by Michael Botur

 

‘Sup grrrrrrl! Rich bitch, heard you’re on six figures these days. Congrats to thats! Listen: smoke with me.’

‘Thanks, but yeah, nah, I don’t smoke anymore.’DOWNLOAD BUTTON

‘Sgot my lipstick on it anyway. Oi, but you actually made that joke, last party we were at, ’member? “Emily’s Mama didn’t raise no quitter?” You were, like, handing round Marlboros ’n shit, Emily Gemily.’

‘I fully quit. Hate smoking. I got a mean-as story about it, actually.’

‘Fess up. What story?’

‘It just pisses me off they get to slack off, like, all day long when, like, I’m tryina work and they go and spit in MY face? I mean, like, omigawd you’re serious?’

‘Wait, Emily, back it up—who what? Spat in your face?’

‘Like, I know, right?’

‘This was at the Red Cross? Someone said you done work there?’

‘I did some research there. I’m still at FlightRight, though. Third from the top, hun.’

‘Research? Or volunteer work? Oi—who spat in your face? The faaark? Tell the store-ree, Emily Law-rie.’

‘Kay. Got a drink? Smoke if you want, I don’t mind. It’s like this:

Gimme a smoke, the tramp-woman went. This was near work, you know where I am on T Road? The way she was swaying was like full-on zombie-styles, like seriously, and she had a can of beer even though it was morning, and she even had to swap a foot over to steady herself, and she, like, reached out and grabbed the lapel of my blouse and scrunched it.

Don’t! I went, I don’t have a spare smoke! This is back when petrol was like, two bucks fifty a litre, like soooo expensive. And it took like 80 minutes each way for work and it was like, what else is there to do in the car but smoke and listen to my headphones? The radio didn’t work in my Honda, I wasn’t skinny enough to hitchhike, I was just a tower of anxiety and blonde muff and cream-coloured rolls.

Fattie, the homeless went to me, cradling her can of whatever, Thas not baby fat. Unbelievable, this hag—big giant Starter jersey just about coming down to her knees, all baggy, puffing out around her arms, big hole around the neck. Massive cheekbones made her eyes look like two coins chucked in a well of dark brown eye-flesh. Her hair was silver. There was frost on her shoulders. Some of her skin looked blue from the cold.

You wanna die today, Fat Baby?

Leave me alone.

I know you got a smoke in there, Baby.

I stepped back and shivered my shoulder and her hand was forced to let me go, and I was headed for the glass doors to go back into work­—it was only morning tea—but when I raised my hand I saw I was only two thirds through my cigarette. I wanted to take another tug on it, a deep yellow gulp of bitter spicy air, but I couldn’t when I was being watched. The homeless woman just stood on one spot, swaying, waiting to get her result. She had purple skin under her eyes, and her fringe was brushing her eyebrows, but she was bony, and she had a suit jacket on over the Starter jersey. The black of the jacket matched her irises, like omigawd they were dark. Her pants though—they had little insects playing basketball on them. They were, like, joke pants, like PJs or something.

Know the grossest thing? She coulda actually been pretty if she’d tried.

It all started when the homeless lady’d started bothering me as I was texting Jitesh, kay, I didn’t instigate shit. My finger had been hovering over the button to send a certain message. If I had the credit—baaaabe, if I had any credit. But I didn’t. All I could send was psychic texts, willing Tesh to respond. Just had to get through the doors into reception, hit the elevator button. Smoking’s all about standing out in the cold. I had to wait for the elevator’s steel lips to take me in the safe, warm mouth.

The wind nibbled the edges of my cuffs. I looked up and the tramp was blotting out the sun, backing me up against the glass of my building. The building felt cold on my back. My body-heat was bleeding out through my jacket. My building, right, it’s turquoise marble, real pretty but when you touch the stone, it’s freezing. All the heat was in inside there, and a daycare centre and warm free cups of hot chocolate. I should have been able to see the receptionist at her desk in there, where was she? Having a ciggy in the underground car park, guaranteed. Every stuff-up in my life’s been down to smoking.

My heels were just about poking through the soles of my boots. My boots were held together on the bottom with duct tape. I had, like, five layers of tape wadded over the bump where my heel was busting through.

