Existence is rubbish.
When I say existence, I mean my existence and when I say rubbish, I mean actual rubbish, garbage, trash.
This morning I spent a solid hour sifting through a five-day old bin bag. That’s a bin bag which has been in operation for FIVE FULL DAYS and has received numerous ashtray emptyings and wine corks and yes I know I could be saving them for a craft project (the corks, not the fag ends, although that would be my kinda arts material) but watching the collection build is essentially watching your cancer chances rise and nothing kills arty creativity more than facing your certain death every minute of the day which is also why I regularly empty the ashtrays.
I had to sift the rubbish because on Thursday I had put my fallen-out tooth back in using vast amounts of shop-bought dental glue because I was being on stage in front of people and didn’t want to appear as though I’m falling apart even though I am falling apart. But I cannot eat with the tooth in so when I got home I removed it in order to inhale the chips and gravy and left it on the side so that it could be carelessly swept onto the floor the following morning and later into the bin where it was now surely languishing under five days of rubbish including some smashed-up polystyrene packaging, the beads of which look incredibly helpfully like teeth.
I had to do it though. That tooth is gonna get put back in permanently just as soon as I can open my stitched-up mouth wide enough for a dentist to get in. If I lose it my options will be either to remain gappy and undateable or to sell a kidney to pay for a new one.
That hour spent on the kitchen floor, my face in a bin-bag, my fingers blackening and coating with ever-increasing layers of sticky filth as I picked up and inspected every item…that hour was just brilliant, self-esteem-boosting-wise, winningatlife-wise.
A few minutes later, I was making a well-earned cup of tea, opened the compost caddy to chuck the teabag in and was faced with this:
That is a furry mould, the likes of which I have never witnessed before. Here’s a close-up:
It looks like Fangs the hamster crept in there to die. I thought three things:
1. What on earth am I throwing away that would cause this rodent-like explosion of decay?
2. How on earth did this happen so quickly? It wasn’t like this last night.
3. This would never happen on Gwyneth’s watch.
I was the kid whose bedroom was filled with mouldy cups and dried-up food and I am the adult who just a few short weeks ago watched as Gwyneth came into the kitchen having retrieved five mugs from my bedroom/office which contained liquids in every shade of the rainbow and emitted a stench so powerful, so distracting, that he didn’t even mention the overpowering whiff of fag smoke in there.
I am also the adult who the other day asked Gwyneth to please replace the set of work keys he’d found on the floor of my car, in amongst all the McDonald’s packaging and empty coke bottles and fag packets, because I knew that’s where they were and would be in a right flap if they weren’t there when I needed them.
Know yourself. That’s what all the lifestyle gurus encourage us to do. Understand who you are and what you want and how you work. Well, I’m on it. I know I’m a disorganised, domestic slut, but one who’s learning to embrace her sluttishness, work with it and allow herself to grow into a more highly-functioning slut.
I know where those work keys are; they’re on the floor of my car.
I know the mould is YAK but at least on this occasion it’s in the compost bin and not the cup I’m about to serve your coffee in.
And I knew that tooth would be in the bottom of that bin bag, which it was, a teeny-tiny blob of nicotine-stained bone trapped inside a scrunched-up empty Wotsits packet, a needle in the proverbial haystack, just waiting for me to remember where I hadn’t put it, so I could remember where it would have ended up.
Existence is rubbish but it is also perfectly endurable, as long as you understand that trying to keep things in order is futile. You have to learn to live with all your rubbish.
We can only hope that the next Mr Annagram will not be slut-intolerant.
Either that or let him be blind, with no sense of smell or any desire for a regular supply of clean mugs.
He’s gotta be out there, right?