I only went out for a women's beach volleyball video. Leave me alone

Share

I'm not overly superstitious. In fact, if anything, I'm the complete opposite. Normally, I'll deliberately walk under a ladder and pat an approaching black cat. I'm the sort of person who pathetically sticks two fingers up to fate and hopes that it wasn't a mistake. I wasn't raised to worry about stuff like that, but you never quite know.

I'm not overly superstitious. In fact, if anything, I'm the complete opposite. Normally, I'll deliberately walk under a ladder and pat an approaching black cat. I'm the sort of person who pathetically sticks two fingers up to fate and hopes that it wasn't a mistake. I wasn't raised to worry about stuff like that, but you never quite know.

Lately, weird signs have started to make me wonder whether someone's got it in for me. Exiting the front door of my flat I was forced to stop as an entire, almost comedy, funeral cortege rolled slowly and silently past me. The top-hatted man walking serenely in front of the procession turned to look at me and raised his hat sadly at me. If I'd had a cap to doff I would have reciprocated, but instead I just waved feebly as a long black car containing a coven of blackened widows crept past me. I peered nervously at the name spelt out slightly tastelessly in flowers on the hearse: "Raymond". I was relieved it wasn't something weirder like my own name, but was soon working out how to spell my own name from it while avoiding the cracks in the pavement.

Later the same day I was going down the Marylebone Road, minding my own business on my turd-coloured Vespa, when a rather smart, tinted Mercedes pulled up next to me at the lights by the Planetarium. The rear window slid silently down and an expressionless Levantine face peered out at me through Aviator sunglasses. As the lights turned green he drew an index finger across his throat and sneered before the car roared off, his window retracting smoothly.

I stopped my bike in a nearby bus-stop and took a couple of deep breaths. If I was a superstitious fellow then I might have parked it where it stood and taken a cab home but I'm not, so I didn't. I had things to do. But it still bugged me. Ten minutes after arriving at my important appointment in the video games shop I started to wonder whether finding this particular ladies' beach volleyball game was worth dying for.

I drove home slowly, determined to lock myself up for the rest of the day and watch daytime TV. I hadn't done that for years; it could be fun. Then I remembered there was a reason that I hadn't done that for years. It represented years of unemployment, lack of direction, and Kilroy. I locked myself in to play the slightly inferior version of ladies' beach volleyball I already owned. That felt safe.

As I arrived home I locked up my wheeled turd and climbed the five stairs that lead to my front door. Then I stopped. Lying in the perfect centre of the door mat was the body of a dead robin. It looked calm, almost asleep, but I knew it was dead. I don't know how I knew as I had no experience in robin pathology, but I just knew. I also knew that this was the triptych, the final message. It was the sign that I wasn't imagining things. Wasn't a dead robin a mafia sign of impending death? Maybe it was a crow? I knew that a horse's head in your bed wasn't good but if it had come to that you were probably already dead. There was also something about sleeping with fish but that has never been my bag so was probably a red herring.

I looked around me. The street was deserted. A bush rustled and I jumped, but it was only a pigeon. A pigeon? Maybe it was a dead pigeon, not a robin, that I had to worry about. Do they have robins in the Bronx or Sicily? Check the internet. No threatening emails. Only the usual ones about enlarging my penis. How do they know? They must have a camera somewhere in the house. Rip out the electrical sockets. That's where they always put them. Must get rid of clothes now. Right, I'm naked and there aren't any more sockets. Smash the telly, Sky is watching me, Rupert Murdoch sitting in his penthouse in Kookaburra watching a naked me smashing my mobile phone. You'll never get me alive. I could live here without seeing anyone for years. They wouldn't be expecting that, they want me on the streets. I've got a plan, lucky me.

React Now

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Photographer / Floorplanner / Domestic Energy Assessor

£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Photographer/ Floor planner /...

Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - Surrey - £40,000

£30000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - Guildford/Craw...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Assistant

£13500 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Customer Service Assistant is...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - OTE £35,000

£16000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An ambitious and motivated Sale...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

General Election 2015: Ed Miliband hasn’t ‘suddenly’ become a robust leader. He always was

Steve Richards
 

Costa Rica’s wildlife makes me mourn our paradise lost

Michael McCarthy
Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence