Blonde Colleague: Anyways. Did you go for a drink with that lass then?
Me: Mmm hm.
B.C: You did? God, you tell no-one nothing you. So? Any good?
I shrug and make a face.
B.C: It’s like pulling teeth with you. So – why, like? Aside from her obviously being blind or a mental or something if she’s giving you the time of day.
Me: No. It’s just…she was ‘nice’, you know?
B.C: What’s wrong with that? A nice lass wouldn’t do YOU any harm. Level you out a bit.
Me: I just don’t really like ‘nice’ people.
B.C: YOU DON’T LIKE ANYONE! God. You’re going to die alone, do you know that?
Me: Rather that than knock-around with some ‘nice’ girl who’ll end up making me pray FOR an early demise.
B.C: What do you mean anyways? ‘Nice’?
Me: Well. [Begin counting bullet-points on my fingers] 1) She works for a charity and –
B.C: [Screwing her face in disgust at the very idea of ‘altruism’] What sort of fucking charity?
Me: - oh I don’t know, spastic kids or something I’d stopped listening at that point. 2) She’s also a part-time student and –
B.C: [Equally appalled] Fuck! Studying what?
Me: Psychology and child-care.
B.C: Jesus fucking Christ. What’s that going to get her?
Me: Dunno. A free copy of the Guardian and a pair of moccasins when she graduates I’d have thought. And 3) she does volunteer work for her local Girl Guides.
B.C: Fuck off!
Me: I’m not even joking.
B.C: [Flicking her cigarette across the street and not noticing it hit an elderly woman’s wheeled-shopping-basket thing] Fuck me you’re better off out of that.
Me: Tell me about it.
We head back into our office, a place of dreadful raw-nerved competitiveness and awful pressure where we would each fuck the other over without a second’s thought, far, far away from any horrendous ‘nice’ people. We sit down, stinking of cigarette smoke and cynicism and glare at people.
I wouldn’t have it any other way.