I trod on something slimy, squishy—coff—coffee? Really? Instant coffee sachets? Tens of them, spilling out of the homele— why would ya need—

She did something funny, the woman—she took a puff on an imaginary smoke, slurped from her can, lurched forward, leaning close without falling over, and spat in my face. I pushed my hand out like someone had just woken me up with a torch in my eyes, blinking. It was hard to see. Something was gluing my eyelashes shut.

The tramp tripped on this sewer grate that’s not placed properly and juts out and always trips me and she tumbled into me and got a hold of my chest buttons and gave a big tug, pulling me into her. My hands were up and I gave the cow a big shove backwards but she was grabbing at my hair. Lucky I had it tied back real fierce, real plain. My smoke was still sizzling in my right fingers and I dropped it and finally found the swipe card attached to my keys and caressed the sensor with it and reception swallowed me.

I seriously stank of beer. I stank. I stankstank—blech. I had to close the eye that had been spat on so the snot didn’t get inside my, like, eye membranes. I wanted to wipe my eye on my shoulder but my eyelid would’ve probably stuck to the cotton. I felt along the wall and ferns and framed awards and licences until I was groping the bathroom door, and kneed it open. Before the door closed I saw a little bit of her, the homeless­—I dunno what to call her— moving into the ugly unwashed light of the day, her head darting all around, looking for someone else’s life to ruin. I hated how good that suit jacket looked on her. Me? My jacket was a second hand one that SAP had given away when we did a teambuilding workshop. It’d had someone else’s name stitched on the chest till I blacked it out with mascara ’cause I couldn’t afford a black pen. I wore three shirts a week and washed the armpits as soon as I got home and gave them two minutes in the oven, to speed up the drying. I had arms that looked like albino pythons, thick and fat and boneless. My calves looked like… well, never mind. This temp said my glasses were nice, one time. Glasses aren’t part of your body, though. Big boobs and a sore back are part of my body. Thighs that someone blogged about one time are part of my body. No one ever said anything nice about any bits of the actual me.

So yeah I could see through the reception doors the tramp was now asking a random for a smoke, and the man was digging in his pockets, treading on those sachets of instant coffee the tramp kept dropping.

She spat in my FACE.

She SPAT in my face.

Oh my God: she actually spat in MY face.

I used up an entire toilet roll. I wiped the unspeakable sticky brown OHMYGODWHYWASITBROWN spi-saliva out of my eyelashes. I used some TP to line the bowl as I peed. I kept checking the lock on the door.

I’d deserved it. Deserved to be spat on. There was something hate-able about me. More than just my calves. I hadn’t been to church since I was six. I’d had an inkling God hated me for that.

What really sucked was that to calm down, I needed to go out front and enjoy a cigarette. I opened up my handbag. I had 19 cigarettes in the box of 20 I’d bought quarter of an hour ago. 19 fucking cigarettes I coulda shared if I’d wanted. 19 gold and white ciggies I was too scared to go outside to smoke.

*

FlightRight had these employee dinners every quarter, they were the bomb, and they didn’t give you too much hassle if you needed to take a sick day. There was tonnes of cool shit about my job. I liked the exotic teas you could choose from in the break room. I liked the interns, they were always silly and if they were boys, they always had real cute throats, you know how the Adam’s apple sticks out when a boy’s, like, 19? I love that. I love their smell, too. Boys don’t shower enough, and they run and rip their pants. I love that. And the fuzz they get on their cheeks. FlightRight was a good place to be indoors. Outside was the jungle, outside was unprotected. I suppose people would get fired if they called me Fat Baby at work. I started staying ten hours a day. I wrote this, like, timetable of when the Spit Drifter might come back. Was she always out there at the same time? I needed to know.

I couldn’t tell anyone at work what happened.

Like, I didn’t have a man and my apartment was fucking gay so yah, it was like, Dry Your Eyes, Thunder Thighs, Live For Your Job, Emily Slob (that was a little rhyme I remembered when I was crying in the elevator). I chucked all my anti-depressants, started saving 50 cent coins, you know, spare change. It was like my whole life I’d been dozing and I’d been woken up and I would now be in a grump forever if I didn’t stop being a chubby loser. I started eating concentration camp food at work, you know, white bread and noodles, food that makes your body know something desperate’s happening. That stuff doesn’t go bad for several days, either, you can keep it in your drawers. When it got too boring and sad to eat, my body let me stop almost everything. No breakfast, no dinner.

Did I keep buying smokes? Don’t even joke about that.

