No. 55-74 The Olive Family Tree

Like the Music Men boyfriends (No. 25-29) I have amalgamated in a similar way. In 2008 I wrote, performed, hosted and produced a show at Edinburgh Fringe in the only swimming pool venue. It was called Liz Bentley-on-Sea and Edinburgh-on-Sea. The Scotsman (and in this case I’m not talking about Fraser) called the show ‘half baked’, it was indeed raw. The paper likened me to Tracey Emin and I assumed they were referring to her tent of 1995, either that or they couldn’t think of anything else to say and Tracy had an exhibition in Edinburgh that year so was in the fore front of minds.
I began writing my list of boyfriends well before the 1994 film ‘4 weddings and a funeral’ where Andie MacDowell’s character reveals she’s had sex with 33 guys. Shocked by the shock I got out my list which by then was already twice this amount and some. Unlike in the film, Pelekas promiscuity was accepted to the tenth degree.
There is a saying ‘what goes on in Pelekas stays in Pelekas’. Fraser used to say “A’body knows a’thing about a’body and what they dinnae ken they make up”. Pelekas stories were full of truth and versions of the truth. Love came fast and strong – in one Pelekas day I could have three boyfriends – one I was saying goodbye to, one I was greeting from the bus and one with an unspoken agreement that if either of us didn’t score (that meant having sex with someone, as opposed to scoring drugs) we’d find each other in the Cocoa club just before 4am and hook up for the night.

From Rut Hut Rob, to Psychic Sven, Nordic Ned (I cured regular his migraines with sex) – tents, bamboo beach huts and taverna toilets all became my caves of love. If there was a family olive tree of Pelekas lovers we would all join up somehow somewhere, from all over the world, like the 7 degrees of separation but probably more like 5. The boys who called themselves the ‘fishermen’ or the ‘fishermen are coming’ (when they were) made it even easier for the swapping about – just like in Love Island (without texts) but rawer and darker as many of us shared inside disturbances covered up with alcohol that never came out apart from during the screams of sex, infected mosquito bites, and in some cases, premature death from A.I.D.S or drug misadventures.
“I’m moving into Lang’s” Marni said one day.

She’d found love with Lang

An American

Moved into his hut,

And I felt shut

Out

My love nests

Incomparable to her
And Lang’s sun sets

Lang’s hut was superior than any I’d slept in, two sides bamboo, two sides white sheets and he wore another round his waist, how did he get them so fucking white? Marni’s pink floral sheet covered the interior beach mats and there were candles and holders and shit like that. There’d been a lull in my boyfriend proceedings after I’d made a dramatic scene of oral sex in front of the taverna in broad daylight with an unknown German (not illustrated on the olive tree).

For the first time in Pelekas I felt ashamed of myself – and alone.

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No. 54 The French Frisbee Throwers

Two French guys put up their one man tent next to ours. After they’d set up we followed them onto the beach and watched them play frisbee – naked.
“They’re fit as fuck” Marni said.
“Posers.” I said.  Their frisbee throwing was way too impressive.
Clothed and back at camp, Marni and I became more acquainted with our new French olive grove campers.

Freddy was black and Yvon looked like he was black but wasn’t, it was just the tan. I told Marni I was happy with Yvon and she was happy with Freddy because she’d never been to bed with a black man and because I’d been to bed with Rasta man (No. 52) it seemed only right and proper for her to have Freddy and me to have Yvon. We split off into couples and enjoyed an afternoon of sun, sea and sex, what we soon learned was a typical Pelekas day for all campers.
A few days later Wand (our newly shortened version of the Wicked Wanderer Les), having lost our interest, was busy helping two Belgium girls put up a larger, more sophisticated tent opposite ours. Marni, me, Yvon, Freddy, Les and the Belgium girls stayed down the beach, settling in the taverna for a cosy evening of Metaxa and chocolate milk.

Marni and I were surviving on a small amount of cash that we kept hidden underneath our tent. We were going without proper meals to save money for booze and had eaten some sunflower seeds mixed with Marmite (a speciality makeshift MS dish I had bought from England, it would survive the heat – in fact the hotter it got, the runnier the Marmite – yum).

