Spontaneous Body Expansion

It’s brought to mind General Studies in the Sixth form; the man called Timothy Good who came to talk to them about UFOs, Steven Hawkings who spoke to them about the Universe, the sixth formers transfixed and clinging onto his every word in complete silence for 2 1/2 hours as the artificial voice joked about spaghetti and black holes, and then the bloke who talked to them about SHC, Spontaneous Human Combustion. 

This was a bastardised version of what he was thinking about.

He was beginning to show an understanding as to how it all works; the lockdown slowly lifting like fog or more accurately like some junkies bed sheets, cold and gossamer thin, almost slippery to the touch, sweat and skin oils, alcohol and junk. The realisation suddenly dawns as the man can’t close his jacket properly and the previously favoured coat seems to sit on his body in an altogether different way, making him think it’s not his. But then he hasn’t seen anyone less so swap coats with anyone for bloody months. The man’s shape seems to have shifted overnight, the expanding motion of the lower abdomen not seen until it’s too late. Very slow at first like a real time film of the stomach growth, the coats sweaters and shirts sit a little tight, but nothing more,  and then the film is rapidly sped up; time lapse, like clouds gathering across the sky  and all of a sudden nothing fits.

And the body mentions “Oh Bother”

And the mind goes “Oh Bother” 

And everything remains the same, apart from he buys some rapberries, a few apples, some extra sweet plums along with the Walkers 24 pack, he loves the prawn cocktail flavour as does everyone else so he makes sure to buy some Wheat Crunchies, bacon flavour, no one likes them, he wishes he could find some tomato flavoured ones, how he loved those ones, Tangy Toms will have to do, the other day he took a 5 mile detour to pick a couple of bags up, and it for that reason that he thinks that this is all getting a little absurd and he should try and do something about it.

And he realises that much of this verbose procrastination is utterly useless, and the simple things which he needs to do are simple things, requiring little of no thought but an enormous amount of willpower, and therein lies the problem. Don’t eat crisps, don’t drink beer, don’t sit on your arse all day, do exercise and do drink water instead of booze. He’s stopped using the Vape machine for 11 days now, and feels ok, not so much mourning the loss of the instrument but realising that the habit has been put firmly into perspective and my god how he’d love to have a couple of roll ups right now. 

But for now he’s begrudgingly contented with tearing through the oil seed fields with his dog at dusk, the dew collecting leaves whipping his shorts and t shirt as he passes too close to avoid the mass gathering of whiteish coloured slugs on the field path who seem to come out at this hour, presumably they aren’t too keen on being trodden on. Sorry slugs but we’ve history and actually, He’s not at all sorry, but he’d rather not have to squish them underfoot, the memory of salted slugs all over the kitchen floor when he returned back from yet another lock in is almost to much to bear. 

So the slugs will have to clear the way as he sheds the Ounces in his wake.

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