Just don't ask me to wipe the blood off my telephone

You Know those sort of days you get, when your Pot Noodle won't soften no matter how much you wait and stir? And you end up eating it, still slightly crunchy. Insectile, like little carapaces, thinly lubricated by a beefy abdominal slime. You know those sort of days? It's been one of those.

I might as well have been a surgeon, for all the good it's done me. An early-morning Q-Tip accident and now there's blood on the telephone. If I'd been a surgeon, it would be a sign of prowess, achievement, superiority. "Oh yes, he's a surgeon's surgeon. Dedicated? God, yes. There's even blood on his telephone." As it is, though, they just say, "Ugh."

Who? There's nobody to see it. I could be one of those corpses. You know: found. "The body had apparently lain for several days before it was ... found. Police refused to confirm rumours that a heavily bloodstained telephone was found near the corpse."

I suppose I should get a damp rag and clean the blood off, but, listen, why don't you just shut up? Get off my back, with your smug, sanctimonious, pecker-up exhortations. It's all right for you, but for some of us a damp rag could be the last straw. The one that breaks the camel's back. Only a damp rag, you say? Yes indeed. But here's a good rule: never mind the straws; watch the camel.

Sorry to offend, but, listen, do you want a smack in the head or what? Can't you tell when somebody is having a bad day, a real barking, corking stinker of a crunchy-Pot-Noodle, blood-on-the-telephone day?

Prozac. Lovely Prozac. That would be the thing, but it takes three weeks to kick in and I'll be right as rain by Thursday. They use it recreationally in America, did you know that? "Hey, guys, let's drop some P, then we can have a real blast on ... hang on ... yeah, on 11 August. Way to go!"

What I need is self-sufficiency. I imagine myself as one of those Victorian literary types, shady apartments somewhere opposite the British Museum, a calm orderly life of composition in the morning, luncheon at the club, the afternoon snooze, congenial evenings and home to a narrow blameless bed. "Given the chance ..." I muse. But the trouble is, I am frequently given the chance, and all I do is itch and pine. It's a question of personality, the dark green sock in the whites wash of life.

I'm not going to the office any more. Perhaps that's the trouble. I had been going to the office, but the script is finished now, and they are all very disappointed in it, and now I am not going to the office any more. It shouldn't bother me. I should be relieved. The office was becoming a dangerous place for me. Not only was I becoming clearly institutionalised, but I was nurturing a potentially lethal passion for one of the clever women there, a crop-headed Tank Girl with skin like Yucatan honey and the dirtiest laugh since Sid James. No good. No chance. Won't do. Rats.

But I miss the office. I sort of miss the script, too (post-natal depression, all its life ahead of it and I won't be there to watch it grow up), but mostly it's the office. It's wonderful being interested in people just for the hell of it. I mean, there they are, perfect strangers whose lives and histories and tastes and inclinations are a closed book, and yet, just by virtue of sharing the same building, they suddenly become the objects of intense, speculative fascination. It's as though, in the office, the actual work is only a pretext, and we are really all just there for each other's entertainment, a collective mutual sideshow without guilt or obligation.

It's possible that the answer is to be rich. I am seriously considering being rich, so far as one can seriously consider anything on a day like this, sweating uneasily beneath a heaving, sultry cloudbase which keeps threatening to break but never does, like a reluctant or grudging lover: "More! More!" but it's never enough and in the end all you can do is roll over and sulk. Rich would be nice. Rich would be an 18th-century townhouse, something garish at St-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, something simple in the Maine backwoods and a Left Bank atelier for those moments marginals (six freshly pressed suits of bleu de travail in the sandalwood wardrobe, and a ruined Mexican aristocrat to cook the dinner). Rich would be tantrums, because who could tell me to stop it? Rich would be girls with wren-bone wrists and ingenious eyes, blue as a bruise, whose idea of fun was to be tied to a tree with fetters of torn linen, and they're not pretending! They're not doing it to shut me up, or for the money! No! It's because I'm rich! Rich would be a custom-made portable collapsible Hermes tree, and a hereditary Moldavian linen-tearer, on 24-hour call.

The trouble is, to get rich like that, you have to be a bastard. That's where I fall down. I think bastard - dear God, I think bastard all the time - but somehow I can't bring myself to do bastard. I want to. But I can't.

And yet I know a chap who can. We're worried about him. Not just a bastard; a Nazi, womanising bastard. A Nazi, womanising, rich bastard, and do you know what? No wren-bones or tantrums for him; no houses, no Lear Jets, gold watches or collapsible trees. The rich Nazi womanising bastard lives modestly in a rented flat, millions accruing in the bank, and what he wants above all else is a wife. A wife! And miserable as sin because he doesn't have one.

He's quite wrong, of course. A wife would make him even more miserable. He's one of nature's bachelors, but you're not allowed to be a bachelor any more. And here am I, wanting to be a rich bachelor. Maybe if I sent the rich Nazi womanising bastard up to my ex-office while I stayed at home with his money, and then I could... no. No. What I want is to clean the blood off the telephone. What we all want is for the storm to break. An inch and a half of rain, and a clean fresh start. Is it too much to ask? !

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
Mark, Katie and Sanjay in The Apprentice boardroom
Arts and Entertainment

Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites

Arts and Entertainment
Frances O'Connor and James Nesbitt in 'The Missing'

TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations

Arts and Entertainment
Joey Essex will be hitting the slopes for series two of The Jump


Who is taking the plunge?
Arts and Entertainment
Katy Perry as an Ancient Egyptian princess in her latest music video for 'Dark Horse'

Arts and Entertainment
Dame Judi Dench, as M in Skyfall

Arts and Entertainment
Morrissey, 1988

Arts and Entertainment
William Pooley from Suffolk is flying out to Free Town, Sierra Leone, to continue working in health centres to fight Ebola after surviving the disease himself

Arts and Entertainment
The Newsroom creator Aaron Sorkin

Arts and Entertainment
Matt Berry (centre), the star of Channel 4 sitcom 'Toast of London'

TVA disappointingly dull denouement
Arts and Entertainment
Tales from the cryptanalyst: Benedict Cumberbatch in 'The Imitation Game'

Arts and Entertainment
Pixie Lott has been voted off Strictly Come Dancing 2014

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

    Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

    The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
    Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

    Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

    The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
    Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

    The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

    Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
    La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

    Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

    The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
    10 best high-end laptops

    10 best high-end laptops

    From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
    Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

    Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

    The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
    Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

    Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

    The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
    Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

    'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

    After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
    Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

    Homeless Veterans campaign

    Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
    Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

    Meet Racton Man

    Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
    Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

    Garden Bridge

    St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
    Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

    Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

    An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
    Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

    Joint Enterprise

    The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
    Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

    Freud and Eros

    Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum