A woman on either side and a snake in my hand.   Leave a comment

Once little Tilly from next door rang the bell and asked “Are Becky & the rats in?”. I didn’t have the wit to say, “Alas no, just Pete Um and The Man From Uranus…”.
Bex worked in a tattoo shop but she was also an artist working in the medium of dead animals. Spraypainted roadkill and stuff. She’s gone to Spain with Andy T now and overall the house smells less. In fact, now that that cunt’s finally done the tiling in the shower we might all start getting a bit la-di-da if we’re not careful. Did I tell you the council caved in and they now accept the existence of the kid that lives with me 50% of the time, so I’m in Band A at long last and can apply for two-bedroom flats. They did backdate my status too, which is great, but only to November 2009, which is confusing. Poor bugger’s been living with me since July 2008 and he turned 10 two days ago. I saw a photo of how he looked when he was seven and I almost cried because he looked so young to be put through the breakup, whereas now he is insouciance itself. In the end they decided to believe me because every official I encountered via letter, email and telephone were sort of made out of some kind of bricks, but the ombudsman lady had this oddly human quality to her where you could speak sentences to her and she would grasp the meaning of what you were saying. It was pretty weird after the application->appeal->Independent Complaints Commissioner-> two-and-a-half fucking years of failing to prove the unprovable to suddenly emerge into this sunlit meadow of clarity and understanding. Ostensibly the reason for this breakthrough is because, well, the council woman was on the phone to me and she asks me in a sort of disinterested way whether my “partner lived in a one-bedroom flat”. I was like: “…my ex-partner lives in a one-bedroom flat” and she goes “Oh, I don’t think we were aware of this…” So yeah, this is the ex-partner whose signed statements saying I have 50% care are not believed even though they are requested as “evidence”. And this is the son who they don’t believe stays with me who suddenly needs his own bedroom because he is inadequately housed at his mother’s. Anyway, if you don’t know what I’m on about I wrote about it at tedious length here and the thing I was really resenting at the end was the way my situation with the council was turning me into this single-issue robot who couldn’t focus on anything else apart from my perceived injustice. But yeah, it was an injustice and I fought the Law and have prevailed. I seriously suspect that I am the only dad with 50% care in the UK who has done so too, such was the royal pain in the ass that it was to stick with it. Ironically there is a single 2-bedroom flat in the Arbury for me to bid on at my first opportunity to bid on 2-beds, but hopefully next fortnight’s batch will be more attractive. But, as I say, I’m looking to move on even before I physically move and I only started typing today to talk about dead snakes.
There’d been this tupperware box next to the toaster for a couple of weeks but I hadn’t checked it cos, you know, I live in a shared house with 5.5+ other people (ha ha) and it wasn’t mine so I just left it. Then Jo did some Mega Tidy out of kindness and/or dissertation procrastination and, like a curious vegan obsessive compulsive, opened the box and found herself staring at a very stinky decomposing snake. Only a little green one just less than a foot long, but still a bit of a shock. Anyway she tasks me to get rid of this thing and I go outside to put it in the green wheelie bin, like you do. At the point where I open the box to tip it in the body must have slipped on the bit of kitchen towel it’s resting on so for a second I’m standing there aghast in primeval snake-induced horror thinking the bloody thing LIVES (and I’m someone with a few good snake stories from my colonial days) and in this same moment Sam, my lovely ex, emerges from her flat and makes some sarcastic remark to do with my legendary hesitance. And then Jo, who has not spent more than two minutes in the same room as Sam since we, er, got together/split up…comes out of my front door and thus it is that I find myself with a woman on either side and a snake in my hand. Someone should have painted it in oils.

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