The Bus Station at Preston is in need of major refurbishment and so am I. My body is a late-Soviet alcohol processing plant. Not economically viable, but nothing much matters at this stage. I’m “getting over” a relationship breaking up. I’m not “getting over” it though. People dying of cancer aren’t “fighting” or “battling” it. Whatever they say, they are dying. They are fucked. We are all dying, defeated. We are fucked. I can’t even remember why I’m waiting for this bus.

Something about a cat, I suppose. I’m travelling somewhere to clean up some cat’s shit for a fortnight. Somebody I know, somebody more successful, has taken pity on me and said they need somebody to “house sit” for them. Some kind of occupational therapy I suppose. They’ve foisted some minimal responsibility on me because they hope it’ll resuscitate my flatlining soul. They’re hoping the healthy house I’m sitting will somehow spread its healthy bourgeois glow into my own psyche and make me normal like they are. It won’t happen. Something bad will happen instead. Worlds will collide.

Do houses shit? Yes, they do. We hire skips for house shit. Belongings are as stupid as belonging. I get attached to belongings, but when they break or I leave they don’t matter to me any more. That’s how it goes. In the end, we’re the stuff we leave behind. It’s just garbage. Detritus. Like this you’re reading here.

When my dad died, we went round to his house to clear it up. He had this room that he dumped all of the house shit in. He didn’t throw any of it away. He had dozens of old video recorders piled up in there. Old men, for whatever reason, had a tendency to collect VHS video recorders. I’d heard it happening before. His house was constipated. We had a look around for things of value, but after a while we decided just to leave it all behind.

I feel a panic attack coming on, so I slump towards a toilet to cower inside a cubicle. Toilet cubicles are havens for agoraphobics. So I drag this rucksack toward the lavvy. It’s insanely heavy. What is in it? Socks, bricks, a fucking sousaphone for all I know – whatever it was I’d scrambled together in my flat a few hours ago, still off my face on the Valium I’d popped 10 hours prior to that, silencing the screams of the nocturnal homunculus. This act is coming back to haunt me right now, at this moment now – withdrawal kicks in and stirs up a whirlpool of panic. I sit in the cubicle, just to get myself through 15 minutes of a crash landing. It’s routine. The troubled learn to compensate for the psychic pain they carry around. Like that fucking rucksack full of bricks.

We’re all attached and I hate attachment right now. I want to live in a cave and grow a scary bread so nobody will interact with me. I hate it when I think I can’t cope without somebody and then, all of a sudden, I find myself not giving a toss. All people just turn into bits of crumby furniture by the end. At best we provide some sort of entertainment. But we’re all just furniture – furniture with ears and mouths and arseholes that open and close and say shit and do shit. The shit we clean up by being together. So I drink alone to try and escape all of that but I can’t. I’m not all that special.


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