Green green grass of home
Green green grass of home
She had it all. Perfect teeth; perky tits, clothes that clung effortlessly to an hourglass figure; a hulking beefcake in tow, all fake tan, gleaming teeth and back hair as thick as a shagpile carpet.
And she was everywhere: in the gym, perspiring daintily into a white monogrammed towel while BackHair stood nearby, holding her water bottle, while I huffed and lumbered and sweated on the cross trainer.
Or ordering wine at my local, perching effortlessly on a tall barstool, practically batting off admirers, nibbling diced kale leaves or whatever from her Chanel handbag while the rest of us guzzled our filthy pork scratchings.
I sulked in the corner of the bar with Tom, who watched me failing to not watch her. I took a swig of my unsophisticated, run-of-the-mill pint disconsolately and stared at my scabby daps.
“Cheer up” said Tom “your hair’s nicer’n her’s.” I punched him, but shook it loose anyway. It was nice hair. Tom liked to run his hands through it when we spent Sundays in with a box set. Then I glimpsed her highlighted, tumbling locks - not a grey hair in sight - and scowled again. Maybe I could pop down the hairdresser’s, get them to spruce this old mop up a bit this weekend…?
But, then our chips arrived and I cheered right up. We shared a large portion between us and squirted ketchup over the lot, the way we both liked it. Tom talked with his mouth full, bits of chip flying everywhere. He was on form tonight, telling me all about his day. If anyone else had told those stories they’d have been dull as ditchwater, but Tom made everything sound funny and I laughed at him till ketchup ran down my chin.
“Pure class, you are” laughed Tom, kissing my head and wiping off the ketchup with the back of his hand. His breath smelled like vinegar. I burped then giggled.
“I have to go for a wee, let go, oaf man”
As I sat on the loo I heard the door to the bathroom open and tiny delicate steps totter over to the sink; the splash of water, the unzipping of a makeup bag.
I opened the toilet door and of course it was her. She stood, wide-mouthed, applying mascara. Under the strip light she looked tired. Brittle. I smiled at her thinly in the mirror, but she didn’t smile back. I washed my hands and left her alone to touch up her makeup for the barman’s approval, feeling somehow buoyed now.
“Come on Tom, let’s get back. I fancy jammies and telly. You in?”
On the way out I saw her perched alone on her high stool sipping her wine, and batting her freshly mascara-ed lashed hopelessly at the barman, her admirers absorbed by the telly, or the pool table, or their wives now.
I took Tom’s workstained fingers in my grubby, nailbitten ones and we headed out into the rain and our own brand of comfortable imperfection.