I stopped hoping anyone would bother fucking me, just kinda grinded my clit against the ironing board a couple of times a week while I ironed my jacket-with-someone-else’s-name-on-it, after work, on my own, chewing a piece of nicotine gum for forty minutes, sipping as much caffeine as I could take. Ironing was alright, I discovered all these little tricks and techniques. My shirts would end up looking pretty crisp, way nicer than my soul probably looked, lol. My skin used to be soft and squishy. I let it go tense, scaly on the outside. I saw bones under the blubber.

Carpooling was the dopest way to save money. This same group of surfers would pick me up from the bus stop like four mornings out of five. I didn’t want Joe Public to see me with my thumb out; lucky for me, they just pulled over and offered to rape and kill me, I can’t remember how they said it, it was funny, the doofuses wearing no shirts, their nipples like little hard buttons, goose pimples on their arms. There’s no point in living anyway, I said, Get your rape in now, and they started howling and high-fiving each other. They were roofers when they weren’t surfing. They could fall off a roof and die any day of the week. They’d never let a lowlife diss them. They made me lol. I got these rides through most of Spaghetti Junction and they dropped me pretty close to work. I’d get out of the car stinking of ciggies, but when the boys rolled smokes for me I’d look at the smoke like they were offering me a dictionary writ in another language. I wanted to smoke, but I didn’t want my eyelashes to get stuck to my shoulder pad with some stranger’s snot. That’s what smoking had become, to me. Stench and snot.

So each week, my fingers would seem like sticks a bit more, and I could see more and more of my vag and less and less of my stretched belly button when I looked down when I was peeing, and my skin went a bit browner as it got summery, you know how it’s bright at like 7am. I’d get 1% tanner and 1% skinnier every morning before work. In the yearbooks at high school and shit, I used to suck in my cheeks to look skinnier. Now I didn’t have to. Spring began and my skin started to look like smoked chicken as I waited at those bus stops, caramel with nipples of white hair (I’m like so blonde I’m almost translucent. It’s the Dutch in me.) I would get to work early and get a head start on everything so I didn’t feel like a fat anchor dragging the seniors down. My breath started stinking ’cause I was always hungry. I saved a buck a day by not buying breath mints. My breath smelled but my tummy shrank till I didn’t even have to hold it in.

Each time I saw a pretty girl walking through the square with a dude holding her hand, and I felt like buying a pack of Marlboros, I’d transfer 20 bucks into this account I had going.

I cried while my fat melted and leaked down my cheeks and I sopped it up in napkins and chucked it in waste paper baskets. The shower’s a good place to cry, if you ever need to. When you’re swimming, that works, too. Crying with the TV volume turned right up is alright, crying with your headphones on. I would sometimes bang my hip on the corner of the breakfast bar, unused to the new bone jutting out. I’d make faces in the mirror and try to remember what prom night was like, when I went in the Fat Girls’ Limo and we rented these pet poodles as if we didn’t need a man. I cried until I carried out a garbage bag full of bras so oversized I could slip my finger into them while wearing them and feel all this extra space. I sucked hard on Chupa Chups so I didn’t have to have a meal. I drank shakes and smoothies when I had to eat. When I pissed, I thought about how much the liquid weighed. 50 millilitres off here, 40 milligrams there. I read testimonials by anorexic girls on Reddit. The wind began finding my flat chest and pushing me around. My wrists became skinny enough for a boy to wrap his hand around, if any boy wanted to.

At parties, I let people draw on my saggy boobs, I sucked something smelling like burnt oven cleaner out of a bong made from a bottle of mineral water, I let a guy put a tab on my tongue with his tongue. My legs could be picked up by guys and moved around, opened and closed like scissors. My tits were freer, lighter. My lips hung off my teeth, hoping to get sucked. I was always hungry, but I didn’t want ciggies and I didn’t want food.

The last bits of cellulite evaporated from my calves and forearms. I’d imagine the fat drying up like a puddle on concrete as I waited at the bus stop, rubbing my elbows. It felt so dry and warm in the surferoofers’ car that stank of salt, in the warm smoke, a surf board bumping my head. Everything the dickjockeys said over the radio was funny; everyone in the car pissed themselves laughing. AC/DC was the anthem of liberation; Bohemian Rhapsody was our constitution. I got into Queen, I got into UB40, I got into AC/DC. Chant music. Breakfast banter, prank calls. Dumb laughs.

