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House music

  Mon 30th September 2019

Me and Hayley went out dancing the other night. We got back at about five, whispering so as not to provoke the angry lump in the next room.

We got into bed and she plugged herself into some house music while I attempted some pre-school sleep. There was a comfort from the mdma, her body touching mine, the ticking music. A couple of hours later she was delighed to find my bottles of poppers on the table, so we sat up snorting them and drinking from some minty Bulgarian liquer thing which I bought one needy night from the nearest shop open.

Her boyfriend rang inopportunely, as the toxic fug throbbed. She told him she was at mine. "Are you in his bed?" "Yes. It's nice and warm." Are you really in his bed? Are you being sarcastic?"

She paused and made a grimace, rushing, in more ways than one, her answer. "Yes of course!" After having answered his queries about where she was going, what she was doing, she came back to me, laughing and imitating him. "He said 'what if I said I was going to spend the night at Dawn's?' I said 'I wouldn't give a shit!'"

"I'm not that bothered anyway, if he carries on like this. I can get someone else," and I felt momentarily bitter about her having that choice, her valuable currency in the economy of attractiveness.

Walking into town, Hayley still in her nightclub clothes, a man about my age, sitting in the window seat of a cafe, gave her a disgusted looking scan, finishing for too long on her miniskirt: a disgust with his own desires perhaps. I went to the window, leant towards him; give him the finger and told him to fuck off. I felt all manly and protective, safely picking on someone weaker than myself.


After what seemed an endless wait, but was in fact twenty-four hours, Cath rings to tell me I've got the room in the suburban Edwardian house, and I move in today. There were two conditions: that I don't take showers between 10.30pm and 6.30am, as the noisy old pipes will wake everyone up, and that I can give her a reference from my current landlady together with a phone number for her.

I needed someone to impersonate for me. The person I trust most to recite the story convincingly, and to improvise if thrown any unexpected questions, is a longstanding reader of this blog. He adroitly pulled off the dissembling phone call and contacted me to say it had gone well. "She seemed to like you." I was -- am -- hugely grateful and relieved. If ever you need an alibi, my friend, ring me first.

Since informing her of my departure, Unhinged Landlady has been working herself up with valedictory sallies of sniping. She asked me with whom I'll be living. "Well,", she responded, the woman won't like you." I smiled, said nothing, went to my room. None of this is really to do with me. The woman's an unhappy bully, uncivilised, not fully formed.

9 comments

Comment from: monkey man [Visitor]

Excellent news! I hope you will do the decent thing - marry her and live off the rent.

Mon 30th September 2019 @ 13:52 Reply to this comment
Comment from: looby [Visitor]

Good plan. I’ll try to engineer a proposal after we’re coming to the end of the second bottle of Pinot Noir and there’s been some ‘accidental’ brushing of hands.

Mon 30th September 2019 @ 15:32 Reply to this comment
Comment from: Some lass from London [Visitor]

Congrats on getting your new gaff. I hope the lashing rain stops long enough for you to get all your belongings (3 suitcases of clothes and many assorted bags, and books?) into your new gaff. Dunno how you keep partying with all the jobs youre juggling but then I’ve been burning the candle every which way of late :-D

Mon 30th September 2019 @ 19:12 Reply to this comment
Comment from: Scarlet [Visitor]

No, I don’t know how you keep partying either.
I look forward to tales about the new landlady!
Sx

Tue 1st October 2019 @ 06:47 Reply to this comment
Comment from: looby [Visitor]

Yes, me and the Latvian removal man (but especially me) looked a bedraggled pair yesterday evening bringing my few belongings in – which you, SLFL, have assessed most accurately! I hope you still have a bit of wick left in that candle.

The new landlady is just a nice, ordinary, cultured woman. How I’ve missed being around that type. The first thing to work out is if there’s anything going on between her and the other lodger. Oooh, the intrigues of suburbia!

Tue 1st October 2019 @ 09:14 Reply to this comment
Comment from: Sally Gregson [Visitor]

That’s good news Looby. I hope it all works out. I’m trying to work out where you are. Maybe Horfield? You’ll like the Gloucester Road, although I expect you’ve found it already. Good luck!

Tue 1st October 2019 @ 16:46 Reply to this comment
Comment from: looby [Visitor]

You’ve worked it out Sally. I am planning a wander down Ye Olde Gloucester Road this evening, on the welcome excuse that I’ve left my coffee at the old house. This oversight posed difficulties for me this morning, ones which I do not wish to repeat.

Tue 1st October 2019 @ 19:20 Reply to this comment

It was a real treat catching up. You still have the best story out here. It seems you’ve gone from not working so very much to doing nothing but. It’s a fascinating arc. Happy about the house. I wish had a big bag o’ cash. I’d send some to you and some to your daughter.

Mon 7th October 2019 @ 18:28 Reply to this comment
Comment from: looby [Visitor]

Yes, it’s a bit of shock of the system, but I’m quite pleased with myself that I raised the rent and the deposit to move in here. And it’s not as though I don’t ever go out. It’d be nice to slow down a bit, so I’ll keep looking for something better paid (that isn’t teaching).

Wed 9th October 2019 @ 07:56 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.
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

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