Every guy knows what it’s like at the urinal. You’re peeing next to a stranger. Whether you care about it or not, you are revealing something of yourself. There is a certain vulnerability. You are on show and they are on show. You can see why a lot of men are embarrassed by it. Some people can’t urinate when someone is stood next to them. Maybe it goes back to the days where we would mark our territories with wee. Perhaps an alpha male shouldn’t share where he pisses.
For years I was too afraid to use public lavatories and would never use a urinal. I’ve managed to get over my fear now but I still have to wait for a urinal with an empty space next to it. I’m pretty certain very few people actually want to look at cocks. Most guys will try not to look at yours and hope you’re not looking at theirs, but who honestly cares. Continue Reading.
It’s a new room. It’s an old room but it’s a new room to him. It’s very comfortable but it doesn’t feel like it’s his quite yet. Something residual lingers of the previous tenant. And he hasn’t made enough of his own memories and routines there yet to claim it fully.
Sometimes he feels a presence in the room but over the weeks he has stamped his authority over it and it’s starting to feel more like home.
One night he wakes suddenly as though someone was talking to him, a shirt hanging on the wardrobe door moves in the corner of his eye but when he looks it’s still. He turns on the lamp to see better in the grey room but there’s nothing there. He is left with a half feeling that he was being watched. Unperturbed, he eventually drifts off. Continue Reading.
My story Monkey’s Uncle was printed recently in You Stumble Into A Room Full Of Poets with an illustration from the delicious Natalie Oleksy-Piekarski. If you can’t find a copy you can read it on my story page.
She Loves Me Not
She loves me not. She said she used to love me before I started ruining her flowers. I don’t know why I’m trying to joke about this; it isn’t funny.
My girlfriend has just broken up with me. It all started with a haircut. For me anyway, for her it seems to have started much earlier.
Using the Initiative
I made a friend a while ago who thinks he has the best job in the world. From government records and through field trips, he recruits the top women on earth. He searches for beauty, intelligence, but above all, that spark. What they used to call the ‘X-factor’ before it became a dirty word. He calls himself a talent scout for the future of humanity. Although he is a card-carrying infertile he’s a decent looking guy and every once in a while manages to cop off with a recruit. It’s a job he could have only dreamt of before the bombs. I can’t really think of a better line of work. Except mine of course. I am one of the people he is recruiting for.
I had to take the bus to work yesterday because it was raining. April showers, really heavy. That was money I had to spend updating my travel card. This is the sort of erratic spring weather we moan about in this country. Under a gloopy downpour like this there isn’t a chance in hell I’m going to fly to work.
I considered an umbrella but I think it would be more trouble than it’s worth. They’re designed for going over the heads of slow-moving, vertical people with their feet on the ground. I don’t even want to imagine how hard it would be trying to fly, having to wrangle some flimsy, plastic thing about in this wind and rain. The truth is I’m really not very good at flying. Continue reading.
The other day my good man Mr Nick Murray and I found the secret unofficial recording booth in the British Library and recorded my dulcet tones reading one of my stories and a story that inspired me. I chose a new story Transport and How the Cat Became by Ted Hughes from the How the Whale Became collection my Mum bought me all those years ago.
You can listen to the two stories on Annexe Magazine here.
I’ll be posting the text (and illustration by Sylvia Maria Saunders) for Transport as the next installment of Eat My Shorts.
If you entered ‘c2cbs’ into a search engine – considering that it isn’t a name or a word found in any dictionary – you might be surprised at the high number of ‘Items found’ on your page. The first site to host it received a fair few hits but it was nothing next to the total number of searches that GoOgle have counted for ‘c2cbs’ to date.
It was an internet phenomenon like nothing that had come before it. Imagine A-list celebrity sex tape meets Taliban beheading in terms of hype and spin and you aren’t far off with the actual content either. Eventually everybody in the western world, whoever they were, wanted to watch it, and if not, at least they wanted to know what it was.
Friends fell out in discussions about it. Office workers with internet connections found their access restricted and employers’ trust lower than usual. People lost their jobs for downloading it at work, some were even shown the door for admitting that they knew about it. IT departments across the globe were the kings of the office, while at the same time under more scrutiny than ever. The big question bubbling up in the water cooler and floating through the air conditioning was what is c2cbs? Continue reading?
He bites her neck. She lets out a half squeal and writhes against him, her hands on his shoulders. They don’t speak but they are communicating on some basic animal level. The couple entwine on the floor of a kitchen in an abandoned hotel.
The small town became infected as quickly as any other. Survivors were like rats from a sinking ship and many people were bitten and turned after their loved ones or abandoned them. A few people were holed up in hotel for a while but their fortress was breached inevitably and one by one they ran. Some made it to another temporary safety. Inside, one by one, the ones that stayed attacked each other. Continue Reading.
I got shat on today. It was a good day though. People have a superstition that if a bird drops one on you then it brings good luck. I must be the luckiest son of gun around, I get at least one every day. From people. It doesn’t bother me though. I am a toilet after all.
Feeling a bit bunged up, someone just wiped then went for a second dropping, so they had to wipe again. I seem to be swallowing more paper than usual these days so I’m often a little clogged. Continue Reading.