Sunday, 13 January 2008

After Midnight

It was after midnight and Lucinda slid down the back of the chestnut leather sofa into a slouch. Shattered triangles of tortilla chips from the previous night were digging into the exposed area of flesh newly released and spilling over the top of her jogging bottoms. She could just about muster enough energy to lift one buttock and reach for the offending crumbs so that she could pass them to her dribbling mouth.

On the floor in her flat, part of a grand mansion block overlooking Hyde Park, lay the debris of her debauched life: some empty lager cans, not crushed of course as this would have required effort, three pizza boxes, each one smeared with a mouldy mayonnaise dip and adorned with the odd slice of wilting onion, two greasy foil cartons tipped so that a brown sludge had seeped onto the parquet and some white crumpled paper housing the remains of a kebab, namely some transparent lettuce and more onion. Had you looked two days ago, there might also have been some pitta bread to see but the mice had made a meal of this and were long gone upon Lucinda’s arrival back home.

She viewed the flickering screen through half closed eyelids and pressed the ‘channel +’ button in search of something worthwhile. There was pop music on one channel, a football match on another (sport wasn’t really her department), a seventies cop drama which she had seen at least twice (in the seventies) and a current affairs programme discussing the growing trend towards obsesity in youngsters. She opted for the latter so that she could throw peanuts at the screen and the government minister she’d danced with earlier that evening before the heel of her slingbacks had shattered and she’d fled the ball alone and carriageless.

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