Neighbours
                                                                                 by AJ Kirby
 
 
Funny street. Nice, but too close to Beeston so after 7/7 Mo got funny looks. Police knocked him up at seven once. Still up after night shift, as it happened. Didn’t bring him in but it was close for a while because the boy came down and the boy was more English and wouldn’t take nobody’s shit.
 
When the toilet busted Mo called two Yellow Pages’ worth of plumbers but most told him to fuck off when they heard his accent. But he was heavy with crap and the thought there wasn’t a toilet brought him out in spasms.
 
Try and take his mind off it he counted his neighbours on his fingers.
Which ones of them would let a hairy-arsed Asian taxi driver use their
bog? Man at 24 was the type said he wasn’t racist but. Couple at 32
definitely were. BNP flag in the window at election time. Greg at 38
said hello sometimes but awkward. Greg would probably say use the
outside, or something. Wife had heard Sheena at 27 in the supermarket.
Moaning to the till woman. Said when they were cooking curry you could
smell it on the whole street and it got in the carpet. 
 
His stomach bubbled and broiled. Hurt too much to sit down so he got up,
unlocked the front door. And the metal grill. Walked onto the street.
Checking for lights on. 
 
Could barely even stagger. Practically fell against next door’s door. Next
door the quiet type you hear about on the news when it turns out he’s a
serial rapist. But needs must. 
 
Feller opened up, asked where’s the fire. 
 
Mo wanted to shoulder past him or unbuckle and shit right there on his WELCOME mat, but didn’t. Took time to explain. Feller said all right as long as it’s not a shit. Mo felt a twinge of guilt but it might have been something else. Walked upstairs as though his torso made of water and he was trying to contain it in his arms. 
 
Exploded through the bathroom door and throned himself. 
 
Relief. Only advice his daddy ever gave him was if you’re going to shit have it on work time. Then you can luxuriate in it. 
 
This felt the same. 
 
After, he wafted his arms about pointlessly: smell too thick. 
 
When he opened the bathroom door, the quiet feller was standing outside with the air-freshener, just in case.

 

 

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