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Lake Kirsty

  Sun 7th October 2012

On Thursday Kirsty went off with boyf for the weekend. It was raining heavily, something so ordinary now I don't give it much attention.

On the following morning I thought we'd have to get the Ordnance Survey in to add a feature to the map of Lancaster. A small pond had arisen in Kirsty's back yard, from the blocked drain against the wall of her kitchen, extending almost to her back door three yards away, and fingering towards Much Older but Fanciable Next Door Neighbour's yard. Everything sent down the kitchen sink came belching back up, making Lake Kirsty bigger.

Middle daughter Jenny set to bailing us out with a bucket and a cup, shovelling the water into a recycling bin, which we dragged out and along the road to pour it down the drain, repeatedly.

This morning I tried caustic soda as a lazy chemical solution. To unblock drains, it said, put 100ml down, so I put 500ml down. Still nothing shifted. After a couple of hours I stuck my hand down as far as it would go and removed several handfuls of clumps of hair and dripping black, viscous slime, and I think, the main culprit, a stone, two inches long by an inch wide. The drain has a kink in it and it was difficult getting my arm around the bend and my skin was scraping against the edge of the drain. But I cleared it, water running freely in a test.

Next time, get a man in

I went for a shower. My forearm was suppurating with a clear liquid over dark red patches of what looked like subcutaneous blood which wept onto my skin through hundreds of pinpricks; the hot water stung. Afterwards my arm still smelt of drain, and was still oozing. I imagined a terrible infection and an amputation at the elbow and being in the local paper for being brave. I went down the pub where Neil and Kev gave me some of their prescription-only cream for irritated skin. It helped a great deal. Neil and Kev asked to borrow a tenner and we spent it all on drink.

A man whom I try not to talk to since he's a bullshitter, saying he was at a Ronnie McNeir gig with me at Warrington in the mid 80s when he wasn't, who unnerves me with his attempts at insinuating himself with me, looked admiringly at my alkaline scars and asked me how I'd done it, reading a manly labour of dirt, graft, injury. But I don't want to appear good in your eyes.

A much better man, a shaggy-haired boyfriend of someone I know, told me not to do it like that again but to ring him up and I could borrow his drain-clearing rods, for free, as he's a groundworker. I don't know what a groundworker is. He said he was only popping in for one but I think I misjudged it in taking that at face value and patting him on his waist as a farewell instead of inviting him over to our table. Courteous, self-effacing people sometimes say the opposite of what they mean and it's up to you to read that.

At home I rang Trina, and we had a conversation which was too enjoyable for me to broach my worry: I don't want to live with you. Then I turned the lights down and played some music and tried to drain the last weak effect from an enfeebled bottle of poppers. I must replenish my stock: cheap but effective thrills.

11 comments

Comment from: furtheron [Visitor]

Ouch!

Mon 8th October 2012 @ 13:24
Comment from: [Member]

Yes quite! But good old NHS–the doc’s going to have a look at it at 4.00.

Mon 8th October 2012 @ 13:29
Comment from: isabelle [Visitor]

OOOo, bloody hell, I didn’t see the picture the first time…..that looks awful! Caustic soda is lethal stuff ( I’m sure I’ve read somewhere about murderers using it to dissolve bodies ) I hope you’ve got it sorted by now. I’m imagining you with a big bandaged arm it looks so bad.

Mon 8th October 2012 @ 20:53
Comment from: [Member]

yes, the attention of a doc is a very good idea. you DO get points on the “manly” scale, but those will begin to drop once the arm falls off!

Mon 8th October 2012 @ 21:27
Comment from: [Member]

It’s my wanking arm, that’s the problem. Ah’ll be reet!

Mon 8th October 2012 @ 21:53
Comment from: Tony [Visitor]

Jeez that does not look good. Hopefully the visit to the Docs will sort you out.

Excellent last comment but not so much wanking now one hopes, got to save oneself for the boat.

Tue 9th October 2012 @ 03:16
Comment from: [Member]

Quite right Tony–lots of mucking about on the water to do now.

Tue 9th October 2012 @ 08:25

Hmmm…we used to use Caustic Soda (NaOH) to dissolve proteins, and it can cause extremely nasty and long-term burns.
I hope the doc treats it OK. Next time just pour vinegar over your arm as soon as you can, it will neutralise the Caustic.

I won’t even mention the pathogenic anaerobic bacteria that live down drains…never mind, you can still type with one hand.

Tue 9th October 2012 @ 10:56
Comment from: [Member]

Cheers TSB–the doc didn’t really inspire much confidence I must say. She typed “caustic soda burns” into Google. I’d have thought they might have found one day out of six years of medical school to cover what to do with alkaline burns.

The bobbly bits of skin around the main reddened area have now turned a funny dark yellow colour. It’s got to clear up by Thursday as I’m cavorting artistically in an art gallery in the Midlands.

Tue 9th October 2012 @ 11:39

That’s vile! And not very sexy, I’m afraid. You can use the yellowing, festering wound as PART OF the Midlands exhibit.

I never had a popper but always wanted to try them. Also, ecstasy. Never did it. But I did LSD a few times. Count your blessings, I suppose.

Tue 9th October 2012 @ 12:21
Comment from: [Member]

I agree–and it’s a shame because my forearms are a really important erogenous zone for me. I get the shivers when they’re touched, or scraped, with fingernails. That’d be fucking agony at the moment.

Tue 9th October 2012 @ 15:34


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