I’ve swapped shifts.
I usually work alongside OhSeeDee.
He’s a bit obsessive about things, but he’s ok.
Today I’m working opposite Jinnero.
Let’s take a look at him.
Ginger hair, for a start.
Really thick, kept short, makes his head look like a dark orange tennis ball.
Some tufts of hair missing.
Stress related, apparently.
I’m not surprised.
Big old eagle beak of a nose.
He’s about four meters away, but I can hear his nose whistling every time he breaths.
Very, very annoying.
His ears are really big and red.
Remember sneaking up on your mates and flicking their ears from behind?
We used to shout ‘tabs!’ just as we flicked their lugs.
It really hurts.
Jinnero has the sort of ears that are begging to be flicked.
They stick out like jug handles.
God, I want to flick them so badly.
His leg is juddering.
I mean, really spazzing out.
He’s hunched over his keyboard, eyes about ten inches from the screen, and that leg is bouncing up and down at three beats per second.
I wonder if it aches at the end of the day, and he doesn’t know why.
How many calories does a juddery leg burn up?
A lot, probably.
What I do know is that it’s very, very annoying.
He’s getting cross at something on the screen.
He’s muttering, and jabbing his keyboard hard.
For fuck’s sake, calm down.
It’s the first time I’ve ever seen anyone headbutt a keyboard.
All the keys are jammed together, and he’s trying to free them up using the edge of a ruler.
What a gimp.
I’ve just realised how fat he’s become.
He used to be skinny.
Not any more.
Look at that gut.
He’s got more chins than a Chinese phone book.
When did that happen?
When did he get so fat?
He’s freed the keys and he’s typing again.
He doesn’t look round.
“When did you get so fat?”
A brief pause in his typing.
“Dunno. Just put weight on, didn’t I.”
Tap tap tap.
Judder judder judder.
Whistle whistle whistle.
I turn back to my computer.
“I reckon I started putting on weight after that thing with the bed.”
My ears prick up.
That thing with the bed?
“What thing with the bed, Jinnero?”
Jinnero doesn’t look around.
The nose whistle speeds up a bit.
As does that spazzy leg.
“We’d been living together for about eighteen months. She was a bit younger than me.”
“She was eighteen.”
“Eight years younger than you. Bit of a difference.”
“Yeah, but not too much. She was very mature for her age.”
“Fair enough. Go on.”
“Well, she liked going out with her mates. You know, into town. It’s not really my thing, going out, so I used to give her some money for drinks and that.”
“What were you doing while she was out?”
“I was building my own PC at the time. Either that or I was on the Playstation. She’d give me a ring when she wanted to come home, and I’d go collect her.”
“That sounds a bit boring.”
“Huh. That’s what she said. Said I was dull. Boring. I’m not boring, you know.”
Yes you bloody well are.
“Of course you’re not, Jinnero.”
“Anyway, we started arguing all the time. I don’t like that sort of thing. It upsets me.”
He starts scratching at one of the bald patches on his tennis ball head.
I look away.
“I came home from work one time, and she’s gone. Packed her stuff and left. I rang her mum’s house, but she wasn’t there. Turns out she’d moved in with another bloke.”
“Oh dear. That’s a bit shit, Jinnero.”
“That’s one way of putting it, Lucifer.”
He’s still not taken his eyes of the monitor.
His fingers still jab the keys.
His nose whistles.
His leg judders.
Those ears have gone very, very red.
I resist the urge.
“A few days later I get this knock on the door. It was this little Pakistani bloke. He says he’s come for the bed.”
“Why did he want the bed?”
“He was the bloke she’d moved in with. They’d been seeing each other for months. When I went to work, he’d come round and they’d…they’d…you know.”
“Fucking hell, man! Did he tell you all this!”
“Yeah. He seemed to think this information justified him taking the bed. The thing is, when she moved in with me, it was the only thing she brought with her, that bed. I paid for everything else, all the bills, mortgage, food, everything. She was still at school, you see.”
I hide my laughter by pretending to cough.
It doesn’t fool Jinnero, but he pretends to ignore it.
“So anyway, she seemed to think that I should give her the bed! No fucking way!”
If that leg goes any faster it’s going to fall off.
He’s getting very excited.
“The Pakistani bloke’s got a van with him. He intends to take it with him, and he wants me to help him carry it downstairs! Can you believe it!”
“What a cheeky cunt. You should have slapped him.”
“Oh, well… maybe, I don’t know.”
“Did he get the bed? Please tell me you didn’t give him the bed!”
“I didn’t give him the bed.”
“Nice one! You showed him…”
“I paid him for it.”
I’m looking at Jinnero, open mouthed.
“You did what?”
His ears were glowing like fire now.
“I paid him. She’d bought the bed from Argos, so we looked it up in the catalogue to see what it was worth…”
“I didn’t give him the full amount! No way! It was three hundred in the catalogue and I only paid him two fifty.”
“What? Jinnero, you should have told him to fuck off. You should have slapped the little fucker. You should have dragged that bed out of your house, set fire to it on your front lawn and danced around it, laughing! You should NOT have given him anything! Not a fucking bean!”
“I didn’t like to.”
“Why the fuck not?”
“Because he might have thought I was racist.”
“Racist? Racist? What the fuck has race got to do with anything? That nasty fucker was screwing your bird on your bed in your house! Then he has the cheek to come around to your house, tell you how he poked your bird on your bed in your house, and he enjoyed it so much that he’d like the bed, please! You should have punched him, Jinnero. Right on the sneezer.”
“Well, I didn’t. I paid him. That’s how I reckon I started getting fat.”
“How does that work then?”
“When he drove off, I went back inside, and started on a crate of beer that I had in the kitchen. Been drinking like that ever since.”
I take a good look at Jinnero.
His face is pale and puffy.
His eyes are red and watery.
His gut oozes over his belt, showing a wedge of pale skin and ginger fluff beneath his stretched t-shirt.
Yep. He’s a boozer.
I almost feel sorry for him.
“Owwww! My ear! You flicked my ear! God, that really hurts! Why did you do that?”
“Because you deserved it.”
It felt good.
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