getting out of my mother’s car after the obligatory Thursday-night dinner at
Thanks. Oh and I shan’t injure myself whilst putting my trousers on again.
[chuckling] I told M [M is her husband] about that –
MM: Oh you
were out having a smoke. He thought it was really funny. If you tell anyone,
though, you must say it was one of your ‘episodes’…
for work but this as yet presents no immediate physical danger. I’ve kept my
ablutions down to 10 minutes and am getting dressed.
I begin to
put on my trousers. I have done this many times. I am getting quite good at it.
I have no immediate fears for my well-being.
I plunge my
right leg into my trousers. I have not cut my toe-nails in some time. I am
single. If I were in a new relationship my toenails would be immaculate. If I
were once again in a long-term relationship they would be as dreadful as they
big-toenail catches-upon the lining of the right-leg of my trousers.
As any man
owning well-tailored apparel will know, the lining of one’s trousers cease
about half-way between the crotch and the knee. My toe catches there, takes
hold and forces my entire body weight into the knee of my right-trouser leg.
sends my head hurtling toward the wall over my dressing table, propelled by the
entire weight of my body and the effect of gravity also. I don’t weigh a lot,
but it’s enough when it’s propelling your head toward brick and plaster.
I think all
of this in the milliseconds that are to follow:
“Oh dear, I will eventually be discovered, rotting, with my trousers
around my ankles. People will think ‘Micheal Hutchence’ or ‘David Carradine’. I
can’t have this.”
my children having to explain this to their friends in later life, perhaps at University or something, “So, they
found him with his pants down?” They will be asked. They’ll just shrug and say
that their mother left me “before all that”.
newspaper will describe me as ‘troubled’. Possibly a ‘loner’.
returns to normal and at the last possible instant I put my hand out.
ricochets up and down my arm.
eye-socket – already circled with scar tissue – is millimeters away from the
wall. I know from experience that had it been my face instead of my hand I’d be
I flop back
onto my bed and finish the normally danger-free process of putting my trousers
on. I pick the flakes of paint from my hand – which had hit the wall with such
force it had removed them from the plaster and lodged them into my palm. I
stand up with difficulty – my hips had hit the top of my dressing-table and
limited my ability to walk for days after.
minutes later, I get into the car of the colleague who kindly gives me a lift
into work each morning. She notices my limp and the burst blood-vessels and
blood-blisters on my hand.
Colleague: Oooh! What happened?