Friday 2nd June
8st 7. Alcohol units
0. Cigarettes 0. Calories 900.
read in an article that Kathleen Tynan, late wife of the late Kenneth,
had "inner poise" and, when writing, was to be found
immaculately dressed, sitting at a small table in the centre of the
room, sipping at a glass of chilled white wine. Kathleen Tynan would
not, when late with a press release for Perpetua, for example, lie
terrified under the duvet, fully dressed, chain smoking, glugging cold
sake out of a beaker and putting make-up on as a deranged displacement
therefore, whenever things have risked ranging out of control, I have
repeated the phrase "inner poise" and imagined myself wearing
white linen and sitting at a table with flowers on it. "Inner
poise." No fags for six days now. Only 3 alcohol units consumed
over the last week as grudging concession to Tom who complained it was
like spending the evening with a halibut. My body is a temple. Nothing
of value comes through struggle - it is all about flow. Zen and the art
of life. "Flow." I wonder if it's time to go to bed yet? Oh
no, it's only 8.30. "Inner
9st. Cigarettes 64. Alcohol units 14. Calories 8,400.
8.45 last night I was running a relaxing aromatherapy bath and sipping
camomile tea when a car burglar alarm started up. I have been waging a
campaign in our street against car burglar alarms which are intolerable
and counter-productive since you are more likely to get your car broken
into by an angry neighbour trying to silence the burglar alarm than by a
time, however, instead of raging and calling the police I merely
breathed in through flared nostrils and murmured "inner
poise". The doorbell rang. I picked up the intercom. Hysterical
sobbing. I rushed downstairs. There was my friend Magda, in floods of
tears with her husband Jeremy's Saab convertible, all lights flashing
emitting a "doowee dooweee dooweee" of indescribable loudness
while the baby screamed as if being murdered in the car seat. Every
window in the street had a head in it.
bloody well can't!" shrieked Magda, tugging at the car bonnet.
"Just going to ring my husband. Jerrers!" She yelled into the
portable phone, "Jerrers! How d'you open the bonnet on the
is very posh. Our street is not very posh. Our street still has half
torn-off posters saying "Free Nelson Mandela" in the windows.
not bloody coming back, you bastard," Magda was yelling. "Just
tell me how to open the fucking bonnet."
were both in the car now, pulling every lever we could find. Magda
swigging intermittently at a bottle of Veuve Cliquot. By this time a
small crowd was gathering. Next thing Jeremy, thank God, roared up on
his Harley Davidson, but instead of turning off the alarm he started
trying to grab the baby out of the back seat with Magda screaming at
him. Then the Australian guy, Bruce, who lives below me, opened his
Bridgid," he shouted. "There's water pouring through my
ran upstairs, but when I got to my door, I realised I'd shut it behind
me with the key inside. I started banging my head against it, yelling,
"Sh*t, sh*t, sh*t." Then Bruce appeared in the hall.
he said, "You'd biddah hev one of these."
I said, practically eating the proffered fag.
cigarettes and a lot of fiddling with a credit card later we were in, to
find water flooding everywhere.We couldn't turn the taps off. Bruce
rushed downstairs, returning with a spanner and a bottle of scotch. He
managed to turn off the taps and started helping me to mop up. Then the
burglar alarm stopped and we rushed to the window just in time to see
the Saab roar off, with the Harley Davidson in hot pursuit. We both
started laughing - we'd had quite a lot of whisky by now. Then suddenly,
I don't quite know how, he was kissing me. This was quite an awkward
situation, etiquette-wise, because I had just flooded his flat, and
ruined his evening so I didn't want to seem ungrateful. I know that
didn't give him licence to sexually harass me, but the complication was
that it was quite enjoyable, really, after all the dramas and inner
bloody poise. Then suddenly a man in motorbike leathers appeared at the
open door holding two pizza boxes.
sh*t," said Bruce. "Ah forgot ah ordered pizza." So we
ate the pizzas and had a bottle of wine and a few more cigarettes and
then he started trying to kiss me again and I slurred, "No, no, we
mushn't," at which point he went all funny and started muttering,
"Ow chraarst. Ow chraarst."
is it?" I said.
merrid," he said. "But Bridgid, ah think ah live you."
he'd finally gone I slumped on the floor, shaking, with my back to the
front door, chain-smoking butt ends. "Inner poise," I said,
half heartedly, then the doorbell rang. I ignored it.
rang again. Then it rang without stopping. I picked it up.
said a voice I recognised. "I never realised before. I love
I use your toilet?"
hours, four pizzas, one Indian takeaway, three packets of cigarettes and
two bottles of champagne later Daniel is still here. I am in love. I am
also now between one and all of the following:
back on 30 a day
have just been sick, and as I slumped over the loo trying to do it
quietly so Daniel wouldn't hear, he suddenly yelled out from the
bedroom, "there goes your inner poise, my plumptious. Best place
for it, I say."