To explain my brain, for the briefest of moments: I worry. All the time. About far more than is realistically necessary.

Aimée went to work this afternoon. Pulled in a little early because her boss had decided to skip out on part of the shift, leaving the supervisor deserted on the shop floor, Aimée had gone in because the supervisor called her. No problems, so far.

As the afternoon slouched into evening, I realised we were not only running out of milk, the dogs’ dinner was still in the freezer. Seeking guidance on what to do about these desperate situations, I rang the shop. No answer. I let the phone ring out for just about a minute.


Without my bidding, I saw an ambulance racing through my mind. Aimée, prone on a stretcher. The supervisor with mascara running down her face, struggling to form words. Shelves hanging limply all around the store. Bottles smashed across the floor. A till ripped out by the roots. All this within the minute of ringing.


I ran out, barely caught hold of my car keys, sped up the road. I screeched to a halt in the car park. Dashed to the front door. There she was, standing, smiling, behind the till. No immediate issue seemed to offer itself up as explanation.

Unsure what else to do, and cursing my brain for making so much out of so little, I blundered to the back of the shop, picked up milk, wandered down to the till. She smiled, confused. It turned out there had been a series of fickle-faced children, uncertain as the summer holidays drew to a close, which sweeties they truly desired to guide their sugared brains towards the first day of term.

She couldn’t answer the phone in the face of such pre-adolescent, fresh-faced, diabetes-inducing enquiry. I had her halfway to hospital in my mind.

When I was a working electrician, I might be booked to start a job at ten o’clock. If I wasn’t there by ten to, there were serious problems. I understand this may have to do with the fact that I was born two weeks beyond my due date, although I’m pretty sure that’s a stretch. For whatever reason, I can’t stand being late. I will go without sleep to ensure I’m early. On time, at worst.

I find lateness in others distressing. If we’re due to meet at lunchtime, and I’ve been sitting for ten minutes, probably with a coffee, quite possibly a cigarette, I will determine that you’ve had a terrible accident by the time the froth has faded. Maybe there’s been a visit to casualty, a case of amnesia, a withered nurse and weeks of counselling, speech therapy and efforts to get you to remember your name. Possibly, it’s just a traffic jam. A case of date forgotten. Maybe there’s someone you just can’t get off the phone. Perhaps it’s a mechanical failure, a leak of unknown origin underneath your car, underneath yourself. Perhaps, deep down, you’ve always hated me.

All of this, and my coffee isn’t even cold.

Arguably, I take things too seriously. There are very few films I can get through dry-faced. Quite obviously, I cry like a child through the weepies, but then, that’s what they’re for. Even the fun films usually have a tender moment, somewhere hidden in the falling down and one-liners. One fractured moment of emotion, and I’ll be muffling sobs with a pint. When Kristin Scott-Thomas confessed her love for Hugh Grant in ‘Four Weddings and a Funeral’, I burst into tears.

I am a woman of extremes.

Undoubtedly, of excess, if it was cheaper.

Now, focussing on the positive: this could be terribly useful for fictional purposes. I have no difficulty whatsoever getting to the worst case scenario, imagining all the horrific things that might have happened to delay a person’s arrival at a very ordinary moment. Certainly, I would think that my writing will have tonnes upon tonnes of literary panic attack, and heart-rending drama.

To be in a relationship with this must be nightmarish. I honestly don’t know how she copes with me.

Probably helps that I’m pretty.

Not especially, but I am funny.