There she was, my dead grandmother lying in her coffin, waiting to be burned. I felt incredibly anxious studying her endlessly sleeping, noting how her make-up was far better than she ever had it living. I tried to point this out, but no one would listen, insisting she was always a master at powdering. I thought it unwise to bring up her drug past in relation to this, so left the room to have a panic attack about it all somewhere else.
At the service they talked about her love of music, television, long walks in the countryside, and her time spent working at Tesco’s for thirty-five years. As they closed the curtains to Bon Jovi’s ‘Thank You For Loving Me’, the memories of the acid-house loving, found again lesbian had been successfully buried. I skipped the wake in her honour.
On the bus I received an email from Tesco stating how I was really great at an interview, but not great enough to be hired. I stared at the message till it stopped making sense, noticing how passengers around me kept glancing over. I feared they could smell my failure, but instead I realised, is that they could smell my sweat. I stared at the phone screen some more, hoping I could climb on in.
When I returned home she was already out, skipping the funeral for a girls night out, leaving the house bills taped to the TV. I tore it all up, sat by the computer, and watched some porn, the perfect antidote to the sensation of something scratching through your skin. As I masturbated away my thoughts, I realised one of the women looked like my dead gran with her make-up applied.
‘You’re such a fuck up. Now repeat after me.’ She said to the other woman, a job applicant trying to make it in a world were porn logic prevails.
‘I’m such a fuck up’ I replied, then rang up the music hall to see if there was any volunteer work to get my mind out of the sink.
The sick didn’t mop up easily, it was of the Heinz Big Soup Chunky Veg variety, rather than the smooth Heinz Tomato Soup variety. Whatever the kid had eaten, it wasn’t giving up the floor, and it was mid show, the music blaring as I moved between two rows of cold plastic seats. One woman sat and recorded my troubles with her phone, and the mother said ‘I’m glad you’re not getting paid for this,’ as I crawled on all fours.
The stage started to blur as I watched the Miley Cyrus tribute band play, the lead singer dancing around in her underwear. It was an emotional song, and it was okay to let it all out as I let go of the mop and sat in a chair. I couldn’t hear the mother’s screaming, I couldn’t hear anything at all. But I could see that woman in her underwear, looking through me to who knows where.
At least my gran would be proud.