8st 9 (VG); cigarettes 25; alcohol units 5; half-hour units moping about being chucked 11 (VG); half-hour units crying 7 (excellent progress); calls to 1471 to see if Daniel has rung 85 (G).
I'm falling apart. Tom took me to an opening at the Saatchi gallery to stop me obsessing about being chucked by Daniel. "Bridget," he muttered nervously as we walked into the white hole and sea of grunge youths, "you know it's unhip to laugh at Installation, don't you?"
"OK, OK," I said sulkily. "I won't make any dead fish jokes."
"No Tiwda bleedin' Swinton gags ivah." When he's with his art school grunge friends Tom always starts talking like Grant from EastEnders. Someone called Gav said "Hi": 22 maybe, sexy, in a crop tank top, revealing a chopping board-like midriff.
"It's really, really, really, really amazing," Gav was saying. "It's, like, a sullied Utopia with these really, really, really good echoes of, like, lost hierarchies." He led us excitedly across the big white space to a toilet roll: inside out with the cardboard outside the paper.
"Roi', yeah, it's like, alienation but like, compensating with external form. Mazin'," gushed Tom. The prat.
They looked at me expectantly. Suddenly, I knew I was going to cry. Tom was now drooling over a giant bar of soap bearing the imprint of a penis. Gav was staring at me. "Wow, that is, like, a really, really, really wild ..." he whispered reverently as I blinked back tears "... response."
"Just going to the loo," I blurted, rushing away past a configuration of sanitary towel bags thinking, oh my God he's gorgeous. I wanted to kiss him. I'm turning into one of those sad, older women who gets aroused by toyboys . There was a queue outside a Portaloo, and I joined it, shaking. By the time it was my turn I was absolutely bursting. Suddenly I felt a hand on my arm. It was Daniel.
"Bridge, what are you doing here?"
"What does it look like?" I snapped, "Excuse me, I'm in a hurry." I burst into the cubicle, and was just about to get on with it, when I realised the toilet was actually a moulding of the inside of a toilet, vacuum packed in plastic. Then Daniel put his head round the door.
"Bridge, don't wee on the Installation, will you?" he said, and closed the door again. When I came out he had vanished. I couldn't see Gav, Tom or anyone I knew. Eventually I found the real toilets, sat down and burst into tears, thinking I wasn't fit to be in society any more and just needed to get away till I stopped feeling like this. Tom was waiting outside. "Come and talk to Gav," he said. "He's really, like, into you." Then he took one look at my face and said: "Oh shit, I'll take you home." It's no good. When somebody chucks you, apart from missing them, apart from the fact that the whole little world you've created together collapses, and that everything you see or do reminds you of them, the worst is the thought that they tried you out and in the end, the whole sum of parts which adds up to you got stamped REJECT by the one you love. How can you not be left with the personal confidence of a broad bean?
"Gav likes you," said Tom.
"Gav is 10. Anyway he only liked me because he thought I was crying about a toilet roll."
"Well you were, in a way," said Tom. "... bloody git, Daniel ..."
Tuesday 10 October
10.30am. Office. Daniel's at the Frankfurt Book Fair so work's not too horrific, but Perpetua's smirk is beyond endurance. Must find another job.
11.30am. Mum rang. "Darling," she said. "Guess what? Wake Up Britain are looking for researchers. Current affairs, terribly good. I've spoken to Richard Finch, the editor, and told him all about you - I said you had a degree in politics, darling, don't worry, far too busy to check. He wants you to come in on Thursday for a chat." Thursday. Oh My God. Thursday's the day after tomorrow.
I was just trying twitchily to watch the news and read the Economist whilst memorising the names of the Shadow Cabinet, when Mum burst in bearing carrier bags. "Now, darling," she said, sailing past me into the kitchen. "I've brought you some nice soup, and some smart outfits of mine for Thursday!" I looked at her. She was wearing a fuchsia suit, black tights and high- heeled court shoes. She looked like Cilla Black on Blind Date. "Where do you keep your soup ladles?" she said, banging cupboard doors. "Honestly darling. What a mess! Now. Have a look through these bags while I cook."
I peered cautiously into the first one. We were talking lemon jacket and pleated skirt with a repeat terracotta leaf. "Er, Mum ..." I began. Her portable phone rang. "Ah, that'll be Julio. Yup, yup." She was balancing the phone under her chin and scribbling. "Yup, yup ... Put it on, darling," she hissed. "Yup, yup."
Now I have missed Newsnight and she has gone off to a party leaving me looking like Teresa Gorman. "Don't be silly, darling," was her parting shot. "If you don't do something about your appearance you'll never get a new job, never mind another boyfriend!" I am wearing a lime-green two- piece over an electric blue slithery top, green button earrings and blue metallic eyeshadow. Charming young whippersnapper as he is, I am quite glad that Gav is not here at this particular moment to see me.Reuse content