic and your skin's porcelain-pale, your hands flying round your head like stars, the music rushing through you, a friend's fingertip tracing the curve of your cheek - but that's not it. That's *not* it. This is it. This is what it's all about.

A swollen toe. A sodden top. A hungry tummy. A puddle of spilled coffee on the floor that you're too desolate to mop up. And then, just silence, busted only by whining sirens, clattering i-book keys, and the steady flick and hiss of a lighted cigarette. And what's so very happy about that?


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