4th January – I’m a working man in my prime.

Cleaned myself: 0
Monkey see, monkey do: 1.5 (since last entry)
Tics: 0 (good spell)
Believe in God? N. Absurd.

We all know that fathers are embarrassing, but mine, God, he could make Trump wince.  He seems to be walking on air since I sold my soul to Roger Hunter, and now he’s taken to saying things like ‘how’s the news gone down at the club then?’  I know what it is that he refers to but remain steadfastly disingenuous in my replies.  This would be the time to kill myself or to take up the serial killer position I’ve long cherished.  That would at least show him how the news has gone down with me.  You know, the one that counts in all of this. 

It is my mother that holds the key to dictionary but he has made his own valuable contribution to the ridiculous names we have invented, which are considered to be the habits of the unhinged by the rest of the world, yet are not even questioned as the right way to describe things by us.  My mother, for example, christened the glass roofed room that connects to the kitchen as the outhouse, on the first day we moved into the house, and now we could not possibly contemplate any other name for the place.  The other day when Big Tooth called (a matter of increasing occurrence) the use of the term brought forth a barely suppressed laugh, and that’s from someone who the world looks at in a particular way.  Years ago when we had a dog my father’s morbid fear of having to pick up his droppings in a bag meant that he was always very eager to discover from you whether he had been to the toilet before he took him out on a walk.  But his shame about the act in general meant that he would dance around the subject searching for the right euphemism to describe it.  Eventually he settled on has he cleaned himself?  And now, all these years later, he is absolutely convinced that the correct and polite way to ask if someone (it is no longer just restricted to dogs) needs to go, or has been, to the toilet, is to ask whether they need to clean themselves. That is so odd that it remains his own, beyond the family lexicon.

‘Oh hello?  Is that the Head of Recruitment at Unilever?  Oh yes, Richard White here, I’d like a top job in marketing please if you’ve got one.  Yes, certainly.  I have, yes.  It’s working on a garage forecourt selling hi-spec second hand cars to pricks with big ideas.’

There have been moments during the last few days when I have allowed myself to get carried away by my thoughts and wondered whether, if I just gave up on the idea of having a smart career and stuck at this, that I might have a better chance of becoming a millionaire (class: multi -multi).  Then I could retire into being a film producer, or as my wealth grew, that I develop a twin track career, one doing this, and one doing something good and creative.  Obviously I am capable of such things whereas Roger is not.

Yes, if things were to improve.  Who knows?  And through success I’d become attractive; to someone like Julia Louis Dreyfus perhaps?  All thin and tanned and knowing; possessing a sort of knowing confidence.  It would come together.  One begets another.  I’d have to change some habits.  I mean, she’d have a regime too, and I’d need to work around that.  I’d get up early, go to the bathroom and get it over with.  Open the window.  On Malibu that’d be a perfectly reasonable way to start the day.  Or, if she had two bathrooms; she’d definitely have two bathrooms, it’s a Hollywood person’s beach house, it’ll have two good serviceable bathrooms.  I’d adopt one, and I’d go in early.  No I wouldn’t have to.  It’d be mine.  I could take my time.  But I’d make a precautionary early visit so that the second didn’t seem odd.  I’d still do something to disguise the odour even though it was mine.  I could do a pot-pourri thing, as if I was slightly engagingly odd for a man; sensitive type, but got his own ideas.  Although when you think about it fire kills germs and smells.  And cheap perfume: poor as a gift but invaluable as high quality air freshener.  Something though, that might keep it all under wraps and the frequency unnoticed.  Thinking about it, I don’t want to risk burning it down – I think that the roofs of those places are made from palm fronds and raffia.

What I’d do is get the first visit over early before our stroll along the beach.  Jog?  Perhaps she’s an exercising type, in which case she’ll be up before me, downwind of me cleaning myself.  I’m going to have to act like I’m into all that too.  So it’ll need to be a five a.m. ablution, though that would make it forced, and, worse would make the second an inevitability and likely to occur at just the wrong time, when we’re getting on with our day, and exchanging ideas about forthcoming productions. 

What I could do is to bring the first one forward to the night before.  Americans will be cool with that – a visit to the bathroom before sex to get cleaned beyond disease.  But I already do that, which means that the new routine would look very similar to the old one it replaced – or in fact, be what you might call exactly the same.  I’m just going to have to get up in the middle of the night to push one out.  As soon as sex is finished?  Yes. That will be my rounding off.  We’ll finish and I’ll go to the bathroom and come back all fresh: an American would appreciate that gesture.  We are so proud of you.  If anything happens during the morning stroll/jog I’ll take an impromptu swim.  It’ll be considered charming.

Or I could stop eating.  That would go down very well with a successful actor.  I’d be her crutch and it would normalise (one of my father’s terms) her behaviour.

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