In the taverna we watched Freddy, Yvon and the Belgium girls tuck into feasts of spaghetti bolognaise with Greek salad, tzatziki and baskets of fresh, crusty bread. We never saw Wand eat much, he bought bread and cheese from the shop and we’d seen him sitting outside his tent eating baked beans from a can with my plastic spoon from the plane, we knew he didn’t go hungry.
“Can we have your leftovers?” Marni’s tongue was hanging out.  The French guys pushed their plates over and Marni and I ate theirs and the Belgium’s left overs. We scavenged left over crusts of pizza and drinks from other tables as campers turned in for the night.
Five or six Greek guy’s sat huddled together on the table furthest from us, they leant over a ghetto blaster. I thought I could hear them playing Butthole Surfer’s (one of our stolen tapes) but kept the thought to myself, the taverna was now closed.  Wand and the Belguim girls had gone back to camp and Freddy and Yvon had upped and left too for no reason.
“Shall we sleep in our tent tonight?” I asked Marni.
“Yeah, theirs is too tiny.”
“And smelly”

Their tent was also claustrophobic with large back packs of camping gear cluttering it. Marni and I had argued who would go in which tent and after a few nights of negotiations between our foursome it seemed easier and more comfortable to sleep back together.  We’d had lots of sex that day, we could have more the next – at this point comfort came before sex.
“They’ve all gone into Corfu town” Wand said when we emerged from the tent the next afternoon. “Do you want some melon?  Yvon and Freddy left it.”“They gone with the Belgium girls?” Marni asked.
“Umm . Umm. Think so” said a stoned Wand.
“They’re after them now, twats.” I said, I was pissed off with the rejection but the frisbee posing was wearing thin and I was fancying new campers on the beach that had bamboo huts.
Appetite whetted from the melon, Marni walked round the back of our tent to dig up the small amount of drachmas she’d buried for us to get some food.
“It’s fucking gone Liz”
“No way” I said.  The only people who knew where our money was were Freddy, Yvon and Wand. It wasn’t Wand, he’d been too generous and loyal to us.
“Fuck sake, we were scrounging from their plates last night and it was our fucking food, our fucking money.. bastards…” Marni was fuming. I was fuming. Wand smiled emphatically, he’d got our attention from the previous theft and could help us again.
“Bastards” I searched the tent just in case she’d got the money out in a drunken haze last night. But no, it had gone.
“Want a beer?” Wand said and we followed him back into the taverna before the three of us walked up to the village to sort out cash.
We never saw Freddy and Yvon again. They stole from the Belgium girls whilst in town and were caught by the police.
“We’ll have this lot” said Marni, delving in their tent, pulling out equipment to make a kitchen with. We took their sleeping bags too, our pink floral sheets were warm but the ground hard, they made good mattresses.
“We can rent the tent out to anyone we fancy” Marni said.

When the Belgium girls returned to camp we gave them no sympathy. They shouldn’t have gone off with our lovers, they’d got their money back anyhow. They left the next day and a new bus load of interrailers arrived.

