Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Would You Just... Know What Is?

I'm at Jake and Missy's, squooshed on the mattress in the corner of the attic bedroom, writing on Jake's MacBook, while Dreads shows Jake his save on Final Fantasy and Missy and Charlotte lie prone on the bed checking Snapchat and making Boomerangs and farting surreptitiously. The light in the room is soft and low and we're doing what we've been doing all day: glorious expansive nothing.

I got a taxi up here after the close last night, Jakey was waiting up and we played Mario Kart, watched QI, hung out, then woke up this morning in time for Dreads ambling over with his XBox for breakfast and chills.

Its 23:05 now and the day has drifted in easy peace. Dreads wanting to download the new Worms game. Waiting for it to download. After an hour, three percent. OK, at this pace it'll be done in... a really long time. Leave XBox on, amble to the shops for lunch, eat French loaf and cheese, drink tea, make each other laugh, leave as long as we can, check the download.

Thirteen percent.

We listen to some insane Middle Earth meditation music on Missy's phone about being invited to Bilbo Baggins's birthday party and sitting by a crackling lambent fire as fiddle music plays feeling your whole body slowly relax. Don't even ask me, but we're all lying together in the beds innocent as newborn babes, me with my head on Jake's chest, then squidging with Missy, as wizards blow smoke rings and farmers clip the hedge and hobbit children play down the street. Like I said, don't ask me, but also don't knock till you've tried.

We fall asleep, Jake's customary day-off nap ("Well its just nice isn't it? You get up, eat, wash, go on a little expedition, then you get to go to bed and do it all again"). We wake up and check the progress on Worms -- 46 percent -- so play a board game to pass the time. Zombie 15 in extended campaign and gotta set up the tiles into a board, 1a connected to 3b and 4a and 5a and 7b, no the other way up so it makes a cul-de-sac, and shuffle all zombies of 1, 2, and 3 number into weapons cards, and add three zombies to the horde box, must do this for each scenario, groaning the whole way, then play for seven or nine high-octane minutes rushing punk kids through ruined suburbs checking police station and getting supplies from mall, then reach exit battered and shaking, our little plastic figures we picture, and then gotta set up whole nother board and cards for next scenario and after five it gets way too frustrating and we give up, in same place we always do with this damn game that we still full nerd love, and we cross fingers and check Worms.

87 percent.

So we roll around some more, Missy's friend Charlotte comes round - "Oh it's your friend, Missy, your one friend. We assumed you were making her up. Don't be weird around her and drive her away like everyone else." Missy Sassy Sarsaparilla puts hand on hip. "Excuuuse me?"

And we eat pizzas and crisps and salsa and then Dreads scrolls games on the Microsoft store and I write this and Jake goes out to smoke cigarettes and Charlotte goes home and Missy, friendless again not that we're bringing it up, lies on the bed watching us, and the night is quiet and the lamplight dim and I look at my friends and think about that Kurt Vonnegut line where he says:

"I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, 'If this isn't nice, I don't know what is."

Because that's how I feel right now. If this isn't nice, I don't know what is.

Now, if you'll excuse me, in a moment of serendipity that I know appears a little too much like narrative convenience but I promise you is not, Worms has just downloaded.

Until tomorrow. X

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