postcards: with ben

Corner shop window, I understand its where young ladies gather to garner their resources and key information (gardeners, lost cats, a section for sharing household maintenance tips, etc…)  on there way to buy Jif and Sanitary Towels.

They peruse the window seeking massages and dog walkers, which is all a façade for their true mission – the purchasing on sherbet fountains and crossword magazine for those lonely afternoons watching re-runs of Bergerac and UK Gold.

The existentialist angst crawls over them like a rotten sock and as each kernel of sherbet fizzes away like a dyeing star on their cracked tongue, the adverts slice the programme in two and she is happy looking at shiny goods and commodities she neither wants nor needs, but covert them she does.

As she sat up from the toilet bowl she accidentally broke wind and a short stream of urine dripped and landed on her gathered tights. The dog looked up at her and shifted his ears slightly but was too tired to be any more inquisitive and returned to staring at the radiator and its buzz. She removed her tights, wiped and flushed. When she washed her hands she lamented that the bathroom linoleum caused discomfort to her stance due to the cracked hardened skin on her heals and the lack of protection that would have otherwise been provided had her tights still been on or even if she had worn socks or slippers which she hadn’t even considered. Jezza would be starting soon. She brushed her hair without looking in the mirror and retrieved some thick pink socks from the bedroom, hooped with different shades of lighter and darker pinks and “crazy moo” written on the outer part of the ankles. As she sat on the sofa she leaned onto the arm rest, pulled the edges of her dressing gown down over her knees and lifted her feet onto the cushions. She turned on ITV+1 and opened a bag of Twiglets and wished that she had made a cup of tea before she sat down.

She cursed her luck that she hadn’t put the kettle and so she waited or the second set of adverts.

A walk to the fridge, snagging some lose thread from her pink socks on a shard of linoleum. She the opened the fridge door and it made a farting sound.

The dog jumped.

The kettle was turned on, something that couldn’t be said for her. A tea bag was dropped in a cup. The milk poured, drowning the tea bag.  She thought about Sex and the City. Her life was more celibate in the ghetto. The kettle didnt whistle, it shrilled.

Hot water water tumbled over milk and bag. The fridge was opened and this time is sighed like a love struck teenager.

She was in a house with a screaming TV and a dog who didn’t know his name.

The dog shuffled. He opened and eye an looked at her contemptuously. He waggled an ear. Maybe this was secret canine code? She didn’t know. The dog farted. A long low level whistle. Like a referee blowing up at the end of 90mins

She sat down, opened a magazine and watched skinny celebs turn fat.

There was a double paged spread on Kerry Katona, the yo-yo dieting former Mother of the Year. On this occasion she had lost weight to become relatively thin again and was advertising a DVD that she had made to share her successful methods with ordinary people. She always read Kerry Katona related media because once they had attended the same primary school, although quite a few years apart. She thought for a second that maybe she should buy the DVD and she could change her life like Kerry had but she remembered something that that her sister had once said to her about when a celebrity has lost weight – that the smart thing to do would be to buy the DVD that the celebrity had watched, not the one that they had made. They had wondered often about how celebrity women had managed to achieve such weight loss and if there was a special range of magnificent fitness DVDs that only famous people could buy.  Never did they conclude that in the pursuit of a healthier and more active lifestyle that a DVD could be counterproductive.

There was a crossword on the inside back page with a picture of Roland Rivron inside of it as a visual clue to 12 down but although his face was familiar she couldn’t recall what his name was or where she knew him from.

She tried to conjure up his face but it was no good, she kept drawing blanks. The crosswords clues didn’t help. And all the spaces were blank. Gleaming white empty boxes.  (later on the, crossword would be half complete but the only Roland she knew was the keyboard she played at school.)

The fitness DVDs weighed heavy on her mind. Upstairs in the spare room they were boxed up like forgotten memories. She calculated if she got them on she could make a tenner, maybe fifteen pounds. That would pay for a Friday night out. A quick finger against the wall, back of a pub, near the bins?

She thought about Kerry Katona again. Her fluctuating weight, her on/off drug problems, her fat daughter. She was in Atomic Kitten she had to remind herself.

The TV still shouted and the dog dreamed of chasing cars.

Her days of work always ended up like this. A sofa, tea and Jezza.

The scheduled TV programme was cut short. A new flash. A bulletin. Sever weather was forecast. She couldn’t remember the last time her TV schedule was interrupted by a new flash. It normal involved a dead celebrity or some goings on in a country she had never heard off. The report mentioned flash floods, storms, strong winds. A drop in temperature.

She got up and put the heating on.


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