No. 53 Pelekas – The Wicked Wanderer

My favourite friend from the Crown pub (who often sat next to No. 21 half man half bar stool but never fell off) had told me and Marni about Pelekas.  “If you’re travelling anywhere, go there, it’s the only place to be,” and we believed him.
The No. 11 to Pelekas arrived and the bus was soon filled with Greeks and a few hippy type travellers carrying brown bags of fruit and veg. Bronzed like they’d come from a summer in India they chatted to each other in different languages. We stood while Greek women dressed in black took the limited seats and the bus chugged round the bendy roads leading to Pelekas village.
A tall man in a red vest was bus surfing, he had tattoos on arms and was drinking from a bottle of Ouzo.
“He’ll do me,” I nodded at Marni. “He reminds me of Fraser”
“Oh God – please no Liz.”
“She’ll be coming round the mountain when she comes,” the man sang in an Irish accent as we swerved round the corner of Pelekas mountain and up the road, past an olive factory, pulling into the centre of the village, opposite the Zanzi bar – the bar our pub friend had told us about – the bar I could use as an address to receive Fraser’s prisons letters.
The man with the Ouzo was first off the bus and stumbled into the bar.
“You’re barred – for good. Get down that beach and sober up.” The English bar woman chased him out, waving a broom and the man stumbled back down the road the bus had just climbed.
The other travellers had dispersed so we followed the man down the steep track towards the beach.
“This is hard core” my right leg was numb and back pack now felt heavy, I was beginning to regret Barbie and Ken’s changes of clothing. I had read that vitamin D was good for MS, I was a sun worshiper, I just needed to get on that beach and I knew everything would be fine. About two thirds of the way down a group of travellers sat around a wooden table to the right of a house, drinking and chatting. The man with the ouzo joined them.
“Yasu.” They cheered at seeing the man.
Outside the yard a wood sign was attached vicariously to the fencing “Wine”. There were chickens and a Greek woman sat at the front of the house, smiling. From the house the Greek man brought out a bottle of wine and a glass for himself and the ouzo man. They chinked glasses and sat with the others at the table.
“Yammas” “Yammas” “Yammas”
We continued down the track, it was becoming more difficult to follow.
“Where the fuck is it? We should have stopped and got pissed with them” I liked the Ouzo man.
“The sea’s there” Marni pointed and ahead of us we could see tents in the olive trees and just to the right of the trees we could see the sea and a taverna.
We put up our tent facing the sea in between other similar tents, there was plenty of space. It was afternoon now but there was no sign of life in the camps.
“We’ve just got to do it” Marni said as we stripped off.
“Let’s do it.” I agreed.
Our Crown friend had told us that Pelekas was a nudist beach, we were prepared by not bringing any swim wear. Marni clutched one of the pink floral sheets and held it up to hide her bits. I tugged at the sheet and pulled enough off Marni to cover my bits and we headed for the sea, climbing down the last small steep path by the side of the taverna. We ran onto the sand and up to the sea, Marni dropped the sheet, threw a stone over it so it wouldn’t blow away, and we jumped into the waves.
“We’re free.” We jumped and splashed about.
“We’re gonna get brown bums”

