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
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
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