July 23, 2001


LET'S GET METAPHYSICAL
Bejeezus, this is gettin' ridiculous. I have not worked for two and a half months. Hey, make that three. Let's be honest now. Three months. Twelve weeks. Ninety-ish days. Yes, I could work it out of course. I could be exact. But that would entail maths, wouldn't it. It would entail getting my diary, pointing at things, counting things up. Not fucking likely. No, my brain, and my ass, have decided that they are ON STRIKE.


ASSUMPTION MAKES AN ASS OUT OF U AND....MPTION
My ass, however, has an excuse. (Unpatriotic as it is, I prefer the American pronunciation of the word. The British equivalent, arse, with the 'r' stretched long and flowing fruity from the throat, is far too redolent of the genuine, wobbling, split-cheeked, shitting actuality of the thing. The Americanism is, I reckon, more like the idea of an arse: a plump, clean, cuppable, sexy thing that never, ever poos). My ass has an excuse because my ass is dragged down the gym every day or so and trounced around to wuckedly bad house music. Hence my ass is more up-in-the-air, higher and prettier, than it has been since, ooh, April, when I last had a job and survived on coffee, ice-cream and giant Kit-kats. Nonetheless, my ass is still on strike.


FLIRTATION HOPES DASHED BY PRESENCE OF MORE ATTRACTIVE FRIEND
The farthest my ass, and I, have been in the last week, is to the cafe on the corner, about 50 yards away from my house. (Again, yes, I could count that distance. I could be precise. But then I'd have to measure it. Which means I'd have to get up. YuHUH. That's gonna happen.) The cafe has green tiles outside and big lattes inside, and it has ALL the latest magazines including obscure ones like Pure and obscene ones like Wallpaper. It has sofas and one cute boy who works there on Mondays even though he never, like never, ever, ever, ever flirts with me. Though he does with Francesca. Or did. Once. Bastard. Fuck him and damn him to hell.


WOMAN SITS IN COFFEE SHOP DEBATING WHETHER OR NOT SHE IS 'COOL'
Last Monday I went there with Claudia. Claudia does dresses. Claudia was wearing an outfit she had made. The skirt came down to the ground and trailed behind her, catching cigarette butts and ring-pulls in its wake. She wore a black top with a high neck and these sweet little arm things, as though the bottom part of the sleeves had got bored of being attached and had decided to make a run for it. Claudia wore purple sunglasses indoors the whole time. 'Gosh', I thought to myself. 'I'm sitting in a cafe with someone who wears sunglasses inside. I think that means we are cool. Well, at least, she is, although I am not wearing any make-up, and my shoes are covered in nightclub juice.'


FRIEND'S DESCRIPTION OF DEPRESSION IGNORED IN FAVOUR OF THOUGHTS OF DRAGONS
On Wednesday I went there with Scott. Scott is a boy. He's thirty, but he's a boy. It's as if his skin grew too big for him, and he stayed small inside. He's got the eyes of a boy, and the smooth, pale skin of a boy, But the skin bags down now, loops stomachly over his jeans, ripples beneath his long-lashed eyes. Scott wears caps like a boy; draws cartoons for a living, like a boy, speaks in puns and wordplay, like a boy. They talked dot.bomb and the perils of unemployment. 'I hope it's not like the last time I was unemployed', Scott said. 'I never opened the curtains. I lay in bed all day. I didn't speak to anyone. At least this time, I've got the people on the internet message board I go to.'

Guilty of similar pyjama-clad internet crimes, I kept my gob shut. Metaphorically, at least. In actuality, I parted my lips just enough to exhale a plume of cigarette smoke. It would be pretty impressive, I thought to myself, if I could blow smoke out of my mouth whenever I wanted, like a dragon. When I was angry, or wanted to convey disdain, say. Like every time the counter boy didn't flirt with me. Puff. Angry smoke, like a naughty witch. Apparently, dragons sleep on mounds of gold. It would be great if I had a mound of gold. A heap of gold. A pile of gold. A mountain of gold. A mountain of gold as high as the ceiling. I smiled at Scott.


PORTUGUESE CAKE COMPARED TO MAN'S NAVEL BY WOULD-BE WRITER
On Thursday Jill wore all red, working the Marilyn thing with her platignum ringlets and her red lipstick which pressed red caterpillars onto the white paper coffeecups. She insisted on buying cakes for me. Cakes and sandwiches were half price after four pm. The donut was plump and full and tempting, like an unpopped orb of bubblewrap. And the natea, the Portuguese custard tart, well, it dipped low and perfect within its pastry moorings. I wanted to push my tongue into it the way I sometimes longed to shove my tongue into the delicate sand-dusted navel of a strange man on a beach.


PETTY CRUELTIES 'ENRICH LIFE', GIRL ARGUES
On Friday I went to a different cafe, not the green-tiled one on the corner. I lied. Sorry. The truth can eat my ass. I got on my little black bicycle and actually rode to a cafe on Curtain Road, up near Old Street. As I was unlocking my bike from the garage I could hear my cat miaowing. She'd been locked in the garden. I started calling her name. Her cries doubled. I went over to a gap in the fence. I peered through. I called and blew kisses at her. Her big green eyes gazed up at me through the gap, and her little pink-and-white mouth opened to miaow. I kicked the stand of my bike away and rode that bad boy into the sunset. In the cafe with Jason I ate chocolate brownies. I wiped the crumbs from my mouth with a tissue imprinted with the words 'I LOVE BOYS'. It started to rain and I thought about the cat. I'd like to say that in addition to my brain and my ass, my morals have also gone on strike, but it's simply not true. I sacked them ages ago.

This week I shall be mainly looking for a job.


previous : : : about : : : next