Pelekas is on the West coast of Corfu, the sun would later set over a huge rock where there were men jumping off and into the turquoise Ionian Sea.
It was choppy that day. A figure further out at sea bobbed about in the waves, we watched as he mounted the next wave-like an Olympic diver, his body surfed towards us at high-speed. We jumped out of his way, laughing hysterically. The wave took him to shore. He stood up, turned round and smiled at us. He was fit, golden brown skin with sun bleached curly long hair. Disappearing beneath the sea his head popped up again, further ahead. We laughed more and ran back onto the sand and lay on the double pink floral sheet.  The sand was burning hot but the light pink of the sheet reflected it back and we were comfortable. We watched the man surf more until he came out of the water and crouched at the foot of our sheet – naked. Fine wet sand stuck to his balls. It was fun to look discreetly at what we called his ‘lunch pack’.
“Les” he introduced himself with an unexpectedly slightly posh English accent.
“Marni”
“Liz”
“Where are you from?”
“Cornwall, but I live in and about London mostly, squatting.”
“Have you jumped off that?” I asked pointing at the rock ahead.
“Yes, wanna try it?”
“Dunno” Marni said.
“I might” I said.
“You have to jump quite far out, someone died already this year. I’ll take you up there if you like. Fancy a beer?”
Marni took up the pink floral sheet, we would go back to camp, get some Drachmas and meet Les in the Taverna.
The sand was even hotter now, my feet like were also numb and pins and needlsy, I ran quickly back into the olive groves for fear of burning them. I never moaned or complained about symptoms to Marni, she would instinctively help me get up and down tricky terrain, my balance was shit, I looked drunk when I wasn’t and walked better when I was drunk – which in Pelekas became the norm.
“Fucking hell”
“Oh fucking no, no!”
In the short time we’d left camp almost everything had been stolen from my side of the tent and some of Marni’s. All that was left of my belongings were some cassette tapes, my orange sun dress, the PVC half melted mini skirt and my knickers which were strewn around the tent, erroneously. The thieves had taken my jewellery, leather jacket, money belt and everything that was inside the belt including the travellers cheques that were to last till September. They hadn’t touched Barbie and Ken’s stuff.  Marni, not as bereft, went through the cassettes that were missing.
“They’ve left Napalm Death, Slime Boy and Rolf Harris.” We could still listen to Rolf ‘I never gargled I never gambled, I never smoked at all, until I met my two close amigos Nick O Teen and Al K Hol” Oh deary dear Rolf.
“Let’s go for a beer and find Les” Marni said.
I put on my orange dress and we headed to the taverna. Les was at the bar in the queue for beer.
“We’ve been fucked over,” I told him as a man walked into the taverna holding two passports.
“Ive fand diese” of course they were mine and Marni’s. “In den Olivenhainen” The man was checking the photos.
“Thanks,” I took them from him, he laughed.
“Wo ist dein Haar?” he pointed at Marni’s head, then at my newly shaven sides, my blonde wet Mohican falling flat at the back. Marni had long spiked hair in her passport photo, since having typhoid we continued to shave her head while less traumatized hair had a chance to grow back.
“Fuck off” I said to the man who was touching my hair. I wasn’t used to the Pelekas good spirit.
“The passport’s the main thing, don’t worry about the rest, we’ll sort you out.” Les paid for 3 Amstel beers and we sat on a table facing out to sea. A group of travellers joined us with tales of Greek and Albanian thieves who were on the rampage. One had been caught red-handed by the Dutch man who lived in one of the bamboo huts on the beach, he’d chased him up the cliff waving a knife and the Greek jumped off and hit the rock. That was the story – we listened to many stories that night.
“I’ll take you up the village and introduce you to Sofia” Les offered “She works in the travel agent. She’ll sort you out and tomorrow we’ll go into Corfu to the police and embassy. Best thing now is to get drunk, it’s your first night in Pelekas.” And we did.
“Do you fancy Les?” I asked Marni when we were tucked under the sheet ready for sleep.
“Dunno, do you?”
“Dunno. Shall we share him for a bit? See what happens.”
“We’ll share Les, he’s sweet.”

Les dealt in black resin and supplied most of the beach smokers. He would do a bi weekly run from Gatwick to Corfu, eat lumps in cellophane then shit it out with laxatives and bury the packets in a secret place in the olive groves. He suggested we bury our valuables we kept on the beach, apart from the ones we would leave with Sofia.
The next day, after a long and laborious time in Corfu Les and I met up again with Marni in Pelekas village. She’d come straight from the beach, neither of us were dressed for a night out but decided to have our first village night life experience.
“You’re zoning out” I said to Les, he’d been puffing too much.  We’d been drinking and smoking on a bench opposite the Zanzi Bar.  Marni disappeared and returned with a bottle of retsina and can of sprite, we needed a kick.  We slammed our drinks, trying not to break the flimsy plastic cups.
“Yamas”
“I’ll take you to the Coca club” Les said and we followed him further up the village, stopping to buy a bottle of ouzo in a shop along the way, then into the basement of a taverna or something. We didn’t notice what the building was , the Coca Club would become an obscurity that we visited and left in the dark.
Inside the club we danced like crazy to the Doors, Violent Femmes and the Cure. At 4am lights abruptly came on and we were kicked out, Marni slumped on the wall outside the club, drunker than me.   She could sleep anytime, anywhere, standing up, sitting down, within a few seconds she was half leaning, half standing already comatose as half empty plastic cups taken from the club were balanced on her head by other club goers.  There soon was a large group watching the tower on Marni’s head grow. As she woke and moved her head the cups fell down and the crowd cheered.  We finished any leftover drinks we could find and Les, Marni and I began the long walk back down the mountain singing “follow the yellow brick road”.  Then an hour or so later.
“This isn’t Pelekas beach” Les laughed as we set foot on the beach “We’re on Glyfada.” Too drunk and knackered to make sense of our mistake, Marni took out the pink floral sheet from her back pack and the 3 of us cuddled up on the beach under it, Les in the middle.
“What the fuck” a hand groped my boob, I shook it off. Les laughed a dirty laugh.
“What are doing? Get off my bum.” Marni shrieked. Les laughed a dirty laugh.
We woke about 9am, sticky and stinky with grits of sand in and around our orifices. Still drunk, we laughed, looking up at the mountain we’d have to climb back up. Marni had a half bottle of ouzo with a splash of water in it, left over’s from what we’d taken into the club. I swigged at it then spat out some of the sand. We finished the bottle and began our long ascent, singing our way Wizard of Oz style up the mountain, arms linked, Les in the middle.
“You are naughty Les, trying it on like that. Taking advantage of drunk Essex girls” Marni laughed. “You are a naughty, naughty, naughty Les”
“Naughty hand wanderer” I said.
“You’re a naughty, naughty hand wanderer” Marni caught on. And the name stuck. By the time we’d reached the top of the mountain we’d renamed Les ‘Hand Wanderer’, and by the time we’d got back down to Pelekas beach we’d renamed him ‘The Wicked Wanderer’ it went with the ‘Witch is dead’ song I’d been singing (Klaus Nomi style) singing took the focus away from my right leg.  This mountain climbing lark was helping the ‘mind over matter’ approach to MS.  That and laughing.  I hadn’t laughed so much since the 1980 scout jamboree.

