International Writers Magazine: Consequences - Archives
there I was in the middle of the pavement, soaked in my own urine
with a butter knife in my hand. Wow. That must have been an incredible
night out. Thats the only thought you can come up with when
you wake up in the middle of your street doused in urine with cutlery
in your hand. After of course: What the hell
I clambered to
my aching, sodden feet (presumably the urine) and made my way to my
flat in a retarded fashion. Luckily I was just outside of my residence
on the opposite side of the road, as my sense of direction was impeded
by the large black hole in my head that was sucking information out
rapidly. Mainly the information regarding walking and how that is done
with any dignity. I would never have got home if I had been anywhere
else in the world. If I had awoken from my slumber on the next street
it may as well of been Timbuktu, due to my non existent ability to navigate
at a sufficient level.
The few people that happened to be passing down my usually quiet street
were greeted with the terrible scraping sounds of denim and loafer on
concrete and the embarrassing smell of wee. Yes Sweetheart, I screamed
in my head as a passing old dears nose turned skywards: it appears
Ive piddled in my Levis. How they judge.
My ground floor flat was merely ten metres away, yet from the sweat
that was emanating from my shiny forehead as I staggered to my door
one would think I had just ran the Kalahari for sport.
A great effort ensued until I reached the front door were the key trouble
began. Knowing that trying to fit the slim gold coloured piece of metal
into the lock was going to be an obvious endurance test I stopped to
reassure myself that life was good: There are no stairs to climb
yes the perks of ground floor dwelling. This thought was of great comfort
to a man who about to attempt the unthinkable: opening the front door.
At least there are no stairs to be negotiated. Attempting to climb a
flight would be impossible in your current condition, Boyo. How funny
it is when ones thoughts are articulate and eloquent at a time
when keys and stairs are Gods main obstacles.
I got my chain of keys out and hopefully and rather wildly launched
one into the lock. Not that one. At least it went in (embarrassingly,
my current spouse Sarah has blurted that very sentence out in a failed
consolation bid due to certain inadequacies). Perseverance is the word
in these situations. Perseverance when there is no energy to persevere.
Again and again the wrong key would find its way to the fore and increase
my growing insanity. How many keys does a man friggin need on
his chain? That last one was to my mums house! You havent
lived there for eight years, man! Take some of these off
on. The truth was I wouldnt. I liked the feel of a meaty bunch
of keys in hand and wouldnt sacrifice the satisfaction I felt
of creating annoyance amongst commuters on the tube when I rattled them
in my pocket. But at this moment all I wanted and needed was one key,
the right one.
Finally a key was greeted with a familiar and wonderful sound of clink!
That was a good clink. Friggin loved it. Beauty I
thought. A wave of euphoria ran over me momentarily as I knew the settee
now, was moments away.
As I ambled through the huge doorframe, I tripped on four days
worth of mail. Not my mail of course; it was addressed to them upstairs.
Bloody upstairs. Those were the two noisiest chaps I had ever had the
displeasure to fleetingly and sporadically meet in my life. All day
long they played gangster rap or whatever they called it. Bloody nuisances
from day one now their mail-sloth nearly caused me injury! What a world!
I looked down at the floor to see what exactly tried to end my life
and it was all junk. Typical, I fumed in a growing silent rage.
After the momentous task of opening the main door, I then had to open
my door. Bloody doors
Just as I was about to preach about how awful life was and begin to
feel sorry for myself because of the amount of doors I had to try and
open, it gave me that clink! first time. Im not even
allowed to feel sorry for myself. Just when I was getting to a platform
to curse Sods Law and have a moan to Sarah when she finishes work,
the door lets me open it first time. Great.
Despite the failed attempt on my life from the grounded post and largely
non-functional limbs, my rage cleared as soon as I clapped my eyes on
the sofa. Rather alarmingly to think now (and to those unfortunate to
have seated themselves in my flat), my first port of call as soon as
I entered was not to remove the previous contents of my bladder (any
liquid I may usually find myself coated in would usually have been a
priority), but to introduce my arse to the upholstery. The chair offered
mild comfort to a damp, stinking man with a neck that felt like a hed
slept in a full-nelson. I stared at the clock in the corner: twelve
oclock which was rubbish because it had stopped at that precise
time nigh on four years ago. The days age was a mystery.
After a long five minute rest (in fact a short thirty-minute-forty-winks
from what I could gather), my lungs began to speak to me in great distress.
"I want a cigarette" said the left wind bag in a chilling
"I concur" replied Right, obviously the well spoken of the
I shared my lungs concern and decided to make a move for tobacco.
My yellowed jeans sang a sad farewell to the settee and I was up once
more in a bid to secure a much needed nicotine fix.
I stood up and slowly looked right then tried to look left (which wasnt
happening; my neck was too ruined for that). I shifted my whole body
so that what I saw from my right side was what I would have seen if
I could have turned my head to the left. This wasnt exactly the
most effort I had ever put into a pursuit, but I was doing the best
I could with the amount of give my neck had available.
