“Bastard!” it was unusual for Diane to swear. Her ex could not handle the situation and took his anger out on a pane of innocent glass that used to be part of a door. “I’ll kill him.”
She was shaking badly as I gave her a brief comforting hug. I wanted more but knew if he returned the rage would be pointing my way, so, with discretion being the better part of cowardice, I retracted. The noise, however, woke the slumbering monster, just what we needed.
“Where’s Anonymouse?” Della asked.
“I put him out.”
“You did f***ing what? He’s only a kitten. He’ll die out there.”
“He won’t. He’s a survivor. I put him out last night and the night before. He’s ready. Besides it’s a lot safer out there than it was in here.”
“You killed him. You killed him.” She sobbed uncontrollably on Diane’s shoulder that was still shaking from her recent encounter with danger. Eventually, Diane took her to bed and the sneer was a picture.
On the third day another bad set of stars loomed. I went out for a pre-work bevvy. For some reason I was really low. I had this recurring daydream of a nuclear attack on Britain. I pondered how I would cope with the wasting of so much I held so dear. These fears were utterly irrational; there was far more likely to be atomic warfare in Israel than in Britain.
On my second pint in walked Anna with a suave young German on her arm. She recognised me from her distant memory bank. Her eyes sparkling, her hair in a bun. “Thank you, for the other night.” She whispered.”
“I was falling and you caught me.”
“Time after time.”
I made my way to the sea, picked up a pebble and threw it as hard as I could into the water, then another and another. We would have been so good together. I really did not want to work but there was nobody to replace me.
I sat at the desk and read the guest list 15 times to see if Anonymouse had checked back in. I knew he would cheer me up. The ‘Are you alrights?’ were met with a stoical ‘of course’. I fooled no one.
“When are you gonna do that f***ing washing up?” was all I needed from a drunken Della giving me earache.
“I’ll do it later.” Is a phrase that never works. “You know, I don’t mind you farting, it takes away the smell of your breath.” Now that was uncalled for.
“Up ya ass!” was a fitting response.
“I know I said I would do it later before, but I was lying and I’m not being particularly honest at the moment.” I just wanted to be left alone to sulk; what else was there to do? I checked the guest list again but she merely took this as sarcasm. “No, no cat.”
She flung a cassette at me from across the room. She was surprisingly accurate for one so clumsy. It hit me on the temple which I ignored. Silence is the finest weapon to be used against women without a doubt. My non-response syndrome wound her up ridiculously until she could take no more. The verbal abuse escalated at a great rate of knots until I mildly suggested, “Hm, no cat; must be dead.”
At this she lunged towards me arm flailing like an octopus caught in a windmill. Her drunken attempt at inflicting damage on me was as pathetic as baked beans served with truffle. Diane stepped in and I managed to make my escape from this lunacy.
The pebbles hit the water even harder with the rush of adrenalin. I walked the streets for 2 hours or so shouting obscenities at almost every car, just because. I wanted to drown my sorrows but as I stood on the threshold I noticed Diane and Della standing at the bar. Why give a drunken person more alcohol? Diane caught my eye. I wanted her to come and tell me what was happening. She looked away. I wandered alone as more pebbles smashed the waves.
I returned after 4 o’clock and worked till 8. On private and confidential notepaper, I wrote how grateful I would be if my resignation was accepted by the gracious management as soon as was mutually convenient. My position was untenable. I did not want to work there any longer than necessary but would do till a replacement was found. That sounded amazingly fair.