We went out today, Ru and I. We went out.
He was crying and crying, and I just needed some space, some air, so I put him in the pushchair and we went out.
No one messes with me when we go out. No one. Because I look like a mental person. I mean, I am a mental person – or rather, I’m a person who has mental … mental things – but I look like one now. Actually fucking look like it. My hair is lank, and falls round my face. Not framing it nicely. Oh no. Just kinda hangs there like the creature from that film The Grudge. It’s clean though my hair, I washed it for the second time this week, so it’s clean.
My eyes are sunken and engulfed by black bags and a stupid sadness which is leaking from I don’t know where.
My skin is awful, breaking out in scabs like I have some kind of infectious disease spreading across my chin, eating my face. Maybe I’ll turn into one big scab.
I don’t bother with nice clothes any more. I have a Muse T-shirt on. From a tour about seven years ago. It has baby sick on the sleeve but it covers my stick figure, hides the sins beneath, so it works.
The tracksuit bottoms I’m wearing, complete with al ittle stain of yellow poo, should go in the wash, or be burned. I would say they are the source of the smell which has been following me around for a few days.
Even the fucking crazies look at me like I’m crazy, whispering behind their hands.
No one messes with me.
The crazy is spreading. Ru has it. I’m giving it to him in little doses. Maybe that shit travels in breastmilk. He’s wearing a grow that belonged to L. It still has banana stains down the front. Banana never fucking washes out, does it? You ask any parent. Banana stains and Weetabix – that’s what they need to start using to build houses. We’d survive everything if they did that.
The grow is red, and he is grumpy.
No one messes with us.
We went to the pond. Through the estate and down to the duck pond on the edge of the surrounding woodland.
Today there were ducks. Actual ducks floating on the putrid green water. I watched them for a bit with Ru. He looked grumpy.
No upturned shopping trolley today. No carrier bags drifting around, mouthes open ready to ingest an unsuspecting moorhen. Just ducks.
We came back via one if the pathes which cut through the closes, every second I checked behind us, wondering exactly how quickly I could run wearing flip-flops and pushing a pushchair.
Not very. I don’t think I would run very fast at all.
We got to the shops alive, and I spent a good ten minutes choosing a drink. Coke, Ribena, Lucozade, all twenty-three pence per 100ml. That’s a lot. Expensive.
Too expensive for me. Gotta count the pennies, pay for childcare. Gotta save up.
I choose water.
At the till, I’m served by the only looney, and even she eyed me carefully like I’m some kind of rabid creature. I told her I needed electricity.
‘We were just wondering how old your little girl is.’ She said, looking at me with one eye, the other pointing off to the left.
‘Boy actually.’ I corrected her. It’s rude, isn’t it, to correct someone like that, but I’m crazy. Crazies can do what we like.
She looked embarrased and I pretended I didn’t notice her flushed cheeks.
‘He’s eighteen weeks.’ I removed my card from the machine without paying and it beeps angrily at me.
The girl next to me looked at me with sorrow and pity.
‘My youngest, she’s seven months and she’s half his size.’ She said, like it’s some kind of thing to have a little baby.
Like he’s some kind of transvestite giant baby and I’m to be pitied because I’m there in my mismatched clothes. I suppose she thought I hadn’t done it before. I didn’t know what to expect, obviously, being stood there with just one child.
Just one child who looks fucking grumpy.
‘Yeah thanks.’ I smiled at her anyway.
She doesn’t know.
I left the shop and gulped back water like there’s no tomorrow.
Time to take my crazy home.
(Disclaimer: This is a brain-dump, semi-fictional account of what happened.)