On your thirteenth birthday, you inauspiciously enter the ranks of young citizens labelled ‘teenagers’. The consequence of this elevation from childhood to a chaotic void is a metaphorical target stamped on your back enabling the miseries who have already survived the experience to blame you for their misfortunes. The longer that their own teenage years have since passed, the greater the proportion of their misfortunes which can be directly related to those between the ages of thirteen and nineteen aligned with a decreasing measure of inhibition for the delivery of their opinions.
If you are staying in a hotel, there will be no Room Thirteen. If you have just driven for twelve hours, spent four of them crawling two miles past Birmingham, have two screaming children and your car radiator has burst, Room Thirteen will be the room that you thought you’d booked of which the receptionist has no knowledge whatsoever. In fact, she will be so convinced that she is absolved of responsibility that she will return to filing her nails whilst your back slides down the tomb-like desk and crouch on the marble floor, your head is in your hands and you’re crying.
It is bad form to have thirteen guests at the dinner table not least because that’s an awful lot of cooking for anyone.
The man at number thirteen is unlucky to have as a neighbour, being rather obsessed with the welfare of oak trees in your garden. So attached is he, that he takes photos of the men pruning them, of before you moved in and afterwards too. He insists on sharing these photos with you.
The thirteenth day of May was on Monday this week. On Monday, someone, somewhere was run over by a bus. Nothing good was ever going to come of thirteen.