I missed a doctor’s appointment and didn’t get any more Prozac. I smoked weed at quarter past seven, stuck in a traffic jam on the motorway. I blew smoke at a speed camera. The boys poured whiskey into my trim McCafe cappuccino, and when I got out of the car outside work, buzzing, and stumbled over the sewer grate, I was like, You know what? Fuck it, and I kicked it, and when I took off my shoes at lunch, my toes were blue and I lolled. I was, like, so badly injured I should’ve been in A&E. Silly Emily, ha. Partying at 7am. Breaking toes on sewer grate.

I had a stolen ream of paper and a calculator in my handbag worth $15, I’d dyed my hair red and I had contact lenses and I’d fucked three guys at work and I just had like zero time to worry about anything anymore and God knew it. I think God was, like, scared how far I’d go to show him I’d lost all faith in the goodness of the world since the trusting, naïve me got spat on.

When my pay rose by four bucks an hour and I got a new title—seriously, four bucks, in one whack—for the first time in forever, I strutted up to the counter of the service station and went, I filled the whole tank. How much is that?

The woman just went, Eftpos or credit card, ma’am?

I wanted to tell the service station stranger that I almost didn’t make it. I wanted to tell her I’d stopped driving for two months and starved myself to punish myself for getting spat on. I wanted to tell her last month I took two dollars out of the charity snack box on top of the first aid cabinet at work and used it to buy a sewing kit from a discount barn up towards the good, white part of the road, away from T-Road, so I could fix a loose cuff. I wanted to tell her that if I was driving again, I was saying goodbye to the surferoofers. I only knew their nicknames. I couldn’t find them online. They were unreal, imaginary, I think: something invented by God to make me feel loved. Some kind of trick, a set-up for the knock-down to come.

I definitely wanted to tell people that renovations had only taken place within me when I had been entirely gutted. I wanted to announce at work meetings on Tuesdays that I didn’t eat avocado, hardly anything green, nothing sticky anymore, no mayo, no shrimp because I could still taste the tentacle of that brown snotty spit stretching down and tickling my lips.

How can you begin announcing something like that? You can’t, can you.

*

I’d been taking a few practice snaps of the wildlife in the street outside. My phone could store, like, 500 pics at a time. The disabled toilet at work was a good place to sit down and label the photos without an intern leaning over me and going, Sthatcha boyfriend? No one interrupted me on the disabled loo, plus I’d got in the habit of using it because of my big tits and hips, and calves and, ech, I suppose, my arms, no avoiding them, I’d always had arms like dog roll. Disabled toilets are six feet by seven. Ever counted the width? I have.

Toilets became offices to me, wherever I was—offices and parlours. At parties, without smokes, the clock would crawl, so I’d go into the toilet, take a seat on the plastic lid and work on naming and cataloguing my photos. A good phone with a face-finder built in’s what you need if you’re gonna take photos of all the homeless people in the CBD. I needed to get good at snapping somebody with a single click then going to GuessWho.com and getting the search engine to work out their name within, like, ten seconds. Heaps of homeless have Facebook accounts, or they’ve had a new story done on them about how they ended up on the streets. These people are on the social network. You’d be surprised. They have way more pride than they should.

I practised taking photos of stoners at parties who didn’t care what the fuck. I practised in conversation pits, lines for the toilet, in arched doorways in the hills waiting to be let into mansions so we could trash them while the host’s parents were away at Angkor Wat. I took a thousand photos. They went into the same folder as the pics I actually wanted—pics of every homeless person on T Road and West Link. My phone let me type in little nicknames for every vagrant and kerb-crawler and cockroach I catalogued. I had to be brave and get to know these people. God had a plan, a little tingling told me, and he would send a fairy godmother to assist. I got into a conversation about getting homeless people off the street with this honey-haired Christian guy with blue eyes waiting to suck on a tree of weed stuffed inside a cigar shell. We were playing Spin The Bottle on his phone. He said I should walk into the Red Cross and see what it’s like. Only then could I judge the homeless as something other than icky and rude. Spread chow-chow on some sandwiches, push in a slice of luncheon meat, put it in a bag for a Person Experiencing Homelessness who wouldn’t say thanks. The Christian laughed at that last bit. He said I didn’t have to be politically correct, though it didn’t hurt. It’s not like the clientele are gonna notice. Call them rough sleepers, perhaps. PEH is a mouthful, he said. Don’t expect human beings with a preponderance toward mental illness, head injuries and substance abuse to remember their Ps and Qs, he said, and winked. Fear not. This will change your life.

