Tuesday, 7 September 2010


After Columbo, I rang Mother:
Kay: Hullo. Kay here.
Mother: Hello, Kay.
Kay: How are you?
Mother: Good. And you?
Kay: Not too bad. How’s Father?
Mother: He’s in the garden. The shed collapsed last Tuesday. It killed Percy.
Kay: Fuck. Who’s Percy?
Mother: Don’t swear. Percy is next door’s cat. We were obliged to pay for his funeral.
Kay: Cats don’t have funerals.
Mother: Mothers don’t lie.
Kay: I was ringing to see if I could borrow some money. Only for a couple of weeks, I’d pay it back.
Mother: No.
Kay: Please, Mother.
Mother: The funeral was very expensive, Kay, and your father had to buy a new shed. It was only one month ago that we sent you £500.
Kay: Two months ago.
Mother: And what about the play? Malcolm is a large role, you told me. You said you’d be a star, Kay. I imagine you are paid well to appear in Shakespeare.
Kay: Goodbye, Mother.

Reader, I was banking on Mother’s money. She never refused. I knew she had savings. I knew she had cash. Fucking cat funerals couldn’t be expensive. And I didn’t believe Percy was having one, anyway. I telephoned again.

Kay: Mother, I’m desperate. I have rent to pay.
Mother: I’ve always said you pay too much for that tiny flat. You should live in a shared house like your nephew does. He went to Cambridge University.

I ended the telephone call by throwing the mobile across the room. It struck the wall, leaving a black fudge, and fell to the floor in three pieces. I mended it with gaffer tape. It looked ridiculous.

We move to the following morning:

Dressed in a retro NY Cosmos soccer shirt and Diesel denim, I left my flat and walked down the stairs that lead to the communal exit past which Mr Dowson, the landlord, lurked.

He looked Turkish. Sweaty hair. He spoke with a Turkish accent. But I never saw him without an England football shirt. At the beginning of our relationship, when I paid rent on time, he would regale me with tales of his childhood in Devon – running through fields of corn and drinking cider and watching the local soccer side. All damn lies, I’d bet. I would gamble both feet that he was from Ankara.

“Your rent is a late,” he said, every word mispronounced.

“But that can’t be, Mr Dowson,” I said.

“Dave,” he corrected with sinister civility.

His body stood tall and wide - the sun’s rays were temporary blocked. I could see nothing but the dull white of the over-washed England football shirt. And I could smell nothing but Old Spice. My nose tingled.
I feigned surprise and ‘swore down’ that he’d have the money in his account by the end of the day. He nudged slightly to the right, a subtle signal that I could pass.

My landlord shouted something after me, but it was lost in the ambient noise of a SE London high street of buses and teenagers and police sirens. It sounded like ‘You’re a gay’. I would be surprised if that’s what Dowson actually shouted. I’m not gay. And it would also be a strange observation to make at that point. I’d done nothing homosexual when passing, I was sure.

Before leaving the flat, I had taken all banknotes from Doctor Faustus. I counted them as I walked to Sainsbury’s (shopping for bread).

Three times I checked, and three times the figure remained the same:


Before meeting Rosalind, I possessed £245. I had travelled to North London and bought lemonade. In the following few days I had only left the flat to buy economy brand foodstuff from Sainsbury’s and a few bottles of wine. I had also bought The Stage newspaper (£1.40).

In doing all of this, I had spent over a hundred quid.

Jesus F Christ.

In despair, I purchased a quality bottle of Bordeaux. Alcohol would free me from despondency and inhibition. And inhibition is the enemy of remuneration.

I forgot to buy bread.

Twenty minutes after drinking the wine, I rang Mother once more. And, once more, she refused me money.


Ashley said...

My boss just came by and looked over my shoulder as I was reading this. He wanted to know what I was giggling about. So I showed him and now you have another reader. You're welcome!

Kay Richardson said...

Ashley, you're amazing. Is your boss a bigshot Hollywood produce by any chance?

cdominiquegibson said...

This made my day!

You did nothing gay I'm sure.

Entertaining as usual. I don't understand why this blog isn't viral yet, so I'm going to add it to the homepage of my website.

Kay Richardson said...

CDG, yes! You tell me - why isn't it viral. I want it to be the equivalent of the black death. Thanks for reading & adding to website!

cdominiquegibson said...

The more chats and threads you post in will eventually get you more followers. The more followers, the more hits for your blog. You should consider posting to hashtags like #fridayflash and #teasertuesday , also try your hand at writing #haiku #haikuchallenge #haikuthrowdown #micropoetry #gogyohka. The chat hashtags are #writechat Sunday 2pm EST to 4pm est, #storycraft 6pm EST to 8pm EST time and #litchat Monday, Wednesday and Friday 2pm EST to 4pm EST. Those should help. It would be worth it to you and your audience, now that I have saturated your space, I will close.


Anonymous said...

This is a massive pile of gay.

Kay Richardson said...

Thanks, anonymous. That's good, right?