AN UPLIFTING TALE — A TRUE STORY ABOUT A CAT CALLED BORIS

Summer turned to autumn and with the cold weather approaching we started to make provisions for him to be warm and comfortable, so we made up a bed in the shed — a box stuffed with old blankets. The shed door was left permanently open, so that he could wander in and out. We plugged in an electric oil-filled radiator and kept it on throughout the night. It took the chill off the shed and kept him nice and warm.


WE ARE HERBERTS AND WE COME FROM HERBERT ROAD

Stephanie is lying on the floor alongside the settee, covered in blankets. I wonder why she’s not snuggled up on the settee. It’s only a two seater but she could lay on it propped up on pillows. Maybe she’s more comfortable where she is? At least she’s able to stretch out.

There’s a malevolent atmosphere in the room. It feels like a morgue. I have a sense of foreboding, as if I am in the wrong place at the wrong time.


CHALLENGING THE PERCEPTIONS OF DISABILITY

I explain that I’m working on an art project, which aims to ‘challenge people’s perceptions of disability’. I need some willing participants to model for me. The idea is to pose provocatively dressed able-bodied men and women alongside wheelchair users of the opposite sex, adoringly hugging and kissing them. I’d take several photographs and then produce a series of paintings. The idea behind the project is to show the world that disabled people have their own sexuality and that they are just as desirable as anybody else. “I want to destroy the perception that disabled people are impotent and undesirable,” I add.


IT’S A FUNNY OLD WORLD

She even fellates him as they drive through the Forest of Dean. John can barely steer a straight line as her moving mouth slides up and down his penis. Turns out she loves the taste of semen, says it tingles on the tip of her tongue. “It’s like it fizzes,” she tells him. “It’s like it fizzes.” Johnny has never experienced anything like it. “Carol …” He keeps whispering her name. “Carol …” Stopping the van in a wooded parking bay, John climbs into the back, picks up his guitar and begins to sing: “Oh Carol, don’t you let him steal your heart away … I’m going to learn to love you if it takes me all night and day.”


THE BEST OF A BAD SITUATION

Now I’ve got a hideous cyst growing on my spinal-cord at level C5. Already it has caused considerable paralysis. The cyst is creeping upwards, paralysing more of my body as it grows. My wrists are weakening. I can no longer cock my left hand back, and I can’t twist my wrists or move my hand from side to side. My tricep muscles are practically useless. I can’t feel or use my hands or legs. My stomach and chest muscles are also paralysed. Coughing is impossible.


My Friend Geraldine — The Conspiracy Theorist

But Geraldine quietly reflect on the conspiracies that supposedly dominate our lives. She conducts her psychotherapy sessions with no mention to her clients of her unconventional thoughts, the flat earth theory and the fact that the Illuminati are masterminding global events, planting agents in governments and corporations in order to gain political power, influence, and establish a New World Order.


MY FRIEND CYRIL

A couple of Francis Street thugs jeered at him, and with much contemptuous laughter shouted out: “That’ll make your eyes blacker.” I told them to shut the funk up. With incredulous looks on their faces, they asked me to repeat what I had said. I replied angrily: “Why don’t you shut the fuck up?” They moved quickly and menacingly towards me …


I DIDN’T LOVE HER

It got to the point where I couldn’t bear kissing her. The passion had gone. We were standing outside my house, the streetlight shining on her cheeks and nose, her glossy hair and full lips. It was now or never. I had to tell her. And so with a quivering voice I said it was over. She burst into tears and ran up the road. I chased after her. She threatened to throw herself under a car. I held her. She pressed her head against my chest


IT’S ONLY ACID IT WILL GO AWAY

Jocelyn was on the settee, rocking backwards and forwards. Her eyes were bulging. She was trembling. “It’s only acid it will go away, it’s only acid it will go away, it’s only acid it will go away,” she repeated over and over again.


IT’S A SMALL WORLD

Entering the restaurant, I ask for three portions of pork and rice to take away. The manager approaches me. He smiles. We talk. He is wearing a suit with an open neck shirt. It has gold rings on his fingers. His hair is dark and combed back. He has a gold tooth in the upper front of his mouth. He says his daughter would like to learn how to play the guitar and wondered if I would teach her. I say I would be glad to. Maybe a couple of lessons a week. He asks me when I can start and I tell him tomorrow afternoon. I will nip in around 3 o’clock. “Has she got a guitar?” I ask.