Aside from that time one of my brothers had a beautiful baby boy
with his new wife – which doesn’t count as he has done it purely to make me unhappy – it
has been uneventful of late.
I reflect upon this as I wash my dishes.
I have a system, which mainly involves leaving the sharp
knives till last. I remember how the ex-Mrs.Tired would leave the kitchen
knives in the bottom of the sink under a shroud of bubbles like some sort or
Russian-roulette washing-up escapade but I’m far too wise. I don’t need the
excitement. Besides, I’ve just sharpened mine – you could shave with them -
they’re Sabatier and that sort of thing would be lunacy. They’re on the side,
Finished with everything, I move on to the knives. I briefly
wonder who it was that wrote the song “You Want To Be Right Careful With That
Sharp Knife” but it escapes me. I have to take some pills at the minute and
they’re messing with my memory.
And my reaction time.
Jo ‘Thick As Shit’ Whiley on Radio 2 plays “The Cutter” by
Echo And The Bunnymen.
I address the long carving-knife last; it’s caked with dried
melted cheese from last-night’s lonely pizza. I’ve no great appetite for anything
of late, let alone decent food.
It’s a tough one to get clean, and I attempt it with the blade
facing my hand, because I’m bright like that.
My hand slips, one ounce of pressure too many and it slices
through the sponge before I’ve even noticed, through the steel wool on the back
and keeps going until with a ‘screee’ it slices bone.
I drop it. The dishwater turns a dark rusty colour. Cold tap
full blast, my hand under it. Too low. Lower than my heart. I lift my hand
above shoulder height. My forearm turns crimson.
The ‘medicine drawer’ is under the sink. I’ve only those ROLLS
of sticking plaster. Fumbling with scissors I soak the best part of it with
blood, rendering it non-adhesive. Deciding my right hand is out of commission
for now, I hold one end of the plaster down with my elbow and cut a ragged
It stays loosely in place. I glance at saucer-sized pools of
blood and am astounded by how quickly they congeal.
I attach several more ragged strips of plaster to my thumb. Each soaks a darker, almost black, colour than the other. Including the plasters, my thumb is now three times its normal width, but the
bleeding seems to be under control.
Around my bare feet on the laminate floor is a massive pool
of burgundy washing-up-bloody-froth which I immediately slip in and hit the floor hip-first with a
sickening thud. I thrash like a fish for a while attempting to gain some
“For fuck’s sake.”
I grab a cupboard-handle which immediately detaches itself.
Amazingly, I do not then smack myself in the head with it.
“Are you ACTUALLY joking?”
Eventually I am upright and then try to decide how I am to get to the
bathroom without making the rest of my house look like the Outlook Hotel from
Some days later I have a neat scar on my right thumb
and some non-specific nerve-damage which makes it feel like I’m receiving a
massive electric shock every time I move it.
I have also resolved to start doing something worthy of
genuine comment before I am reduced to writing about accidently disembowelling myself
and burning my house down whilst attempting to boil an egg.
He looks just like his father, by the way. My first nephew.