A Morning Pitstop

It happens like that sometimes. You can’t make it all the way to the train without stopping at the newsagent for a drink. It’s the newsagent where I buy the lottery tickets – all of them – and she knows me and I know her. Except she’s not always there. She wasn’t there when I got a strawberry milk yesterday morning. There was a young man there instead. He was polite and smiled, and I wasn’t really paying very close attention because I felt like crap, which was why I had to get a drink of some kind. The strawberry milk was so cold and so good and I started to gulp and it hurt a little bit, just briefly, as I swallowed and I coughed and almost spluttered.

I was just about to drink again when Jez said, “Bet you’ve done that before.” It’s one of a number of his oral sex jokes. That should be one of a number of his oral sex for very little money in public toilets jokes. And I wasn’t expecting it, which meant the timing was absolutely spot on. And perhaps you can guess what happened then? That’s right: I did splutter as I giggled, and the giggle became a laugh. Jez said, “I’m right aren’t I?” and tears were in my eyes and a trickle of pink started to form at the side of my mouth and I thought it was going to come out of my nose as well.

But I swallowed. He said: “Good girl”, and I began laughing all over again. I punched him in the arm and then I punched him in the arm again for good measure. Breathing became harder to do and I started taking in sharp, convulsive doses of oxygen while I could feel my skin redden.

“Are you OK, luv?” he asked. Jez calls me luv. I don’t mind. “I didn’t mean for. I mean. I’m sorry.”

“It’s alright,” I said, recovering myself a little, dignity severely wounded, voice returning to something like normal from the hysterical husky whisper I had used as I tried to tell Jez to fuck himself.

The homeless man who sleeps in the park made his way serenely toward the public toilets near the duck pond. The world slowed down to match his pace as he went and Jez and I watched from the doorway of the newsagency. The man emitted a powerful fetid odour which caused a dog to turn its head and follow its nose and veer away from the path it was being walked on by its owner. The man reached the toilets and went inside.

“You’d better get going, Jez,” I said. “Customers waiting.”

Published in: on December 11, 2013 at 7:45 pm  Leave a Comment  

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