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.Reuse content