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Chez nous

  Fri 17th April 2020

Monday night at Hayley's. She fashioned a crack pipe from a Guinness can, stabbing it with its folded ring-pull. She wanted us to go to her friend Harry's flat. She put lipstick on, straightened her hair, and wore this little skirt I'd not seen before. Black, one of those shiny thin things that have waves in them from deliberately too much fabric. Black, block heels. We walked through soft air. There was a stink of week-old takeaways on the ground floor of Harry's flat block.

I couldn't work out where to sit in the small lounge. Hayley was on the floor to my left, I was perched on the edge of the sofa, Harry was opposite. I felt too big and tentative, so I sat on the floor. More comfortable, more democratic. Crack, coke, speed, conversation. It was easy. Didn't feel forced.

I got back to mine at about seven o'clock and met Cath, my live-in landlady, on the stairs. "Have you been staying at someone else's house?" "Yes." "I think that's very selfish to be honest." From my bed, I texted Hayley. "Hayley, I might have to stay at yours for a bit. I'm in big trouble."

A couple of hours later, I was summoned into Cath's room for a show trial with her and Richard. I was told about the hazards of infecting them. "Weren't you arranging to meet someone that day anyway?" Cath said. Fuck, so you're bending an ear to my phone calls now. "No, I got the call when I was on my walk," I lied.

I was invited to leave, that day, for the duration of this mass hysteria. I gathered some of my things, and struggled with bags leather and carrier, onto the bus and knocked on Hayley's door. "Hiya Hayley, it's your Northern cunt here!"


Me, her and Harry have been sitting round nattering. She's gone round to his. My second night here. Most of my clothes are in the garden, laid out on the wall, because they both smoke. It doesn't matter. "You can stay here for as long as you like. It's nice having you here." Who else would have had me? What would I have done?

On my first morning, she asked me how I'd slept. I rephrased in a lessened way, that the springs in her old sofa bed had been nagging my ribs. She offered me a second quilt and threw it on the sofa bed as an insulator. Last night, I slept soundly, and had she been here, I could have kissed her for her double kindness: one big act, and one small one equally as considerate.


At first, I felt ashamed of what I'd done, an idiot, reckless, my hedonistic drive authoring my misfortune, again. Then tonight, once a little dust had settled, I feel miffed. Why has Cath raised objections neither to me working five days a week in a hospital, nor to me applying to the new plague hospital? Her decision to send me away is only putatively based on the risk I've posed to her and Richard. There's something involving fear, and control, that lies underneath my banishment.

But here we are, me and Hayley. I'm almost in the middle of town, can walk to work in fifteen minutes, and am quietly cleaning the place in what I hope is a way which doesn't suggest I'm taking over. She's had enough of men like that.

3 comments

Comment from: kono [Visitor]

I believe you’re spot on sir. You work at what would be considered ground zero but Cath gets pissed that you went out? Something else is afoot there for sure. My good friend works in a hospital, he scores me medical grade mj with his card, these days i leave the money in his mailbox and he drops the stuff on the porch when i head over and monitors it til i get there. Usually we hang and listen to tunes and pull dabs. We talk footie and music and have a few beers. It’s a bummer but he’s making sure to keep his mum safe and i don’t want to give shit to the boyos so i do the social distance thing. Of course the Breadwinner has no trouble sending me out but still i watch out for myself. I’m glad you gotta place to hang and kip for the time, your big hairy septic worries about you mate… and did you ever read the post about wanking and smoking rock? it’s an old one i wrote ages ago… and you my good sir have the constitution of a tank :)

Fri 17th April 2020 @ 20:10 Reply to this comment
Comment from: monkey man [Visitor]

Defoe & Pepys survived, & so will you.

Fri 17th April 2020 @ 22:35 Reply to this comment
Comment from: looby [Visitor]

I’ll have a look for that post kono. And that’s a handy contact to have at the hospital!

I find crack over-rated myself. It’s relaxing socially and I like the way it shuts up the chatter in my head. But at the price, I’ll just nip down the offy, thanks. Hayley’s very generous with it and has only asked me to get a few tinnies and give her £20.

MM – I hope so, otherwise loobynet’s a write-off, ha ha.

Sat 18th April 2020 @ 11:02 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.
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