*

I was making first contact with a brand new airline for $53.20 every billable hour when I saw her. I’d said goodbye to my manager in reception, ’cause we’d just come back from coffee and Mindy was going to get her car. She was chuffed about the first contact. They’d come out of Myanmar, the airline, except they called it Burma, even though this gay intern said it was definitely, definitely, no mistake, called only Myanmar—anyway, there were like ten things to do, initially, like tax assessment, passports, disease screening for pilots and crew, THEN advertising contracts, THEN book the simulations for our staff, THEN the test holidays for Nina and Rohilal, THEN work out contract for flight deals, THEN safety checks on the Boeings they’d ordered, 735s, I think, I’d have to check.

But yeah, I was thinking about work, looking out from my glass castle in reception and there she was, outside again, walking around like she had a soul and reasons to have pride. I was almost sure it was her. My fingers found my phone and switched on the camera. I had to positively identify her. Take a pic; match the byatch.

She’d—she’d—BLEACHED? Bleached her hair? Now she looked like the old mummy from those Tales From The Crypt movies.

I told the receptionist I had to run after my manager and looked for a taxi to fall into. I was like seven steps up the career ladder from the receptionist. I had 34 extra bucks an hour than her. I was skinnier, too.

Outside there was no taxi, just wind and the drifting pages of a Korean newspaper and the woman. THE woman. I took a spot behind a pillar, hidden in chilly black shadow, and snapped a photo of her face. The tramp looked right toward my pillar, then reached a hand deep down inside her crotch, scratched her vagina. I’ll bet it had silver hairs like a steel brush. I’ll bet it smelled like an old refrigerator which hasn’t been plugged in for two seasons.

She stared at my pillar and scratched, her in that suit jacket, her with those beautiful strong eyebrows that didn’t need plucking. Her, with no purpose on this planet but hating and spitting.

Her, licking her lips, readying spit.

My heart became a rock, heavy and dead in my chest, and then she moved on, down the street, swearing at a letter or document she was unfurling. The wind had come back and it was hard for her to move far.

My heart began pumping warm blood, and I pulled my coat firmly across me. I looked down at my phone and GuessWho’d her. HER, I wrote, HER, and as I wrote, I walked, and kept my head down, labelling photos for like ten minutes, and entered the Red Cross Mission For Man, and signed up to spread chow-chow on white bread. There was this voice telling me to never take my eye off her, not if I wanted to make the world right and just.

*

I finished volunteering work around 6. D helped me lift the heavy sewer grate into the boot of my car. I’d bought a BMW hatchback, black, only three years old, though there was spiderweb on the headlights and wing mirrors ’cause I refused to get it car washed. I was still in the habit of saving money constantly. Punishing myself made me feel pure. When D plonked down the sewer grate and it tumbled onto the spare tyre in the little boot, the whole car bounced. The grate was worth $30 at the scrap yard, D said.

I gave D a sack of frozen peas that I’d nabbed from the Red Cross freezer. Being a volunteer, I had these privileges. Then we walked back round the front of the Mission. Clients aren’t allowed around the staff car parks. D was nibbling peas with one hand while trying to find a photo of The Tooth Fairy on Facebook on my phone. D said The Tooth Fairy takes people’s teeth out so the cops can’t identify the bodies. D wouldn’t give the Tooth Fairy’s real name.

Takes their teeth out with pliers?

Nah. Hammer or something. Something heavy. Brick or somethin.

I asked how someone could be homeless but have, like, web access. Everyone got a phone, D went. Don’t question The Tooth Fairy, D advised. D was gonna put me onto The Tooth Fairy, I was gonna give D $20, and I was gonna make the world a better place when I tracked her down. Her. Her and that suit jacket and silver hair. Her and those shackles of hurt and sorrow she dragged up and down the cold tiles of T Road.

The Tooth Fairy was shot by police something like eight years ago for stabbing somebody following this car crash, in the middle of the road, with a screwdriver, while the man’s bonnet was crushed. D told me everything else he knew about this Tooth Fairy while I stacked alternate bits of white and brown bread and spread each layer with margarine and cheap jam. D called it his Pancake Stack. He pretended his stack was filled with hot, runny maple syrup mixing with melted butter. D has lots of funny little methods for making life on the streets seem like a lifestyle choice rather than a hole he’d been dumped into.

