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If I say it existed, it existed

  Sun 25th June 2017

I don't ever want to go through that again. Whilst it didn't come to sleeping in the park, I was homeless in a mild way. I didn't know, sometimes into the late afternoon or evening, where I was sleeping that night.

I understand now how stress collapses one's mind onto only the most pressing, immediate concerns, which can sometimes seem so overwhelming that an escapist -- rather than a hedonist -- turn to alcohol or other drugs can become attractive. You don't eat properly because there's nowhere to cook, and the lack of sleep, from having to get up before one's hosts, wears you down. Night after night of sleeping in uncomfortable places is a provocation to private tears of self-pity and despair.

On Monday, I was installed as a "property guardian" -- a late C20th neologism which is design to escape any of the laws surrounding tenancy --in a little two-bed Victorian terrace about fifteen minutes' walk from the city centre. You get to live in a place at a much reduced rent as a substitute for security guards. Trina lent me the money for the deposit -- upped in my case from the usual £150 to a more cautious £600 because of my credit record.

I love knowing that there's no-one behind the front door, but it'd help if they had acted on their promise to turn the gas on. Six days in and no hot water. Can't shower, can't cook a proper meal. I am fucking sick of fruit and salad and sandwiches.

On what turned out to be my last shift at the golf club, I was humiliated to be asked into the kitchen by the manageress, "as there's too many mistakes here." I often input the orders from the bar into the till incorrectly, which are then transmitted to the ktichen. It was a public demotion.

I spent the rest of the shift red-faced, longing for what I thought were two consecutive days off. Then, on Saturday, I woke up in Kirsty's front room at a leisurely half past eight. I checked my diary, and saw that I was mistaken; I should have been in at 8am. I was first alarmed, then unbothered. I resigned in an email thanking them for their kindness and generosity in taking a chance on me and saying that I wish them every success, apologising for leaving a minimum wage job.

With the ambivalent thrill of leaving a job, I went down what's becoming my new favourite pub. I've taken to playing darts there. A very attractive 50ish woman came over to me and asked if her the three blokes who she was with could play together. Shiny dyed reddish, angled bob, and a lovely tightly-buttoned white blouse undone (deliberately?) to slightly below the bra line. When I sat down, and when she was stood next to me, my face was no more than a few inches from her tits, and it was a restraint I didn't want to have to employ, to have to keep my fingers away from that next button.

She and I went to the cashpoint at the same time. "You're a right fittie, you are," I said. "Are you from Blackburn?" "Yes, we've come here for the day. We're out on the lash. Blackburn's a bit shit." The giddiness of starting drinking early, my drinks spiked by the knowledge that I now have no income at all; her un-offered, imprisoned tits. We walked back, and she looked just as desirable from behind.

Last Sunday afternoon, and I am sat at the table opposite my youngest, who is revising, ploughing through Aristotelian virtue ethics and logical criticisms of postmodernism, (if all knowledge is socially constructed, how can the assertion that all knowledge is socially constructed be true?) while I strike a rather ridiculous figure with my bulbous headphones on, listening to Pakistan achieving an unlikely victory over India in the cricket. Radiant last days of my daughters being in Lancaster.

I was walking home in last week's drizzle, and a man fell in with me, saying that he'd dislocated his shoulder. "You want to get yourself to hospital mate," I said. He carried on talking as we went over the canal bridge. It wasn't dislocated -- he wasn't in enough pain.

"I'm off up here," I said, and then with an immediate prelude I can't remember, we ended up snogging each others' mouths off whilst stood in the middle of the street. He got hold of my hand, which was cupped round his jaw to push him onto me more, and pushed it down his trousers. He had a lovely cock, smooth and hard, and I started wanking him slowly, wondering whether this might be a good time to tell him about something I'd love to do, but we won't sully a family blog such as this with my sordid imaginings.

But then a car came -- rather than him. I withdrew my hand and said "we'd better be careful here." We parted without saying anything, and I walked the fifty yards to the girls' house.

I told Kitty and Wendy about it when we went down The Fur Coat and No Knickers Arms yesterday. Wendy said "how would you have explained it had you seen one of your girls?" which was a point I hadn't considered. Does one really consider anything when you're snogging and wanking a man off in the street at 6 o'clock on a rainy Thursday evening? "I'd have told them I was helping him get his money out of his pocket."

On Wednesday, I had an interview at Pax Feel Man, a chain of photography studios that do passport photos and printouts of photos for people who photograph each other having a good time rather than having a good time. I felt sorry for my interviewer. She was overfilled into one of the optimistic dresses that fat girls force themselves into. I was led up the the back of the shop, and up two rickety sets of fire escape steps. She ushered me forward before her, not wanting me to see her bulk clambering up the steps.

We chatted for seventy minutes, and I enjoyed talking to her, truth and lies the warp and weft of my side of the conversation.

My cv is almost entirely made up. My most recent invented employer is the Amalfi Cafe in [...]. "Whereabouts was it? I know [...] a bit." I was prepared for this, having researched retail units for rent there.