Apart from us, I don’t think Les had any other relationships that year in Pelekas – but we did, we’d only just begun.

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The Journey to Corfu ……

Marni and I had filled our back packs to last the summer. It would be hot. We didn’t bother with sleeping bags – just two double pink floral sheets that Marni’s mum gave us. That would do for sleeping under, sunbathing on and drying ourselves. We took our necessary hair clippers, Walkman (with two inputs for two sets of headphones) and a pile of bootleg cassettes I’d been collecting.  All set.  I loved flying, I loved the food in the plastic trays and free drink, I loved surfing with the turbulence, I loved collecting the plastic cutlery/salt/pepper because I knew it would all come in useful at some point.  We got to Gatwick early so we could check in and get the smoking seats at the back of the plane. The holiday had begun.
Arriving at Corfu airport was chaotic. At baggage reclaim there was only one conveyor belt and it was broken down, we waited for what seemed like hours (our baggage would have been small enough to take on the plane but in those days baggage came free with your flight).  Our back packs were finally thrown out onto the now moving belt.  I could see the barrel of my luminous green water pistol, poking out from the top of the sack amongst the club 18-30’s suitcases – I was sure I’d packed the gun at the bottom.  We’d packed toys with us too, just like we’d done on Brownie pack holidays where Marni and I had become best friends.  We had back gammon, Barbie and Ken dolls (with changes of clothes) and a dog lead if we needed to take our imaginary pet Spot for a run along the beach or a walk through the village.  Our hair not enough to get the attention craved.

We walked out of the airport up to the main road, it was still morning despite the long wait.   The heat hit us.  We stopped at the side of the road to take t-shirts off and replace with bikini tops.  Marni took longer, she always took longer, fumbling about in her rucksack.  I lit a fag and waved my arms at an old Greek man with donkey and cart.
“How far is Corfu town?” I asked and the man stopped, beckoned us onto the back of the cart and we climbed aboard and sat among some large tins of what we thought would be olive oil.   I sat on some sort of liquid that began to burn through the pvc of my mini skirt, it wasn’t olive oil.

“Fuck this Marni, it’ll take forever.”  I had this sticky black stuff on my hands,  Marni handed me a tissue, she was more patient than I.  The donkey kept slowing down and stopping, the old man kept looking behind at us, chuckling with a no teeth grin.  It was easy to jump out of the cart and we began walking again, with thumbs out. A young Greek lad on a moped stopped “Kalimera!” he beckoned us to get on the bike. He took my rucksack and put it in front of him and I squeezed between him and Marni. “Pelekas!” I said and after a short bumpy ride he dropped us off in a square in Corfu town.