The expedition to seek out fags grinded to a halt before it had truly
started as it appeared I didnt have any.
Thats a pretty harsh realisation to make in this state. No fags.
No fags? No fags. I knew I didnt have any because I simply didnt
keep any around. I bought fags when I needed them so not to indulge
in chain smoking when they are purchased in bulk. When they are sat
there the temptation to relentlessly light up is multiplied by: Its
theres a hundred and eighty-seven left
It didnt look good for my lungs (or it did depending on how you
see it) as I conceded that I wouldnt smoke today. The convenient
local Tesco Express was inconveniently not local enough. Sure, it may
have been but a street and a left turn away, but Christ, I struggled
to unlock the door, man! And whos to say Id have any money
anyway? For all I know I could have suffered a mugging; butter knife
in hand to ward away my opportunist attackers before enduring a vigorous
and remorseless raping; a violation of the worst kind. I scared myself
momentarily with that thought.
My brain concocting stories of forced bum-love didnt ease the
great pain my lungs were feeling, but I had to let go of the notion
that a soothing cigarette was on the horizon. Sorry boys. Tabs are off
The disappointment was evident in my face. The mirror told me so when
I looked in it. It also told me that I didnt look good, to say
the least. My hair was matted and seemed a far cry from the perfect
style I had constructed the evening previous in my preparation for what
would turn out to be an astonishingly expensive night out (we were going
to this new bar. A bar that charged four quid for a pint! I didnt
even want to go, but those friends of mine insisted).
My muddy brown eyes (gathering from the state I was in, it was conceivable
that it was real mud) held bags from beneath them heavier than Id
ever carted from the supermarket in my life. I wiped the sweat from
my brow and opened my mouth to check my teeth; Yep, definitely on the
cider last night. They looked like those found at an archaeological
dig: yellow and decaying. Still, I consoled myself, at least theyre
intact. You werent slapped about last night by anybody with my
backside on his mind. At least
happens to begin a
lot of sentences in my life. I wasnt an optimist, but my cynicism
had definitely reduced. I was still a miserable young man, but at least
I was learning (that book the woman bought me was obviously working).
People knew my outlook of life and always tried to cheer me up by saying
the opposite of a statement they would of said and adding the At
prefix as a kind of positive spin on events (though
I found it amusing when it couldnt be done). If they couldnt
find a shiny, happy alternate, an uncomfortable silence began until
I broke it with trademark rubbish. Depressing, pessimistic rubbish.
Thankfully, for them at least and their comfort zone, they needed to
do this less with each passing day (and each passing chapter of Embracing
Moving from the mirror in the front room I dug deep into my pockets
to explore and salvage what was left of my cash and to assess what was
taken from me in the alleged mugging. My wallet unfolded itself in my
hand and I proceeded to check what was left. I had two five pound notes,
seventeen pence in change and a receipt from Subway. Sub of the day.
That explained the brownish stain on my white t-shirt that I had just
spotted in the mirror. Meatball. Good call. All my cards were there
(the ill advised MasterCard and various store cards that crippled me
monthly) and a condom that would offer little to no protection from
anything. I kept it as decoration. And as cover in an emergency situation
were sex MUST be had. Knowing my luck Id probably get Aids and
triplets with it on were as I wouldnt if Id gone in alone.
I had my Zippo and my wrist watch which these days acted more as a pocket
time piece due to the unfortunate misplacement of the strap. It was
twelve oclock exactly on inspection. Well
how about that.
Midday exactly. The old sly dog on the wall was right. It was broken,
though. The clock hadnt suddenly re-found its Mojo (or new
Pooling my possessions onto the coffee table I gathered that I hadnt
been robbed by some hoodlum, and had probably avoided an anal ambush.
I walked into the kitchen, remembered I had no food and returned to
the living room. Sitting on the other seat of the sofa, I found the
remote with my left buttock and inadvertently switched the box on. The
noise of some program I didnt recognise scared the crap out of
me. I felt deafened by the time I managed to manipulate the volume button.
After another few minutes of rest I realised the butter knife again
sitting on the floor where I had dropped it walking in. The knife was
the main source of confusion. I could cope with the urine and pavement
duvet. Though odd, that sort of thing happens to a lot of inebriated
young men on a Friday and Saturday night. But the knife, the knife,
perplexed me. Some questions needed answers. But first, some legs needed
As I entered the little bathroom, a sudden feeling of joy washed over
me before the water did. A smile found itself on to my face and a thought
inserted itself in my head: its not so bad
In those two
seconds I felt
normal. My years of melancholy felt underground
and didnt exist in that moment. I felt human. As human as everyone
else. It was a quaint little encounter with bliss and just as soon as
it came, it went, but it sure felt good to know that I had experienced
it. Maybe that feeling would come and visit me again sometime but have
a longer stay within me. Maybe. Strange.
I turned towards the shower and removed my clothing. Right, I thought
as I rubbed my hands together; Time to wash the piss off.
Bonus December 2008
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