bulk :: 17st 10 (what’s really annoying is that I weighed myself when I got home after my run this morning and I was 17st 9. Then half an hour later I voided my bowels and thought I’d weigh myself again. Sometimes I drop a couple of pounds after a good void. Today however, I managed to actually put on weight by passing a motion. If anyone has any idea how that’s possible, I’d love to know.)
cigarettes smoked :: 10 (it’s been a queer old week all in all, and Keith had to buy himself a bag of grass to get through it. I, in turn, had to swallow my reservations and help him through his bag of grass. Ten is an estimate. Probably more if I’m honest. Over three nights. I wanted to get a pipe to avoid the tobacco factor, but Keith wouldn’t let me. He said if I was going to smoke his drugs, then I would do it like a man. He was in a bad way. One minute he was screaming and spitting, the very anus of antagonism. The next he was gibbering and shaking, juddering with grief, tears popping from his eyes like chip fat. He has had a very tough week though. More of which in a moment.)
units of alcohol imbibed :: 36 (see above)
runs run :: 3
friends honoured :: 1
Bulgarians befriended :: 0
Hungarians befriended :: 0
So. As I was saying, Keith’s had a very bad week. Apart from the stuff we’re never mentioning again, it was his birthday, the big three oh. And although he admits he thoroughly deserved it, he still couldn’t help feel a little down being dumped in the same week he turned 30. He feels ‘existentially constipated’ apparently. I’m not entirely sure what that means, but I know it’s bad. Then there is Something Else. To spell it out, here is the text I received on Wednesday:
‘Bad back. Dumped. MS.
Happy fucking birthday.
He’d been keeping it pretty much to himself, but he opened up this week. The first doctor he saw was apparently ‘about as much use as a soft cock’. Then he saw a specialist just a couple of weeks ago, who told him that the regular spasming in his hand shows every sign of being MS. He’s 90% sure that that’s what it is. Keith has to go for a series of tests which will confirm that. A lumbar puncture, some blood tests and some steroid injections apparently. He’s got a date in a couple of weeks. In the meantime, the spasming continues. It doesn’t hurt, but he did drop a joint the other night, which I picked up and smoked. This made him cry. I rolled him another one, but it wasn't really the joint, it was the whole thing. He’s scared. And it’s heart-breaking.
Speaking of which, I feel bad about the amount of ugly feeling directed towards Keith around here recently. I feel bad because it’s my fault and because he really isn’t such a bad egg. Alright, so he betrayed a wonderful woman by putting his todger in someone else’s body; OK, so he got angry on New Year’s Eve, punched a bus shelter and made Patricia cry; and yes, yes, OK, he once stole candy from a baby with learning difficulties, but he’s also a very good friend, so I’m going to take this opportunity to rack my brain and come up with Five Great Things That Keith Has Done. And if I stop at three, I don’t want you to think any less of him.
1) Keith and I became neighbours when we were little kids. We became fast friends and grew up together. Because I was a hideous little eczematic freak, I was often picked on and bullied by clear-skinned Nazi kids, and I have lost count of the amount of times that Keith stepped in and stopped it. He even got beat up a couple of times himself, in the process of protecting me. I will never forget that, and never stop loving him for it.
2) When we were about 12 or 13, we were down Southend beach with Kevin Hodgson and Dean Curtis. Hodge found a giant flatfish washed up on the sand, dead. He picked it up and threatened me with it. I ran. Hodge ran after me. I was faster than him though and so I got away, but out of desperation, he threw the fish after me and, through utter fluke, it landed with a slap on my bare back. It was funny. I can see now that it was funny, but at the time it was a) humiliating as my friends fell about laughing, and b) somehow terrifying. I started screaming and flapping about a bit trying to get it off my back, but it seemed to be stuck there. I guess I was having a bit of a panic attack with this bloody great fish on my back. Hodge and Curty found it increasingly hilarious, but Keith, seeing that I was genuinely upset, came up to me and peeled the fish off my back and calmed me down. I was embarrassed and I had to go off to be alone, but I was touched too, and I’ve never forgotten it.
3) When I was 15, my family life became untenable and there was the possibility that I was going to be taken into care. Keith at this point persuaded his parents to take me in and look after me, essentially to foster me. Again, it brings tears to my eyes to think how much that meant to me and what a selfless, wonderful gesture it was.
4) A year and a bit later, we got a flat together in Dartford, and for two years, Keith basically looked after me. When I was in and out of college, in and out of jobs and struggling to pay the rent, he never failed to help me out, even when it meant leaving himself short.
5) For my 30th birthday, he bought me a bunch of sex toys and condoms and various other sexual accessories. He knew I was starting this blog and embarking on a quest to find a lady. He also wrote the following words in a card: ‘You’ll notice there is no fleshlight here. That’s because you won’t be needing one. Go get ‘em, tiger.’
