The Fatberg (?)

I don’t know how this is possible, but a cause-and-effect relationship has sprung up between me having a piss and my neighbour going out. I’m not joking. Every time I go to the toilet, I hear his door opening, then the key turning in the lock. How does he DO that? And why? Fuck that guy.

I saw the weirdest porno last night: two men, fully clothed, kissing and fondling a balloon. I wasn’t going to watch the whole thing, but they just seemed so pleased with themselves. They were smiling and chatting; at one point, they high-fived. Their good humour seemed excessive, but it was hard to look away.

I don’t spend all my nights looking for weird porno, by the way. Just, last night was noisy. A big truck showed up around midnight, with a thingy boxed up in the back. They rolled out the thingy and started to dig, and…oh, what would you call this?

Like a drill on a stick, right? And the noise is incredible, like it’s inside your skull. It got all in my fillings and thrummed down my jaw, and how could I sleep through that? It went on till oneish, till they’d dug a big hole, and they stuck a long straw down there, which looked something like this—well, exactly like this. This was it:

I mean, what is that, even? It’s like…slurrrrrrrrrrrrrrrp—so they slurped for a while, then they filled up the hole, and it was all just so loud…. It must’ve been an emergency, to be done in the night. A burst pipe. A flushed gator. Or one of those blobs, what d’you call ’em, when people flush wipes down the bogs, and they all glob together with old congealed fat…. Fatbergs. Maybe we had a fatberg. Maybe that was them sucking it out.

I wonder if it’s dangerous, sucking fatbergs? Y’know, I heard working at an Amazon warehouse, you’ve a one-in-ten chance of a serious injury. How can that be right? One in ten, that seems high.

I got hurt on the job once. I sat so long in the same position the skin rubbed off my heels. That was day after day, same chair, same footrest, and the solution was simple: I let my feet hang. I earn* make several times what an Amazon worker does, at no risk to myself. How is that possible? Shouldn’t they get hazard pay, some kind of guarantee?—we broke you, we bought you. Have a pension on us.

Anyway, I was thinking about that, watching the workmen do their thing. I wouldn’t last a day doing that. I’d be too afraid of falling in the hole. Of getting sucked into the giant straw. Of a methane explosion spitting a corpse in my face, just…ejecting it from the sewer at ninety miles an hour, then a surgeon has to pick it out of me, bone bits and tooth darts shrapnelled into my skin….

I had a real job once. I picked fruit. I liked that. I showed up before dawn and I crouched in the grass, cuffs tucked in my socks so the ants wouldn’t bite. Nobody bothered me. The only sound was the sprinklers, and the wind in the trees. I was allowed to eat fruit, so I did. Mostly, it was blueberries, which aren’t my favourite, but sometimes it was strawberries. I like those. I could fancy some now, come to think of it.

More jobs should be like that, all perks and no pain.

Speaking of pain, my teeth have stopped throbbing. It was bad for a while. My whole jaw swelled up, but now it seems fine. I mean, it can’t be, not really, but it’s stopped hurting for now. I used to think that meant the root had gone—y’know, you’d get a toothache, then the tooth died, and the pain went away. But that can’t be right. The infection would stay. You’d get endocarditis, maybe die….

I shouldn’t talk about my teeth. It’s so unappealing. There’s a reason all those operatic heroines died of consumption, not abscessed molars. Ha. At least it’s not irritable bowels.

TL;DR, fatbergs and teeth.

* I don’t so much earn my keep as…Christ, I sit on my arse entertaining myself for cash. What do you call that? Not work, surely.