Simon looked out of the window, his face pressed against the fabric of the sofa’s arm, lips glossy with drool, his limbs thrown out at strange angles on the cushions, one hand and one foot dragging on the carpet. He was wearing his lucky pants, but they had caught on something in his pocket and were now cutting into his scrotum, giving him the urge to shift position. As he rolled onto his side, he found a bag of tomato ketchup flavoured crisps under his hip and grinned to see Katherine cutting her toenails in the armchair while watching a makeover show for dwarves.
“Why’s the sky so dark?” Simon asked, eating stale crisps, then looking at his fingers. They were yellowed with nicotine and tomato ketchup crisps, his fingernails keeping a layer of a strange black substance.
“It’s Tuesday,” Katherine said, spitting little white crescents into her palm and putting the kitchen scissors to the side.
“Tuesday?” Simon looked around the room, then let his head slump back to the sofa arm. He thought he might have vomited if he’d kept moving, so he lay there and put his hand to his chest. Finding a crusty patch on his t-shirt, he slowly realised he may have done that before.
“You are familiar with the concept, I assume?” Katherine idly watched a dwarf lady getting make up tips from a skinny vampiress thirteen times her height. Katherine chuckled as the dwarf turned around to show off her new dress.
“Waddling!” Simon said, finally managing to turn the bright spot in his vision into a television. “Think they’ll give her heels?”
“Good,” Katherine said, checking her toenails for dirt with the edge of her credit card. “Then the next important factor is the time. It’s the third repeat of the freak to fashion victim programme, Simon. What time does that make it, Captain Ketamine?”
“Look! Will they make her dance?” Simon grinned, reaching into his jeans to rescue his trapped bollock.
“Think.” Katherine didn’t even glance in Simon’s direction, the smell was enough to let her know where Simon was.
“Fuck. Sideshow to Covergirl? Cunt in a bun. I’ve missed, like, three shifts. I’m in so much fucking trouble!” Simon moved to sit up, regretted it instantly, then curled up in a ball on his side in the middle of the sofa.
“Sorted, homie,” Katherine said, shifting her weight slightly to rest her feet on top of the television. She reached out and started rolling a joint. “We told them you tested for HIV and it came back positive, so you were too traumatised to go into work.”
“Again?” Simon looked up from the hedgehog position, seemingly quite touched. “You did that for me? Wonder how many times I can go test, the AIDS is always going to be the winner, innit? Cheers for that, lady, you’re a star.”
“That ain’t even the tip of the iceburg, ginger breadline man. Thank God you don’t get pill belly on crystal, that’s all I can say.”
“Was it messy?” Simon looked across to Katherine, then slowly registered that she was burning a block of resin over the joint she was making. “Ooh, toke.”
“It’s cool.” Still no eye-contact from Katherine, reclined in her chair, looking particularly refined as she licked the filter paper. “You owe me six-hundred pounds.”
“Eh? But that’s as much as the rent and the bills and the subscription to the adult channels put together!” He seemed genuinely confused, but this wasn’t especially difficult.
“No shit. But if you will pay to watch blurred out straight man cock and wank furiously with one hand held in front of your face to block the woman out of view, then what can I say?”
“What else am I meant to do when my cruising budget’s run out and I don’t get cock on tap at home any more. Where is David, anyway?” Simon pushed at the other end of the sofa with his feet, slowly becoming aware that his socks were damp.
“I thought that guy went back to Iraq, though?”
“New client. Get with the times. Not all of us have spent three days unconscious on the settee, you know?” Katherine allowed a hint of annoyance into her voice, but turned to Simon to grin at him as she said it. “Dubai, anyway.”
“Three days, that’s nearly a record. You shouldn’t have woken me.”
“We should have smothered you, but I’ve never seen someone drown in their own vomit, so I stuck round to keep rolling you onto your back so I could find out what sick-scented death rattle bubbles sound like.” She shifted her attention back to the little lady on the television, who was trying on swimwear. “Why does dwarf sex make me feel like a paedophile?”
“Same reason beer makes me feel like a kebab, I think.”
“Uh? Nah. You look like a kebab.”
“That bad, huh?” Simon managed to sit up and put his face into his hands, then picked at the black stuff in his nails with his teeth. “He’s working?”
“Had to take a whole heap of shit to the laundrette, thanks to you, so he managed to pick up some work while I babysat.”
Simon scowled, chewing on the nail tar. He leant forward to pick up the nail scissors, but Katherine reached over and handed him the joint instead. “Not quite hair of the dog, but you spent your rent money on drugs, so we’re on herbal for a little while.”
Simon shrugged and lit up. “I don’t remember shit. We went out after David got his first client, yeah?”
Katherine nodded, “Yup. That was Friday.”
“Normally at least four sleeps between the two, Simon, but not for you! We were impressed you made it through to sunrise on Monday without sitting down or blinking, but guess even crystal queens gotta give some time.”
“Tuesday?” Simon groaned, then sat back and took a long toke, coughed it all straight back up until he could taste bile, held his hand out for a second in case Katherine looked even vaguely concerned, which she didn’t, and then took another drag, letting this one out through his nostrils in wide plumes.
“Life in the old horse yet,” she said, watching the dwarf lady dance on TV. “I still wouldn’t fuck her.”
“Quit with the freakshow lesbo action, will you? I just woke up.”
“You woke up about half an hour ago, honey, those lucky pants of yours leave nothing to the imagination.” She made a groping action with her hand then reached over to take the joint back. “Your fly was open, I think David might have been checking your knob for skidmarks while you were asleep. Not as bad as he makes out. His must be really, really tiny.”
“Cunt the perv off, you... oh, just!” Simon fumbled for his flies. They were zipped shut. “Lying bitch! I was feeling violated by your woman-gaze for a minute there.”
“Any bitch worth her salt can open and close a zip without disturbing its contents,” Katherine smoked lazily then looked at her nails. “So, what’s the story?”
“Ha ha,” Simon said, adjusting himself inside his pants, having a good rummage around in there before taking out his hand and sniffing his fingers. “Nope, no cock skidmarks, means I didn’t bareback! Hooray!”
“Checked for slug trails in the back, oh ye of such great sexual morality?” Katherine left the joint in the ashtray and pushed it over towards Simon, deciding she didn’t want it back after he’d been checking in the back of his pants.
Simon writhed uncomfortably, unzipping his fly so he could peer at his arse. Katherine made no pretence of not looking. “Dwarf’s arse is better,” she commented, turning her attention back to the TV. “Yours could probably comes with a lot of storage space, though.”
“I think I’m safe. Hard to tell when you’ve worn them for however many sleeps it was worth of days and party nights, isn’t it?” He wiped his hand on his trouser leg before taking up the joint, blowing on its tip before taking a toke. His other hand moved to his groin, but he didn’t fasten his zip up again.
“Speak for yourself, princess. Me rags are jam or mayo, I got those delicate lady wipes for the rest.”
“Wipes for lady goo.” Simon scowled, his hand touching his stomach. “I’ve not eaten yet!”
“You can even think of food? You blew your rent on crystal methamphetamines and what you didn’t spend on that went on jelly babies as usual.”
“We have jelly babies! I could eat them, they never seem like food anyway!”
“Had, honey, they formed a union and found a new home.” Katherine tucked her hand under her breast to pat her belly. “So what’s the fucking story?”
“Dunno.” Simon rubbed at a burn mark on his trouser leg. “Oh! That goes all the way through. I must have had ketamine.”