At the instant of consciousness regained, my mind was an empty Word document. ‘L
is shite’ was yet to be typed. My throbbing temple (band name?) monopolised all initial thought. ife
NO WORK TO GO TO – CAN STAY IN BED. SLEEP WILL CURE PAIN, said my mind.
A strange conflict between joy and despair: joy because I could snooze off the hangover, but despair because I was still unemployed. This dichotomy was resolved by eyes turning up skull and sleep sweeping over me once more.
When I awoke in the afternoon, my head felt less painy. My mouth, however, was as dry as a tortoise. I lurched to the bathroom to take water. Alas, I didn’t allow the water to run from tap for sufficient time. The liquid was warm from sitting in the pipes overnight and so my stomach lurched to nausea.
Sandwich from Supermarket!
That’s what I thought, standing over sink, waiting for stomach’s decision re: sick.
Could I afford this delicacy? Should I not buy some more economy beans?
That’s what I thought, standing over sink, thinking about sausages.
I possessed (and still do) a mesmeric visage. Strange girls traced (and still do) my face with their eyes. This isn’t arrogance. This is truth. And my face’s quality wasn’t solely due to a random genetic coincidence. Oh no. I kept myself fit (I would walk to the train station and often had (or thought about) energetic sex). I ate well. I kept my body sustained with appropriate nutrients.
Sainsbury’s own label baked beans (retailing at 24p) did not constitute these appropriate nutrients. And, Reader, they never will.
Damn it! My future success on stage demanded I buy a Barbequed Sausage Sandwich from Sainsbury’s. And a Raspberry Smoothie too. I owed it to my body. Money would sort itself out. I had thought the same about the nasty rash that consumed the top of my right thigh some months earlier - and that had completely vanished.
And so I pulled on some (cool) clothes and moved down the stairwell.
I opened the communal entrance door. Old Spice filled my nose and an
shirt stood one inch away from the open world. Landlord Dowson consumed the entire doorspace. There were gaps of air around his head and legs – otherwise it was a perfect fit. His stomach was a match for frame width. Such was my fear of him (Rent money! Rent money! Rent money!), that the peculiarity of finding him in such a position didn’t register. I later wondered if he’d been standing there for a length of time. England
“Ah, Mr Kay Richardson, my man,” he said, all smiley-like.
I stood still – a lame badger.
“I’ll get the money by the weekend, I swear,” I said, emoting.
Mr Dowson laughed, face wobbling.
“You are a funny man, my boy,” he guffawed, breathing staggered somewhat. “I check my account extra early to sees if your direct debit passed. I was thinking to call my brothers with their bats to visit you …” I gulped. “But you are a man of your word. I trust you in future. So … how is the acting? Thank you for your rent.”
If it wasn’t for the stench of Old Spice, I would have assumed I was dreaming (you can’t smell when sleeping).
“I paid the rent?” I asked.
“Yes,” said Dowson. “Of course.”
I nodded, and intimated that I needed to pass him. I revealed that I was in a rush to buy a sausage sandwich and he wished me luck.
I was back in flat, lying on bed (resplendent in newly washed He-Man duvet) with the Guardian thrust open and a spicy sausage in my mouth, when I took a call from Mother on my ‘phone.
She untangled the monetary mystery. When she informed my dear father that I had rung requesting financial assistance, he had ‘gone all quiet’ and disappeared from shed-building to his study. When Mother later interrogated him, he broke with ease. He spilt all. He had transferred monies from his personal savings to my current account. Mother demanded that I transfer it back immediately, because Father was of dull mental facility (following a stroke). I pretended that phone was losing reception and ended the shriek of Mother’s hysterical ranting with a sharp prod of ‘disconnect’.
I left the sausage sandwich uneaten on bed. I fell upon the computer (in lounge, Reader) and checked my bank balance.
Father had transferred £1000!!!
Minus the £600 rent and £40 I was overdrawn, that left me with literally hundreds of pounds to spare! I loved Father.
Even if he was married to Mother. My fingers, without instruction, directed my internet browser to Amazon. I bought books, Reader, and CDs. I also considered a Kindle.
A Kindle, goddamit.