Piccalilli Circus – London


Twelve long angry days of rage and drink had done nothing but lighten his wallet and alienate some more friends. As he fell backwards into his apartment and listened to the wild African drums blasting on repeat from the stereo, he felt at home. The dirt, the despair and the decadence and wanton waste of everything that characterised his selfish, perfect life surrounded him, from the stench of abandoned cheese and meat to the cd player left on full volume for over a week. Yes, he was home. He ran a dirty and cut hand through his somehow clean hair. He turned the music down and fell back onto a sofa, rising again to sweep the mess off it with his arm.

He closed his eyes, aching from lack of sleep, and crossed his legs. The smells of his flat swam around his head. Rotting food and stale beer and wine, old incense sticks and cigarette smoke brought back memories and shivers. He swam back into sleep and a hint of a smile played onto his face and dreams greeted him like old and close friend.

The early evening chill had crept into his throat and hugged his clothes to him, there must have been a window open he thought. There wasn’t, he’d forgotten to close the front door. Someone was making dinner from the smell. He opened his eyes. Candles were burning and incense beside. Thin clouds of smoke stretched lazily across the room. He sat up. The smell had changed. Whoever was cooking had cleaned. He hoped it wasn’t his mother. It would be just like the old bitch to try an’ own his hangover. He felt into the crumpled tweed pocket of his jacket for a fag, then to his trousers. He’d slept on them and half were broken. Still, he lit one and stood to find out what was cooking.


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