Cleaned myself: 0
Monkey see, monkey do: 0 (in this environment?)
Tics: Please God Forgive Me
Believe in God? Are you joking, I am foresaken (apart from the tics)
YTLH: what is point?
Frances arrives just after 7.00 p.m. I just pull myself back from kissing her on the cheek and say, ‘sorry, I shouldn’t do that,’ and she says something in return which I don’t catch because she was on the tinnitus-ear side, but I thought it might have been, ‘yet,’ though, ‘yeah’ is probably slightly more plausible. I offer her a drink. My plan is to break the ice here, then propose a walk down to the river, like a continental evening stroll along Las Ramblas, perhaps picking up an ad hoc, alfresco dinner as we amble along past the street vendors. Though ours will be more about moving quickly along the main street of a dirty London outlying hub to avoid the pissed-up football fans falling out of pubs, resisting the allure of 24-7 supermarkets and national coffee shop chains, whilst keeping just in front of the refuse wagon as it gobbles up the discarded filth of a day’s trading in the CBD of a moderately popular borough. But peace will be ours on the embankment and then we’ll chat, building on the shared experience of the horrible journey to get there.
As she lifts the glass to her lips, still hardly a word spoken, a key is turned in the lock. She looks at me as if I’ve played a trick on her. Then, when Big Tooth enters, she says, ‘honestly Dickie, what are you trying to do here?’ Before I answer, she adds, ‘this is really insulting.’ Then, too angry to find the right words to express it, hands me the glass, and leaves. She sort of nods an acknowledgement to Big Tooth on the way past, and Big Tooth does nothing, bar say to me, ‘what have you done with dad’s sofa? And why is all the bed linen in here?’
As the door closes behind Frances, Big Tooth gathers up the bed clothes and takes them back into their respective bedrooms. Then, instead of coming back to collect the remaining bits, just stands in the doorway and waits for me to look up. ‘I want to ask you a favour. Do you mind?’
I shrug, I don’t mind doing a favour for my little dependent who’s just ruined what was to be the day I finally rediscovered joy and purpose in my life. ‘There’s something I want you to have a look at,’ I’m told.
I stand stock still for a moment pondering, four parts angry, three parts unhappy, two parts intrigued, one part concerned, as Big Tooth disappears again. Then I hear myself being beckoned towards what I think is the bathroom. I take a deep breath, tell myself that it’ll be over soon, and follow the voice, determined to say that the problem is one that I’ve seen before and a trip to the doctor’s is all that’s required to have it gone forever. Whatever it is. Even if I start gagging. I am going to tell myself that I’m looking at picture in a book and not real human flesh.
Big Tooth’s jeans are already off as I arrive in the bathroom, back to me, and I see thumbs in the waist band of what you might call slinky looking briefs. I swallow. Down go the briefs and for a moment the tails of a long shirt cover the danger. Big Tooth swings around and hitches up the shirt.
How can I say it? Big Tooth’s a she.
She says, ‘What do you think? My last boyfriend said it looked like a ripe fig.’ I don’t tell her that to me it looks more like a spatchcock chicken.
‘What’s wrong with it?’ I ask, and she says, ‘don’t you like it?’
thanks to Ommy Jay for the image