The alcohol and the slight chemical imbalance it induced, held me in a coma like state most of the night, suddenly it makes me wake for no apparent reason, what a feeling. It was Sunday morning and the first thing I noticed was the taste in the back of my throat, a mixture of nicotine, beer and cheap wine. This morning brought more pain than usual, my mouth seemed to be three times the size and felt completely wrong to my swollen dry tongue, upon further probing I found my problem, a wisdom tooth that had been funny for a while. The tooth hurt, I knew it would have to be removed but as usual I had decided that I could suffer the pain and carry on, but today the pressure was immense and the taste rancid. Well it was just another thing to add to my ‘’to do’’ list which seemed to get substantially larger every day, it’s been 3 months since I first started it and what with one thing or another it never really got any smaller. Why is it that people go to the lengths of writing things out and never intend to doing them, I know I never bloody have the time to do the little things, paint the stairs, mow the lawn, send this letter etc etc etc.
I decided there and then to change my life forever, but having just got of bed, shuffled to the sink and looked at my horribly puffed up face in the mirror, thought fuck it, why change now, your nearly half dead anyway. Great, even my internal voices think there is no hope. Looking in the mirror at the late middle aged man looking back, thinking where did the charming youth of yesteryear go and when did he leave, remembering the young girls who used to chase me, a handsome, free and single bachelor, the world at my feet.
Then the sudden memories of last night’s little session crossed my mind and the horrible taste in my mouth seems to come rushing back, tell me I didn’t, please tell me it’s not true. The cold sweats are upon me in a flash, the shame and guilt hit me, I turned and looked at the now vacant, or so I thought, bed. There on the bed, lying half naked, her body covered by the sheet was the sight I had dreaded seeing, Fat Lisa or The Planet, the boys from work had given her this charming name as they said she was the size of a planet, and probably the same age as one too. I would not say I had much standards when it came to women, but I never thought I would ever end up bedding the local bike. God, it was all coming back, the cab ride, the fumbling on the stairs, the delightful strip show, warts and all. Oh god the oral sex, and not just receiving, and the hot sweaty (not as in hot sexy sweaty ) sex. I felt the retching in my throat reach a crescendo and had to run back to the loo for the torrent of vomit that was about to be produced. After hugging the loo like it was a long lost sibling, and having the most miserable 5 minutes that I never want to repeat, I spent a good hour brushing and scrubbing every orifice that I could reach, to clean the taste of my passionate night with The Planet away.
I crept into my room, searching amongst the piles of washing (another job from the list) for some semi clean clothes for today’s work. I eventually found some day old socks, a rarity in this flat, and some half clean smelling trousers and shirt, while trying not to awake lasts nights conquest. I eventually dressed and left closing the door with a bang, praying that she would awaking and depart before I got back, please god please. She did in fact not work with me, but in a café around the corner, which would have no effect on the fact that everyone at work would know what happened last night. I then realised to my abject horror that my car keys were on the dresser in the bedroom, fuck! I attempted to re-enter the flat like a wild cat hunting its prey, slowly, trying not to disturb the clutter, and there’s a lot of it, in the corridor.
Slowly peering around the corner, attempting to just reach around the doors frame and lift them off the dresser without having to enter the room, but I couldn't feel them. So having come this far and not heard anything, decided to have peek, as the top of my head broke the outline of the door, the voice started. It was like nails on a chalk board, with the legend that is the planet, comes the voice; I always was amazed that such a large body could have such a high shrill and totally horrible voice, not good.
Thought you’d run out on me then, she said.
I looked at the shape in the bed, she was sitting up smoking a cigarette, naked from the waste up, her ample bosom and everything else spilling down over the sheet that covered the rest of her. My goodness was I really that drunk last night.
Forgot my keys, I said.
Then the smile appeared on her face, it was a look of almost pure evil. I looked around at the table and saw my keys were missing, I then heard the jingle behind me.
This what you’re looking for?
Oh, yes thank you, I said, I’m just getting some breakfast for us.
I could tell she did not believe a word I was saying, the look on her face said everything, effectively, you’re not getting of that lightly.
Why rush out, you could have some of what you had last night for breakfast, she said, then licked her lips in what I think was an attempt to be sexy.