"You know when you come out of the main Wetherspoons," I prompted, "and you turn right, then right again, and you come on to a little street..." "Ah, I think I remember the place you mean." No you don't love, because it never existed.

Thirteen other applications currently live. One's for a Trainee Substance Abuse Counsellor. At least I'd be excused the practical module.

We had a power cut in Lancaster for about four hours the other day. No traffic lights; alarms shrilling all over town. In The Dun Cow they'd arrayed a constellation of tea lights. I watched an eyebrowless barmaid using her phone to calculate the change she needed to give me on a 2.75 pint from the 3.00 that I'd given her.


I’m glad to see you post. This is still the best show in town. Way better than mine. I am glad you enjoy your daughter’s company. Most of the joy in my life comes from my two daughters.

A dislocated shoulder is a new one. Maybe I should employ that method. Begging never worked.

The Urban Dictionary definition of ‘fittie’ is someone who is ‘very shagable.’ This presumes you know what shagable is. It tickles me they use a slang to define a slang.

Mon 26th June 2017 @ 12:06 Reply to this comment
Comment from: looby [Visitor]

Thank you Exile, you’re kind, but too self-deprecating.

Here in England we use Urban Dictionary because we can teach you two words at the same time :)

Yes, I might try that bloke’s approach if I see the fittie from Blackburn again. “Excuse me, I’ve got a terrible pain in my shoulder. You couldn’t give me a quick handjob could you?”

Mon 26th June 2017 @ 16:11 Reply to this comment
Comment from: kono [Visitor]

Well mate glad to see you’ve landed on your feet, can’t say the radio silence didn’t have me a bit concerned, i am the big and hairy Carol Brady (did you have the Brady Bunch over there?) but well chuffed at the update…

Been homeless myself years ago, all my possessions jammed in my best friends car as we couch surfed, i had particular help from certain women i knew at the time, my lost soul aura doing wonders in getting me fed and fucked, come to think of it i could use those powers again…

and i too marvel at the youth of today and their inability to do simple math without the aid of a calculator, i make the boyos do shit in their head, i used to work in a 7-11 years ago, i took the job so i could scam the register and rob the place blind and all that was predicated on my ability to add/subtract and keep track of numbers all in my head, using phone/adding device would have been a dead give away lol!! once again good to see a post, they’re never boring that’s for damn sure…

Tue 27th June 2017 @ 13:19 Reply to this comment
Comment from: [Member]

Hiya kono – the Brady Bunch isn’t something I remember but I haven’t had a telly for about 12 years so I can get slightly out of the loop with telly programmes.

It’s a huge relief to have a place of my own – it’s not permanent but it might last a few months at least. I wish I could have exploited my wandering waif status in the same way as you, but my sex drive dried up when I was “of no fixed abode” and came back with a lovely wave of desire as soon as I got here. Wendy’s started looking almost unbearably desirable again, which is a mixed blessing.

And in the light of your last paragraph, you’re not working in any gaff I own :)

Tue 27th June 2017 @ 20:33 Reply to this comment

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looby, n.; pl. loobies. A lout; an awkward, stupid, clownish person

M / 56 / Bristol, "the most beautiful, interesting and distinguished city in England" -- John Betjeman [1961, source eludes me].

"Looby is a left-wing intellectual who is obsessed with a) women's clothes and b) tits." -- Joy of Bex.

WLTM literate woman, 40-65. Must have nice tits, a PhD, and an mdma factory in the shed, although the first on its own will do in the short term.

There are plenty of bastards who drink moderately. Of course, I don't consider them to be people. They are not our comrades.
Sergei Korovin, quoted in Pavel Krusanov, The Blue Book of the Alcoholic

I am here to change my life. I am here to force myself to change my life.
Chinese man I met during Freshers Week at Lancaster University, 2008

The more democratised art becomes, the more we recognise in it our own mediocrity.
James Meek

Tell me, why is it that even when we are enjoying music, for instance, or a beautiful evening, or a conversation in agreeable company, it all seems no more than a hint of some infinite felicity existing apart somewhere, rather than actual happiness – such, I mean, as we ourselves can really possess?
Turgenev, Fathers and Sons

I hate the iPod; I hate the idea that music is such a personal thing that you can just stick some earplugs in your ears and have an experience with music. Music is a social phenomenon.
Jeremy Wagner

La vie poetique has its pleasures, and readings--ideally a long way from home--are one of them. I can pretend to be George Szirtes.
George Szirtes

Using words well is a social virtue. Use 'fortuitous' once more to mean 'fortunate' and you move an English word another step towards the dustbin. If your mistake took hold, no-one who valued clarity would be able to use the word again.
John Whale

One good thing about being a Marxist is that you don't have to pretend to like work.
Terry Eagleton, What Is A Novel?, Lancaster University, 1 Feb 2010

The working man is a fucking loser.
Mick, The Golden Lion, Lancaster, 21 Mar 2011

The Comfort of Strangers

23.1.16: Big clearout of the defunct and dormant and dull
16.1.19: Further pruning

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