I counted the hours that i had had the pleasure of sitting in the council’s plastic chairs. We were certainly up in the teens by now. i stared out the window and a great muted ashen slab of borough wall stared back in.
My officer, Sarah, was a channel 4 documentary’s wet dream – the archetypal single mother that bourgeois TV film producers salivate over monthly – all 6 stone, glassy half shut eyes, itching jaw bone and the odour of a primary schools changing room. she smelt as if she had wet herself and as she stared around my midrift and nodded off i wondered what i was doing there.
‘ Have you found any work then?’
Her voice was like a rusty machine gun spurting sporadic nasal whines – her words chugged along in one tone, her voice was an amplified wasp on downers.
‘No’ i replied
‘Have you been looking?’
‘Very much so’
‘Well, what jobs did you log in on your declaration sheet? were they broad keywords?’
She paused and took a few minutes to blink…..
‘Completely’ i finally answered when she had re-focused
‘What were they?’ she croaked
‘well, let me see…they were, Stuntman, Firearms officers’ assistant and Killer.’
‘Killer!?’ she looked at me as if i was her ex-husband.
‘Yes, pest control and all that evil…its not really my thing but i figure i can break them apart from the inside etc..’
She winced. ‘Oh’
A long pause.
‘How would feel about a stockroom at heathrow airport?’
I stared at Sarah. i stared at her long and hard and took a deep breath in from my gut – held it – and slowly let it out. i could smell her all about me – i thought about taking her out of there and plonking her in the local swimming baths but i knew she would turn the water purple so i stood and walked to the door. I turned and watched her head drop and decided i was better off hungry.