it's just so unfair..
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by Katie Lewington




I feel as guilty as a nun must do in a brothel

I stamped a trainer down on a spider that was crawling across my bedroom floor

I did panic

I don’t know if I have squashed it but

I don’t want to look

Mangled spider remains will probably make me heave

And it was a mammoth spider

I don’t panic over tiny spiders

no, it was

It was really huge

But I shouldn’t have had that instinct to kill it

That’s terrible

It’s smaller than me, for Christ sake

But it does scuttle faster than I can

When something moves faster than you, that’s like

Insert chosen meme/gif


I look underneath the trainer in the morning.

I have to

I need to wear those trainers

There are no mangled spider remains underneath the sole

The spider is gone

And I am relieved about it, very happy

That means also

He must still be here


I jump up onto my mattress and begin scanning the room.



a line




My advice to you, an observation –

‘After a banana, comes a slice of cake’


I listen to Little Richard, whom I had mistook for Chuck Berry, which I consider shameful enough to laugh at myself.


I take my cups, OK I take a cup, downstairs.

The tap is stiff

So I won’t wash out the cup

Pour another drink on top of that dried beforehand

I haven’t a place to put it

Room is a mess

No place to sit

I stand, I rock. This 50’s music sounds different but I am unable to dance with a cup in hand

That would be dangerous.

My drink tastes like a yogurt

And nobody believes me

‘its summer fruit’

My mum tells me, after reading the label

My dad tells me too

Have they no imagination?

I know what I am tasting, ta very much

I would be offended if I wasn’t a mellow sort of guy, laid back and easy going, you know

‘Fuck, fuck, fuck’ I scream, having set my fingers alight and not my cigarette.

I sit at the kitchen table. My mum pours the coffee. I am serious. My fingers itch. I need a cigarette. My mum glances at me. I pull a face, cross eyes, stick out my tongue.

‘Sorry’ I laugh. ‘what’s up mum? What’s on?’

‘Irene has gone into hospital’ is how my mum begins.

Irene is the neighbour next door on the left side. She isn’t the one I am interested in. My object of desire is on the right.

‘Can you do that?’ my mum asks.

She is finished.

I have missed the middle.

‘OK’ I tread carefully.

‘Go now’ she urges me.


I guess work that I am going to Irene’s house. I knock on the front door.

She is in hospital, how is Irene able to answer?

But somebody does.

‘Oh hello’ I say to the beautiful redhead at the door.

‘From next door. Is Irene alright? I heard she was taken, by illness none the less’

‘So what do you want?’

‘Can I feed the cat for Irene?’

‘Yes, I suppose you can’

‘I am happy to help. Is it anything serious?’

‘Come back later. I need to find you a key’


I sit on the fence. How later does the woman want me? I am a busy person.

Fairly busy anyway.

I smoke a cigarette.

I unhook myself when the fence starts to leer and move.

I walk, OK I stroll, quite casually. I wonder where I put my cup. I hope I didn’t leave it in the kitchen. My mum will bleach it. She has a thing about bleaching cups. You can’t ever get them clean. Most of us have marks, dirty little marks and scars we scrub at to no avail. They cannot be removed. Because I am an idiot I thought to try and see how permanent permanent marker is. I drew across my right hand with one of those markers and two years on I still have the line clear as the sun.

The answer then to how permanent is permanent marker is – very permanent. In case you ever wondered yourself, don’t make my mistakes. Get a tattoo instead.

I find myself walking towards the park. It is deserted for the moment. I lean on the railings, against, to stroke a dog.

‘Hi’ I say to the owner. He is smoking a pipe, wearing leather gloves and a scarf. I am glad I am on this side of the fence, with the slide, swings and climbing frame.

I shoot up the climbing frame, the bars, ropes and hoops, then I shin myself to the bottom. I rub my sore elbow. I received this injury when I was getting out of my bed this morning, falling over certainly wakes you but you will feel a fool later.

What I did was have a ham sandwich in my bed yesterday, on a plastic plate and when I went to bed, I forgot the plate was still in my bed with me and my feet were rubbing it. So I chucked the plate out, thought it would be safe on the floor until the morning. Except this morning the plate was safe but I wasn’t, I put my foot right on the plate and I stood up, stretching, cracking my knuckles and the plate slid from me and I fell not backwards, sideways, so the bed didn’t catch me,  and my elbow whacked it.

The things I do of a morning were not done. I could reach my cigarettes from my plate/place on the floor. I smoked a few until I felt able to get back onto my feet and open a window to let out the smoke. That’s the story. The moral of that is not to chuck out plates, put them in the kitchen or a shelf in your room. I could have slid among my books that plate, would have stayed there for weeks. I put my elbow down and pick up the other, inspecting that one. It looks alright. The skin is dry. I put that down too.


I sit on top of the slide, king of the castle.  I feel like such a big kid up here.

Another family enter the park, couple of twins with a child and I realize

This is a park and I am without child. Can you sit in a park alone?