Get The Tooth Fairy to find her. You’ve gotta.

Make me another short stack. And gimme your phone. I’ll get the Fairy up in here to meetcha.

*

I pressed the red button that lets you out the doors after-hours and stood half-inside work, half-out, letting cold air breathe on my warm world. The sky was black when I made a joke to the receptionist about me finishing up her work, ha-ha, since I was the last in the building and the receptionist had shut down her computer 20 minutes ago. The streetlights were clicking on. The air had little sprinkles of rain in it.

Oi. Hey! Wake up! The man was wrapped in a picnic blanket on a bed of nice, thick real estate magazines. You couldn’t see him, under his lip of concrete, unless someone told you he was there. I toed him with the sneakers I’d put on.

I’m after the Tooth Fairy, please.

Bullshit.

Please just tell me if you’re The Tooth Fairy or not.

Lemme go back to sleep.

But you’re the one. D got you to wait here for me.

Fuggov.

Here’s the stack. PLEASE. There’s 25 twenties in there. I’ve been saving, that’s 25 packs of smokes I didn’t… couldn’t… listen, second half of the money after you’ve done the thing, kay? I’m begging you: just do me this one thing.

When he yanked the notes out of my fingers, the Tooth Fairy pulled his knees up to this chin and whipped his head around to see who was about to rob him. YOU GET THE FUCK BACK, BONY. He rolled into a crouch, squatting, preparing, still clutching his blanket against his shoulders. He made his cash disappear somewhere. I could see a different-coloured pair of pants under his outer track pants, and jeans under both of those.

Bony.

The Tooth Fairy backed me up against the glass. I put my hand over my eyes, pulled out my mobile and flipped the lid open. He pulled my wrist to his face and studied my phone’s screen.

BONY.

So you know the picture? You know how to find her?

The Tooth Fairy brought a pouch of tobacco up to his face and started rolling. She’s easy. You gonna watch?

God, um… no, hell no, I’ve gotta be 5000 miles away from here, I just—I just wanted to kind of, you know, since, if I’m paying you a thousand—

Brick on the head’s quickest. Gotta smash them teef up good. Dental records’ll getcha if you don’t.

I won’t give you a brick.

Got somefin plenty heavy?

I have a grate. One of those ones that’s in the gutter? It’s in my car, I can bring it round?

Sewer grate’ll do nicely. Take it to where she slee—

SHUT UP! SHUT UP! DON’T TELL—

—sleeps with her mocca poona. ’Sall good, chill. She won’t feel nuffin. Give us ya keys, I’ll fetch it.

I took a deep lungful of air and almost reached out for his pouch of tobacco, almost begged for a wormy, twisted scrap of paper with sticky, stinking shredded brown tobacco leaf in it. But I didn’t. I would start work again in ten hours. My day would be Microsoft Outlook, hunger pangs and green tea.

I gave the Tooth Fairy my car keys and he sprinted away along West Link, to dash into the Red Cross staff car park and unlock the trunk of my car and lift the sewer grate and practise raising it above his head and slamming it down into an old woman’s face until the face shattered into dust and blew far away, and when he was done practising, he’d go and find the real thing, and maybe if he took a pxt and I was impressed with his work I’d pay him the second thousand bucks.

Maybe you’ll even use me again, he said. I’m usually about.

I opened Google on my phone and went to MaoriDictionary.co.nz. I tried to read the Net; traffic was a distraction. It was hard to spell mocca poona, there were no results on the website, I tried variations on the spelling like mokopuna and that spelling meant grandchildren, like this tramp had grandchildren maybe, but it was cold and so I gave up searching, let Tooth do his thing, drove home, fell into my apartment, went to sleep knowing I’d changed a life.

‘… So yah. True story. How did we even… Oh yeah. Smoking. That’s why I don’t smoke any more. Crazy, huh.’

‘She had grandkids, Emily?’

‘Your guess is good as mine.’

‘Omigosh. I don’t know what to say… I’d hate to be you.’

‘Ha-ha, cheers, sister. Wild story, huh. Hey, have you ever been to Burma? They have beaches on the RIVER. We should totally go, I get the BEST deals.’

‘God, I just… I’d seriously hate to be you.’

‘You jinxed yourself, ha-ha. That story, like, fully shagged me out. You seen my keys? One for the road then I’m up to Skyheights for that guy’s 40th, like paaaar-tayyy.’