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Boxed set

  Sun 5th May 2019

I am in the pub, trying to concentrate on my flea market acquisition, The Norwich School, 1800 -- 1833, a monograph about a school of landscape painting that flourished in that city.

It's absorbing to the exclusion of everything except the fortyish woman with glasses and an overbite, light brown V-necked wrap-round top over a white vest, and a worn-in, paled demin miniskirt that tautens round her thighs, stray threads from the hem unpicked. She stands up. Sleek blackly-tighted legs. She tugs at her dress to correct its upward ride. "Don't do that," I say. She leans artlessly and fuckably with her hands on the table as she gathers an order.

In a self-conscious moment when decency suddenly kicks in to arrest my sexualised gaze, I look around to see if she is a shared desire, for it dirties the pleasure when you realise that you're just the same as him. It seems to be just me combing her.

I leave the Norwich School to go to the bookie's. On my way down Corn St I am greeted with a fist pump by the man who sorted out the ruckus the other day. It's over in a second, but I carry the ripple of his greeting in a subserviant place like a grateful little boy. With a build no bigger than mine, he is a potentate, possessing a power magnified by its being held in check.

Through him, I've been vetted, and admitted to some stripe. My hernia, or groin strain, I don't know which, isn't healed yet -- I am still blotched in black, purple and a dull yellow, from my belly button southwards -- but I am impatient to rejoin his exercising. I would love to carry a physical strength incommensurate with my appearance.


Walking down Old Market today, I am approached by an Irishman who wants to give me a knife set. It's boxed, brand new. He has five of them. He doesn't want any money. He just wants me to say a prayer for him.


Wendy and Kitty ring from Wendy's. How I want to be with them. We chat easily for half an hour, but the pleasure curdles as Wendy starts on a tentative plan involving me coming up for her birthday later this month. I keep up an appearance for the phone.

The call ends, and the corrosive, years-old lament, born of the knowledge that The Injunction would bar me from a gathering such as that from which they were ringing, seeps into my middle.

4 comments

Blimey O Reilly, anyone ’selling’ knives in this here London would be swooped upon by the filth quicker than they could say, My Farter, who art in Heaving…

Have you had your blue balls checked out (not a reference to Wendy the Wench, promise)?

Fri 10th May 2019 @ 15:20 Reply to this comment
Comment from: looby [Visitor]

Hello London Lass! I hope things are ok in the smoke. Yours would have been an excellent offering to my Irish salesman.

One thing that I noticed immediately I moved down here was how unpoliced Bristol is. Dope is de facto legalised and Irishmen are ignored if selling boxed knife sets. I still can’t work out why he was not asking for money though. Prayer can only take you so far, what with the rents down here.

About my rupture – no, I can’t be arsed. I have rung the doctor’s three times but no-one answered. I’ve got some sort of hard, oval shaped lump where my appendix used to be. As long as it doesn’t put women off I’m not bothered.

Sat 11th May 2019 @ 04:58 Reply to this comment

Hi (lumpy) Looby! I can well relate to the can’t be arsed vibe - especially at this age BUT methinks you must (dislike the modal verb ’should’ so I’ll give you an order) submit some bits and bobs just for the shits and giggles. You could hold a mini poll for your readers to vote on 4 selected entries? There are many online publications for prose (whether prose poetry (do it) or short stories). I’d even be happy to send you some links (you can email me on my given email - I promise I wont bite (hard)). Yes, I’m aware that I am just some strange sort that stumbled into your blog but that’s what life is all about.

As for your lumpy groin, I guess if it doesn’t hurt or hold up proceedings (ahem) then leave it. Dr’s these days play so hard to get. Anyone would think it is a free service.

Sat 11th May 2019 @ 22:53 Reply to this comment
Comment from: looby [Visitor]

Thanks for the encouragement LL. I’ll pick your brains later.

I *am* going to the doctor, and not just about what I have to conclude, after talking to my brother who has been similarly afflicted, is a hernia. They don’t just go away.

Mon 13th May 2019 @ 10:52 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.


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