The fucking mice are back. I know they’re there. They’re crawling under the fucking floorboards. The cheeky fuckers are even hiding under the settee. I saw one last night, a dark beige flash, zipping from the side of the settee towards the hole in the floorboards. It’s my own fault. There shouldn’t be a hole in the floorboards. It’s as easy as that; all you’ve got to do is give them a fucking excuse and they’re in. It doesn’t have to be anything major, a little gap in the bottom of the back door, a small crack in the floorboards, and that’s enough; that’s all they need.

They were here last year too. I got rid of them then by using humane traps and getting a cat. They’re not getting away with something as soft or as natural this time. Fuck them, they’re taking the piss now, I’ll have no hesitation this time, it’ll be the warfarin for them, that’ll teach them to fuck with me; anyway, the cat’s gone, I took it back to the RSPCA after an allergic reaction. It’s a shame because I was getting to like it. Not that I haven’t had a cat before, I know what it’s like; you see them as kittens, you feed them, you take them to the vet occasionally – when you have to – but they don’t last do they? They just up and leave you, so what you going to do then eh? What you going to do then? What the fuck are you going to do then? Eh?

Anyway, I can’t think about them now, I’ve got other things to do, life to get on with, so to speak. I’ll just cover the holes in the floorboards with heavy books and get on with it. I’ll sort the little fuckers out later.

I teach computers part time. Well, I don’t actually teach computers themselves. What I do is teach people how to use computers – mostly old people, or at least people who consider themselves as old.

“They baffle me.”

“You should see my granddaughter, she’s a natural.”

“I’ll never get the hang of that mouse thing.”

Fucking wimps.

I tell them. I show them I do. Give me an hour with a computerphobe, two at the most, and I’ll fucking show them. I’ve seen them sweating, they just want to get up and go, but they can’t, because they’re too polite, too old.

Anyway, that’s all it takes, a couple of hours and they’re clicking away at that rodent like a five year old. They might as well not bother after that, all they’ve got to do is to go home, get on their own computer and dive in. It’s like swimming, it comes natural, chuck them in the deep end and fuck off and have a fag, that’s what I say.

One of these guys, these old codgers in my class asked me if I gave private tuition and like a dickhead I said yes, even though I did it once and couldn’t handle it, it’s a pain in the arse, especially when you’ve got to drive twenty odd fucking miles to some twat’s house, because he’s a paraplegic and can’t get to you.

So, here I am getting out of my car and walking towards the front door of this guy who fucked his spine up during a game of rugby – pointless. What’s he going to be like?

Later. Anthony, that’s his name, Anthony Perkins, like the guy in Psycho, except this guy, this Anthony, is not a psycho; well, he might be a psycho for all I know, but even if he is, he couldn’t do fuck all about it because he’s a fucking paraplegic isn’t he.

He moves the mouse around with his lips. He’s got a little stick, covered in spit, suspended in front of his mouth, attached to a kind of helmet thing on his head. Also attached to his head is a plastic stick with a rubber tip. It’s about six or seven inches long and has a slight downward curve. It protrudes from the helmet at the centre of his forehead and he dips up and down (he’s still got some movement in his neck), tapping the keyboard with the rubber bit, and he’s a demanding bastard. It’s going to take more than two hours to sort this fucker out.

He’s in bits, this bloke; well he’s not exactly in bits, he’s still whole, but as far as he’s concerned nothing goes on below his neck, absolutely nothing, nothing worthwhile anyway, fuck all; doesn’t stop him being an irritating bastard though.

He can talk, but he sounds weird, not that he’s got a voice box thing or anything. It’s probably something to do with the accident, some fucked-up muscles or something.

I wonder what it’s like being him; looking out of those eyes, knowing those memories. I wonder if I’d rather be dead. I mean that’s what’s going to happen in the end anyway. Then I think the other way, you know, if I’m going to be dead anyway, and even if the most fantastically beautiful, clever, happiest person in the world is going to be dead (which they are), then what’s the difference? What’s the fucking difference? Their life, and this Anthony Perkins’s life is about the same, in the grand scheme of things I mean. Blink and it’s gone. So what? So why not get the most out of it, why not use whatever senses you have functioning to absorb the most you can of this Maya, this illusion.

So now I’ve got to deal with those mice. What am I going to do? Will I get some more humane traps, catch the little fuckers and let them loose at least five miles from here, preferably on the other side of the motorway. Or shall I just drop some warfarin about the place and let their little bodies disintegrate into dust under the floorboards?

How am I supposed to make a decision like that? Perhaps I’ll just put heavier books over the holes and see how it goes.


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