In these and in countless other ways, Keith has shown me that he cares for me, that he loves me, more than anyone else I have ever known. And it is with wet eyes, a raised glass and all of that love right back at you, Keith, that I wish you a happy birthday and the best year ever. Fuck the past – we all make mistakes. And fuck MS - if that's what it is, you can own it. Balls to it.
Here’s to the future, mate.
In other news, I have a new neighbour, a young, attractive and as far as I can tell, single, Bulgarian woman named Katinka. Wow, you’re thinking. Young, attractive, single, Bulgarian and named Katinka. You lucky dog, you’re thinking. There is however, one small problem, which is that she has absolutely no sense of humour whatsoever. Or else it's merely a case of her despising me utterly. Two problems then, potentially.
I bumped into her when she was moving her stuff in a couple of nights ago. Her stuff was all piled up in the hallway. Lots of strange electrical equipment. Silver boxes with rows and ranks of knobs and dials. She had a friend helping her. Rather than just walk past her with a nod, I stopped to say hello and introduce myself. In the tiny exchange that followed, not a single, solitary smile played upon her plump, kissable lips. In fact, throughout our exchange, she looked at me as if to say, [imagine generic Eastern European accent here] ‘In my country, you would be in cage.’
Katinka is actually Hungarian, but I have decided to deliberately get it wrong whenever I speak to her or even mention her to other people. I’m not sure why, but I think it’s out of spite. I saw her this morning rooting through the communal mail in the hall. ‘Morning!’ I chirruped. ‘Anything nice from Bulgary?’
‘I am Hungarian,’ she replied, cold like a killer.
‘Ah, yeah, Hungarian, sorry. Anything nice from Hungaria?!’
This time she totally ignored me. Quite right too. She had a bunch of letters in her hands. ‘Who are these people?’ she wanted to know. So peremptory her tone, that I find it both irritating and amusing. And slightly arousing if I’m honest. She read out a few names from envelopes like she was reading from a Sex Offenders List. I explained that some of them are other people in the house, that there are seven different flats, including the basement. I told her also that a lot of the mail that collects around the front door is junk for old residents, and that the landlord comes and picks it up every few weeks.
She scowled at me. ‘Every few weeks?’ She shook her head. ‘I must to speak with landlord.’
‘OK,’ I said, squeezing past her to the front door, ‘well good luck with that.’
And then it happened. She looked up at me, and she smiled. It was ever so faint, her smile, and as soon as it happened, she suppressed it and replaced it with a scowl, like a woman at a sombre church gathering whose breast had inadvertently popped out of her low-necked top whilst she was chatting to the priest about death. All she could do was scoop it back inside and stare at the ground, pretending it had never happened. But it had happened alright. She knew it. I knew it. The priest knew it.
‘What?’ I said, smiling myself.
‘Nothing,’ she replied. ‘You are going for run, no?’
And then I realised that her smile was actually a mocking smile, that she was laughing at me. Granted, I do look fairly ridiculous when I go running, with my baggy grey track suit and the little purple hand towel that I hang round my neck. I need that towel though, I really do. I sweat like a claustrophobe in a fridge when I’m running. More than I used to. The more weight I lose, the more I sweat. I don’t understand it.
‘Yeah,’ I replied, slowly. ‘Is that funny?’
This time she laughed openly, then covered her mouth. ‘No, no. Sorry. I must to go now.’ Then she trotted off upstairs, leaving me feeling ridiculous, and I have to say, utterly enchanted.
It was only just now, writing this that it occurs to me that she may very well be a spy. Think about it. The way she was taking such an interest in the names of the other tenants; the lack of humour – Eastern European spies are notoriously humourless and businesslike; the silver boxes which are most probably devices for sending coded messages to other Bulgarian agents.
It all comes together now. I know it’s not 1940 or anything, but we are still at war, and Bulgaria is bound to be in the Axis of Evil.
All of which makes me think, it might be time to forget about Sebastian Horsley and concentrate on getting Katinka locked up. (I am determined to have someone jailed before the week is out.) Seriously though, I heard this advert on Xfm the other day, with a voiceover asking, ‘How can you be sure if that person over there is taking photos because they have an interest in architecture, or if they’re casing the joint for a terrorist atrocity? How can you be sure if that chap with the rucksack is carrying a picnic to his grandma’s house, or if he’s packing enough terror to take out the whole of Oxford Street? How can you be sure? You can’t. If you suspect it, report it.’
At the time I just laughed it off as a bunch of Big Brother police state terror-spreading, designed to keep everyone permanently terrified and paranoid. But now I’m thinking, well they may actually be onto something. I definitely suspect Katinka. What kind of name is Katinka anyway? It’s clearly made up.
But should I report her? She’s upstairs now. I can hear her, Katinkering with her spy machines no doubt. Maybe I’ll go up there now and ask to see her papers. Oh God, I want her. That’s the terrible truth. I don’t want to imprison her. I want to impregnate her.
Damn it all to hell and back, I’d better start brushing up on my language skills.
Have a good weekend!