Oh dear, the lone martyr has hit his first visible hurdle.



a second line



I sit on my bed, look into my lap. The perfect line on my trousers has started to bunch up, the thread is coming undone.

I am glad I haven’t killed that spider.

That means he must also still be here.

I tug the thread, it rips. Tiny holes not filled.

Ah well, I pull my school bag to me and a trainer. I tip it, to find my cigarettes, and matches. A battery in my hand, not a lighter. I look in my other trainer by the radiator, not there. My lighter has gone, shit. I roll the battery on my tongue, in my hand, on the windowsill. I need to look in my pockets, before anything goes in the wash. What have I been wearing recently? I had my lighter when I went to bed. I pat down my duvet, pillow. I flop forward to look beneath the bed.

There it is, the little bastard.

I light a cigarette. Think-

What am I doing today.

I am going to get dressed, which’ll sound like an event if you are Lady Gaga but I am just putting on clothes.

This takes me five minutes.

I am ready for the day, today.

I put in my pockets, the cigarettes, the lighter, battery, MP3 player, keys.

Keys for next door.

I have to feed Irene’s cat. The cat I don’t know. I plunge my feet in my trainers and I take myself to the kitchen. I fill up, chocolate crepes, an apple, grapes and a glass of orange juice.

I concentrate on the music coming through my headphone. To stop me counting and eating too quick.

The door at the back of the house next door is stiff. The key has been newly minted. The house is cold and I want to look around. I inch in. The hallway is coated with pictures of the daughters Irene has and those daughters had grandchildren and I am hazarding a guess one of those grandchildren had a child too. How many generations?

I don’t even know Irene’s last name.

I hope these are close.

I like families. Ones that if you don’t get along with your mum, you can go to your aunt and talk to her, you will be welcome and that aunt’s children will want to come to you too for advice. I barely know my family. My parents have eleven siblings between them and are uncle/aunt eight times over.

My grandparents are in a home and I have six brothers myself, plus my sister. Who I haven’t seen in ten years.

Why should communication be money in a birthday card? It isn’t about the money, its about knowing and I like to be made aware of things. I want to be close to people, I want to support them and I want to know if they have my back too. I want to shake off this lonely, sad feeling I have altogether. I hold my cigarette in my mouth. I feel spooked. My breakfast is causing my stomach to grumble. I wish my food digesting could be more quiet. Cat comes along, scratching against my leg. I stumble backwards, stepping on a wiry tail. I hear the cat yowling. Fuck, my heart is pacing in my chest. The living room has been locked. Upstairs the rooms have been locked. That daughter of Irene, who gave me the key, has locked these doors.

Great, well, I am only feeding the cat anyway.

I sit on the step of the back door.

I stare into the garden, feeling cold. The cat sits on me. She wants the attention, head butting and nipping me. The cat’s bowl is by the door and I fill it with biscuits. The cat eats, making scraping noises. I hear the birds overhead and someone is in the garden, talking on the phone, next  door.

I feel cushioned by isolation.

When it starts to rain I shuffle on my arse into to the kitchen, further in, sitting in the middle of the room, cold tiles on me. The cat looks at me, right up at me, posing, purring and stepping on my toes. ‘What do you want now?’ I ask.

I jump, hearing the rain clatter, and what was that?

The rain beating on the tins in the recycling tub. It is a beast of a noise. I reopen the door to let the cat out, perhaps that is what she wants of me. I sit on the side in the kitchen , listening and I am thinking too. Then I see the cat on the window. She hasn’t been out two minutes and does she need to come back in already? I open the door. The cat is on the mat, shaking herself, wet drops attach to me, soaking through my jeans.

I close the door, prepare to heft myself on the side again but, no, the cat by her empty bowl.

She wants more?

I pour in the biscuits and the cat eats. I wait. I can predict-

Yes, the cat wants out when she is done and I leave too.

I walk through the rain, thinking how beautiful that sound was, the rain on tins.



a third line



The head’s office is in front of me. Picture the scene as one of those western gun downs.

I walk to the door, closer and closer until my nerves are bunched up around my throat.

The door opens and out steps the headmaster from his inner sanctum. I smile.

‘Hiya’ I smile and then want to kick myself. ‘hiya?’ far too friendly.

‘Hello, sir’ I change my plea.

‘Jude’ he says ‘Jude Leach’ his mouth, I think, is attempting to twitch into a smile for me.

The headmaster, I forget to check what his name is on the plague drilled to his office door, invites me in and shuts the door.

He sits behind his desk, which is meticulously neat.

He offers me a seat.

I sit on the back of the chair, feet tapping on the seat. I forget how dirty my shoes are. I move my feet to the edge and wipe the chair of dirt with the heel of my hand.

Now there is a pile of dirt on his carpet.

Major disaster for head of school and, of course, for the poor sod who has to clean it up.

I get off the chair, get onto my hands ad knees to collect the crumbs of dirt from the carpet and smear it back onto the soles of my shoes.

Then I sit again on the chair but properly, facing the headmaster, bloody hell what a disaster, and listen to him talk rules.



the last line


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