I discuss the call girl plan with my friends.

Wendy: "You're not exactly putting your best feminist foot forward there are you? But you'll do what you want to do, won't you?" Her tone was both critical and resigned.

Kitty didn't seem interested, at least not to my face: "Mmmm. OK. Right." And then she changed the subject.

Kim: "Good idea. Yes, make it simple. A straightforward exchange. How much? That's a bit high looby."

Helen: "Oh God looby. Oh dear. No prostitute goes into that willingly. No little girl has ever said she wants to have paid sex with men when she grows up."

"It's alright for you Helen. You [women] can turn it off. No-one has tried harder than me to get a sexual and romantic partner. So I'm giving up, and I'm paying for a poor simulacrum of what I would like."

"[...] Well, with a bit of luck Helen, what remains of my inner feminist will be so disgusted by the circumstances surrounding it that I will abjure any further involvement in the prossie business, and I will be applauded back into the sexless fold with my thin moral sheen shining."

So in sum, I'm justifying what is often considered an immoral and misogynist act with a mixture of self-pity and specious reasoning that I deserve sex, asserting that it's a woman's job to service my sex drive. If I heard this from anyone else, I'd be critical of it, but when it's oneself, there are limitless little rhetorical tricks and exceptions that one can use to evade facing the moral problem.

On my own in the smoking area. It's quieter. I'm on the phone to my daughter with a money saving split ticket wangle I've worked out to get from Lancaster to Gatwick. It's quite complicated.

Knobman comes out and stands a few feet behind me so that he can get lung cancer and stink.

Me: [...] So, you'll arrive at New St at 0805.
Knobman: 0806

Me: And then you get the 0833 to Banbury.
Knobman: 0834

Me: And then you just stay on the same train and there's a separate ticket to Reading, and so you get to Reading at 1024.
Knobman: 1025

I've had enough now. I turn round and turn up my Lancashire accent, before Knobman receives my ejaculation.

Me: Can you not shut the fuck up?

Knobman's friend looks embarrassed, and Knobman goes quietly.

Kim rang today, telling me in an untypically bright tone that she's had a good seeing to from the pub landlord. She follows it up with a text in which she says "we seem to be dating!" She never uses exclamation marks.

I said the right thing, about how that's "great! and nothing more than you deserve," but inwardly I'm worried. Friends are never the same once they meet someone.

On another cheery note to start the week, one of my house mates informs me that he is in possession of a hundred rounds of ammunition. For what, is a matter I did not wish to pursue. He's a massive stoner too, so no need to worry about sudden fits of paranoia then.