I've got this job now and there's a lot of travelling involved. Mostly I'm in London, out in the suburbs, the places out at the ends of the tube line. Ever been to Harrow or Wealdstone? Amersham? Mmm. Anyway, the upshot is that I don't get home really, except at weekends. I was staying with friends to start with, but the manager says, oh get a grip for fuck's sake. Then he says, what you doing, kipping on fucking sofas? Fucking state of you. Suit all rumpled to fuck and smelling of dog. Stay in a fucking B&B why don't you. Charge it. Expenses isn't it? Fuck sake. Then he just shrugs at me and goes back into his office. He needs to relax. I don't mind sleeping on sofas, but maybe he's right about the smell of pets. It can't be good for business. So I start booking into these bed and breakfast places, and some of them, well, I'd rather be on the sofa smelling of dog. But still, I'm not going to argue. And all of this is fine really, absolutely fine. Then I have this horrible day when I was on my way out to somewhere near Romford and I see this traffic accident and the bloke you can tell he's copped it straight away. Poor bastard never stood a chance. I don't hang around like some of those ghouls, waiting for the ambulance and the cops and that. I'm off on my way, but I tell you, it shakes me up badly.
Two days later and I'm north of Bromley and this old dear keels over outside McDonalds and would you believe it? She's only died, hasn't she? This time I reckon I've got to wait for the emergency services. But it turns out I'm not required. I tell the driver what happened but he's busy and just nods and tells me to be on my way.
Coincidence I tell myself but the next day there's another fatality when my job takes me down to Epsom. It happens again in Romford, and again three days later up at Waltham Abbey. I start getting really bothered after another two, and over the weekend I can't sleep properly for worrying that I'm cursed or something. I tell my mates about it at the pub on Saturday night and they just take the piss. I laugh too.
On Monday night I'm staying in this B&B up Hendon way. There's one bloke there, staying in one of the upstairs rooms, and everyone knows he's really ill. I'm sweating a bit, thinking, oh no, not again, please. I go to bed, none too happy, and when I'm at breakfast the first thing I do is say, that bloke upstairs, he okay is he? Turns out he's fine - well, not fine as such but not dead. I'm really relieved, and I say goodbye after I'm done and head out, thinking to myself, thank fuck for that. I'm fifty yards down the street when I realise I've forgotten my bag, so I pop back to pick it up. I'm on the hallway, just about to leave for the second time when I hear this voice saying, help. It's the ill bloke, and I knock on his door saying, you okay? No, he says, so I go in to see what he wants. He's only in the act of dying, and he wants to hold my hand while he goes. I take his chilly hand and hold it and look despairingly at the door, thinking, this is the last fucking straw.