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I catch a man pumping in a sex shop

  Thu 11th April 2019

I apologise for the many editing mistakes in earlier editions of this post. This was due to posting a draft too early then getting into a muddle with what I was uploading, and had nothing to do with the fact that I had been in the pub for a couple of hours prior to commencing work.


Wandering through Castle Park on my day off, looking for somewhere convivial to sit. I decide on a small paved area with never-used bike racks. They're situated in the precise spot in the entire city where your bike is most likely to be stolen.

There are two white blokes amongst a group of black ones. They are drinking, smoking pot and there is hip-hop playing. They were using the bike racks as outdoor gym equipment. I managed six of those squats where you support yourself on the bars, hold your legs parallel to the floor and then lower yourself down towards the ground. I've got a bit stronger since starting this job.


Yesterday, at 4pm, I was informed that my shift would be changed for today and that I would be in this morning at 8am today. The blitheness of my boss's tone was eloquent about the degree of respect that one is afforded. However, I now carry an insulating secret with me to the cafe each day.

The screws of the exam season are being tightened, and I've found some work making student's essays weller than wot they rite, cos a lot of em are forin and get it rong. The rates are very low, but I should be able to make more from about twenty-five hours than what I'm on full-time at the moment. The cafe can subsidise me until I am sure that the new work is viable.


I went round to Esther's after work. Esther wanted me to meet her friends Fi and Ed, a couple in that six-month in stage where they have to remind you at hourly intervals of their Damascene experience of transforming love. As is often the case when I meet couples, the woman is more interesting, but the man too takes a liking to me, interpellating me into a manly closeness, perhaps out of a relief that he's not in competition with someone for once.

He was very generous with the Pepsi, racking up long line after line for all of us. They were excellent company, demotic and scurrilous. Fi with her smoke-fucked voice and faux broderie anglaise white skirt to knee level taking the witty shit out of everything that we said, without dominating conversation.

Esther wasn't quite there. Even with a quiet me, she has a mental scale of attention she should be getting; and when the banter between me and the couple was taking off beyond her reach, she unzipped her pink pyjamas to waggle her tits about. She's a child really, doing the most adult job of all. Once you've been neglected at the important stage, it's almost impossible to compensate for it later on.

Me and Esther slept on the sofa. I went to work the following morning, despite them urging me to ring in. In the evening, the mood had soured, cokeheads on day three. "Behave, or find another boyfriend," said Ed. Fi was deflecting it skilfully, but he was being unpleasant to her. "I wouldn't ever get like that," she said. It was time for everyone to go home, have a nice cup of tea and go to bed. I left after a couple of hours, having worked through a day on the irritability of cokefade, and unwilling to play moderator.


I fancied getting some poppers online the other day. I ordered six bottles from a website, but the payment wasn't going through, so I repeatedly stabbed at the pay button. An email arrived, confirming that I'd ordered thirty-six of them at a cost of £104. In a panic. I cancelled my card at the bank, and emailed the poppers firm asking them to revoke the transaction, saying it was fraudulent. Now, I can now only get money out by taking my passport to the branch during their opening hours.

I still lacked the poppers though. On my fifteen-minute walk into town in an unselect neighbourhood of Bristol, I pass two sex shops and three massage parlours. I went into the first sex shop. It was a deep room lined with DVDs of flesh and grimaces, and tools. In the entrance lobby by the till, there was a real clothed man bent over, fiddling with a bike. "Well, this is the first time I've walked into a sex shop to see a man repairing a bike."

"I'm not repairing it!" he said, annoyed with me for lacking a more precise understanding of why someone would be manipulating a bicycle in a sex shop; and went, without further comment, back to his inner tubes.

They fuck you up though. Even with my latitudinarian standards of pleasure, I can't recommend solvent abuse. My new headphones arrived off ebay the other day. Now I can bang out the music in my room to only me, but on butyl nitrites' company, I've been hacking away the last three days like an old sailor.

6 comments

If only because you used the words, ‘interpellating’ and ‘latitudinarian’ in such a fabulous and contextually deserving way, am I going to offer you some editing (my other job). Please feel free to redact this part of my comment - grin. You’ve repeated the last 3 (2?) paragraphs about Esther and her attention seeking tits, sofa sleeping, and Ed the exacting (twat) boyfriend. FYI

I also write exams which may be worth looking into (if you can bear to write to a sort of template and for different English levels). I like the peripatetic nature of 1:1 Adult (steady) teaching, even if around 70% of my lessons are now online. The other day my student in Istanbul took me on a tour of the Grand Bazaar via his iPad, while I sat on my sofa in my gaff. Such a jape! Sofa surfing.

You have quite the way with words, my young (ish) fella. Exploit it. Wide Grin.

Thu 11th April 2019 @ 18:37 Reply to this comment
Comment from: looby [Visitor]

Lass – you are so sharp on the button and viewed a draft version which I cocked up after having published too early. I was hoping I’d get away with no-one seeing the the rough version.

Thanks for the tip about writing exams. I’ve got a feeling I’ll edge myself into this world with experience. Cheers lass (although I’m still struggling to link “lass” and London, accently).

Thu 11th April 2019 @ 19:53 Reply to this comment
Comment from: PendeWitch [Visitor]

You might want to correct entrance looby too, although I rather like it, so many connotations. Superb writing as always.

Fri 12th April 2019 @ 05:19 Reply to this comment
Comment from: looby [Visitor]

Ha ha…:) oh dear, obviously writing this after a long day at work (read: on the third pint) tarnishes my normal editing abilities :)

Fri 12th April 2019 @ 06:41 Reply to this comment
Comment from: Scarlet [Visitor]

Yeah, you should be published.
I thought I’d added you to my Blog Reader, but something went amiss. You’re added now.
Sx

Tue 16th April 2019 @ 11:46 Reply to this comment
Comment from: looby [Visitor]

Thank you Scarlet, for both of those.

Wed 17th April 2019 @ 06:04 Reply to this comment


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


M / 55 / 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.
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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

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