I was in a tight spot and she knew it, I couldn’t throw her out, as by midday she would tell everyone she met about my sexual prowess, or lack of. And there was no way in this life that I would do sober, what I think she was about to ask me to do.
If you want your keys, you’re going to have earn them, you can start by searching me. With that she lifted the bed cloths and deposited the keys somewhere I dread to think. I pondered my options, ridicule on one hand, or the same in the other. With this in mind.
I said, fuck it, I’ll walk.
On leaving the flat and the torrent of abuse far behind me, I found it to be a beautiful, sunny, if not cold winters day in December. Walking my normal route to work, well it would have been normal had I ever bothered to walk it. And all this talk of carbon footprints had not dissuaded me from the old rover, nor would it. I blame my father for giving me this ignorant and pig headed outlook. I stopped outside at a newsagent at the end of Warwick road, about a 100 meters from my flat. There I bought a pasty and coffee, didn’t bother with the Sunday papers, they have nothing worth reading in my opinion. I followed the road up to the station where I have been working for the last few months. This was the new police station at the top of the Botchergate, the city of Carlisle’s premiere drinking establishments being nearly all situated there. When I was younger the Street was as rough as a badgers arse, not that I know how rough they are. The pick of the club’s being The Cats Whiskers, which you can guess by the name was a quality establishment. It was said that when you went there you never wanted to leave, ha I wanted to leave but found myself stuck to the floor. Then later on came Buskers, slightly more up market than the Whiskers but still grab a granny or teeny bopper. I always wondered where the upper classes and toffs went for their nights out back then, still never found out. I am please to say Botchergate has moved on from the 90’s and thank god. Today it’s a bit rowdy but you get a good mix of clientele, but not my type of place. The station had moved only a year back due to the old station down by the Civic Centre and the Hardwick Circus being flooded badly, in my opinion a blessing as we are now closer to the trouble and the old buildings had been sold for a fortune. I braced myself for the jokes and abuse that would soon be piled on me, pushing the front door open and walking in head down to avoid anyone’s gaze. I went passed the front desk the duty uniform saying hello, no sign of emotion on his face. Had I gotten away with it, surely someone saw me leaving last night, then passed a couple more uniforms and a young DC in the corridor, still nothing. I thought, I am going to get away with it, no one knows, I can just say she’s lying if she says anything. Feeling good now, walking to my desk with confidence that I was home free, taking a seat. Looking around me, everyone was getting on with the daily toil of a Sunday. Feeling completely at ease now turning on my computer monitor, there before me was a picture of me with my tongue down the planets throat, suddenly everyone in the room burst out laughing.
You bunch of arseholes!
This failed to stop the ape like behavior that was now at a deafening volume, the occasional mock grunt and sex noises were also to be heard. At this point I wanted the ground to open and swallow me whole. I lifted myself from the chair and started off towards the toilets, a few minutes of peace would help clear my head and I hoped that the office would be quite by the time I returned.
Walking through the desks, I was stopped by Ken, a good friend of mine.
Don’t worry mate, this lot will forget about it by the end of the week, more than half the lads in here have had a crack at the planet.
I just thought it would never be me, I said, remembering that I was always one of the first to laugh when it happened to the other lads.
You booked yourself an appointment at the clap clinic yet, he asked.
What do you mean? I suddenly felt very worried.
She so far has infected at least 3 lads in here with a variety of itchy scratchy. He then walked of laughing and telling everyone within earshot that I was unclean.
God it was getting worse and I had a feeling that this was just the start.
On reaching the toilets, I could not resist having a peek at the wee man to see if what Ken said was true. No sign of anything yet, but then again it’s only been about 7 hours. Must remember to make an appointment at the clap clinic. God another “to do”. I washed my face as I had become sticky and sweaty through sheer embarrassment. The lads were only joking but I am one of those people who feel everyone has a personal vendetta against me.
Back to the grind.
I work in CID, have done for about a year. Not a bad job really, just Carlisle is a boring place for crime. No murders to speak of, not serious crime. Filling in forms is what I do most days. The occasional drug bust but hardly worth it the small amounts we seize. Since Raffles was demolished (a housing estate in the west of the city) the dregs of society have been dispersed all over the place. Botcherby an estate in the south of the city and Currock got most of them. The places have really changed in the past few years, drug monkeys on every street. I suppose it reflects a society that has changed , a money driven capitalist society. I would love to be a Marxist but don’t understand what it means. It’s all sharing I think.
