I will end this anecdote with the words, ”No, this is definitely tomato paste.” It will be a common, colloquial situation, and you will most likely feel disappointed and empty. There are no grandiose schemes of romance or emotion. Everything just is. Everything has always just been.

Just like the lights from office buildings when standing by the river Thames late at night, my life has been repetitive. The same actions, every day, just like the same lights go on and off in those windows at the same time.  There has never been a moment when I thought that I was special and would achieve greatness of a wonderful multitude – I’ve always thought myself to be somewhat dull.

When other children wanted to be police officers, marine biologists, NobelPrize laureates, ballerinas or super models, I wanted to have a job. Maybe as a store clerk. Something that would be enough to pay my bills so I could go home and watch TV and eat pizza every night.

That is also essentially what I do, so basically I have reached my life’s goal. It was probably the easiest thing I have ever done. Of course there were some pleasant changes to my plan. I have a job that doesn’t start until late, so I can wake up in the morning and masturbate mindlessly in the shower while I try not to focus on the semi-cold water running from the shower head, and trying to avoid thinking about the uncanny smell of mould and dirt in my bathroom.

I sometimes have people come over; I drag them home from the local pub when we are both reeking of alcohol. I hardly ever remember what they look like, unless they are in bed with me the next morning. I sometimes wish that would happen, to have an honest conversation, to hear a story from someone, to cook pancakes for breakfast. I do not know what makes them run away, but I always end up alone by my kitchen table, with an Americano, a hard-boiled egg and a cigarette. I should lay off the eggs. I have cracked shells everywhere. Hundreds of thousands of small tiny pieces that could have been a beautiful pupa for a baby chicken to burst out of, but that I decided to discard to cook the creature inside for my own pleasure.
I am often struck by how terrible humanity is. We eat other mammals, we slay each other, sometimes in the name of legislation, we leave other people alone to die, and rot away. We use sex as a tool to diverge from loneliness or boredom, instead of being a display of passion. When I have those surges I usually eat, and they go away. It is true though, that thought. That humanity is evil.

I read this story in the paper yesterday that a man had died in his apartment three months ago, and the police only found out when the neighbours complained over the smell. I often imagine my death like that. There is no one around to care, no one who visits me regularly.

I love the sound of my upstairs neighbour’s footsteps, because she wears high heels, and she has wooden floors. I imagine her being my mother, walking around in our two-story villa. I fantasize about her cooking dinner, like a steak or a whole chicken, and then I cry myself to sleep with a bowl of Tesco’s ready-made Spaghetti Carbonara in front of a re-run of the EastEnders. I don’t laugh at the jokes. Ever.

Sometimes I don’t get up out of bed at all. I just lay there, for 24 hours, more, not eating, not sleeping. I feel about as useless as the dirty laundry on my floor.
That happened today. However, as I finally got out of the bedroom and into the kitchen I found something out of the ordinary. Extraordinary, one might even say. Glass and dark, red, clotted matter covered my floor. At first I thought it might be blood. A mystery, a story, something for me to recite in conversation with another human being. I do not care about leading a particularly interesting life, but it would have been good for spicing up otherwise bland dialogue.
As I came closer, I bowed my head in shame, and clenched my fists so hard they turned white. I might even have made some marks in my skin, with my fingernails. There evaporates every hope of a plot line for this soulless life.  I recalled that I had balanced a glass jar on a shelf the night before, and apparently it had slipped off during the night, maybe from the vibrations from my very loud 20-something neighbour’s music. I suddenly felt a huge need to say it out loud, as if that would take the shame of fleeting assumption away.
“It is not  blood. “ My voice was monotonous. “No, this is definitely tomato paste.”




Amanda says:

To make it as horrendous as possible without pesky grammar errors or misspellings, I followed the guide ‘ how to write suckitudinous fiction’, found here: http://hollylisle.com/how-to-write-suckitudinous-fiction/. I hope that you find suckitudinous slightly worse than bad.