On returning to my desk there is a sudden burst of excitement in the office. People shouting and smiling, I stumble over to the nearest person. A DS called Weir, what’s up mate, I ask.
Murder, not just one but a triple. It’s going to be a good day, he says. See what I mean, so boring that when something does happen it’s like a party atmosphere. Woo hoo high fives all around, god these people are childish.
After the commotion had died down we got a brief on what happened, apparently 3 local small time dealers had been shot in 3 different locations in the city within an hour. Gun’s now that’s serious crime, I feel my balls tingling. Just as childish as them. The 3 had been pulled a few times but nothing major, small fish. We once had 2 brothers from Botch who were selling some real gear, coke at a street value of 500K, serious money. Unfortunately it only took 2 hours of police work to catch them. The undercover asked them if they knew where they could some gear. They turned up 15 minutes later with the stuff in the back of an old Mondeo in a car park. Not exactly master criminals eh. I knew them too, they were in there late twenties but used to peddle around on children’s BMX’s.
We get our assignments, I draw the short straw again, phone calls, fun. The lads have a name for me, not that I like it much. The sleeping policeman, as they say I’m as much use as one in real police work. I resent it, though I do have a real problem interacting with people I don’t know. Not a great attribute in a copper really. I have only arrested 10 people in my six years on the force, I just don’t like confrontation, that’s all. I’m thinking of leaving soon to be brutally honest. I always wanted to raise llamas, ever since I went to a farm in the Grampians of Scotland. I have the honour today of calling known associates of the deceased to inquire if they knew anything. It’s a thankless job and it a bit like getting a loan of a Scotsman, impossible. The first person on the list is the ex-girlfriend of deceased number one, Gary Newall, 28 years old, car thief, GBH and dealing. Shot while eating a fish supper outside his local chip shop. Broad daylight, car drove past, over 20 rounds from some sort of machine pistol, waste of perfectly good bullets if you ask me. Plank of wood would have done the job just as well and cost less. The girlfriend’s name was Natasha, lived in Botch, on Borland Avenue, one of the roughest streets. I remember her from being in the station on many occasions, might as well have a room with her name on it she’s here so much. Serial shoplifter, drug habit, crack and no teeth. What a stunner. I’m surprised she’s got a home phone, not sold it for the next hit. Hello Natasha I say, this is DC Alexander, Cumbria constabulary. I’m calling regarding.. I know what you want she says, voice full of venom. I haven’t seen that prick in months, owed me money too. Took all me sovereigns and pawned them down Cash Converters didn’t he. Best thing could ave happened to him. The accent was annoying enough but the slurping after every few words really got on my tits. Slurrpp, ain’t got no more to tell she said, hanging up the phone. God it’s going to be a long long day. After many hours of phone calls to people you cross the street to avoid, I felt like giving up. Thing is that people in areas like Botch never see anything, do you know the colour of the car was asked to the 8 witnesses in the chippie at the time. Not one matched, is it that they act thick or are they really that dense. Looking up at the clock, I noticed I had one hour left before knock off. Hallelujah. I hate the big cases, some pompous DI gets to run with it and give all the jobs to their buddies, and us none brown nosing bottom feeders get the rubbish. Oh, occasionally they might throw you a bone, a premises check or searching of a car, but come the big haul it’s always those with warm noses that get the credit. Home time, stop of on the way for my evening meal, haggis and chips with gravy, all the goodness a man could need. I have a 40 inch waist now, was only 34 last year. Always mean to go to the gym, paid a fortune for membership been once for 10 minutes. I prefer my PT to be of the Egyptian variety, horizontal with my eyes closed. I climb the stairs to my flat, hoping that The Planet has gone. I open the door and the smell hits me straight away, sweat, sex and fried food. I walk through to the kitchen and see that the cow has eaten almost all the food and taken the rest home with her. I mean who takes the mustard from the fridge home after a one night stand. I will just have to go shopping tomorrow, day off anyway.
Weekend video: Russell Foster: Why do we sleep? -
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