“Pelekas beach!” he said pointing at the bus stop.  We slid off the bike and he sped off.  Buses pulled in and out from the square as new travellers joined us in the No. 11 bus queue for Pelekas.

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No. 52 A policeman, a bomb and the #Bermondsey #Rasta

Marni and I were packing rucksacks for our summer of travelling when a policeman knocked on the door.
“Who’s died?” asked Marni.
“You need to leave the flat immediately. A bomb from the second world war has been found in the vicinity. We are evacuating the area while bomb disposal deal with the matter.”
“How long for?” I asked, we were flying to Corfu the next day.
“It could be overnight, the community centre can accommodate residents but we suggest you stay at family or friends if that’s possible.”
“Have I got time to get some spare knickers?” Marni asked.
“If you’re quick.” The policeman smiled.
Most of my decent knickers were already in my rucksack. I pulled out a few pairs, deciding which to put in my bum bag. Marni did the same.
“Lizzy, will these ones do?” she held up a leopard print g-string. “Or my safety knickers?” In the other hand she dangled a pair of black french knickers.
“Come on girls.” The policeman turned away from the knicker display and escorted us off the estate. There was only one thing for it – from our original plan of staying in and having an early night to prepare for our big trip – we went to the pub.
The local was packed with displaced Arnold Estate residents. We sat on the kerb outside the pub, slurping pints of snakebite. It was a beautiful sunny evening.
“Alright!” The bar man’s dreadlocks lurched into my nearly empty pint, he swung them out and about and drips from a dread landed on my arm, he smiled and I licked them off. He picked up a dozen or so empty glasses from the kerb and went back into the pub, stacking them theatrically like a circus stunt man. I followed him, avoiding the leaning tower of pints and ordered another drink.
“I’m not alright, we can’t get back in our flat and me and my mate are going away tomorrow.” I smiled the smile that always worked – if I was in the right mood.
So – Marni left to stay with an ex boyfriend and Mike (the barman) didn’t charge me for my next snakebite, or the next. When the pub closed he led me to his flat, on the same estate, just not cordoned off.
“Man, this just always happens.” Mike said after a night of sex, spliff and listening to Terminal Cheesecake. “You meet the woman of your dreams and she’s about to fuck off travelling.” He smiled and skinned up, I put on my clean knickers and put the others in my bum bag, they neatly nestled against my passport and traveller cheques.
“I’ve never been proper travelling before.”  It was about 5am and despite Mike’s attention and my curiosity with how things may have played out with this cool, Bermondsey Rasta – I was already on the plane, flying over the alps.
“Will you write?”
“I’ll send you a postcard.”
Only Fraser would get letters.

No. 50 and 51 Fraser Inside – my Mind

With Fraser in prison and Matthew gone to Bermuda, I had no drama or BMW’s in my life – I was bored. I did a charity parachute jump, to excite me. Marni escorted me, she was bored too. I was doing it for MIND (mental health charity) and had raised £140.00 from my friends at the Samaritans, cleaning jobs and Foggie’s video shop – it paid for the jump too. I was sad because this was Marni’s and my last weekend together for a year, she, like Fraser was leaving me and was off to travel the world, first to climb the Himalayas. Her brother and I waved her off at Heathrow. I felt so alone.
I remained in the flat with Marni’s brother but it wasn’t the same. I lived off iceberg lettuce, spread with marmite and an occasional Ryvita as a treat. Sometimes I mixed sunflower seeds together with marmite, it filled me up and sunflower seeds were good for MS. I drank alcohol every night and ate crisps and nuts in the pub. When I was drunk I might eat toast or have a bite of someone’s kebab or a few chips to the tune of “I asked you if you wanted something and you said no”.
I met a bricklayer called Dan in a club at Elephant and Castle, he had a Triumph motorbike and looked like Marc Bolan.  He took me to Brighton for the classic ‘dirty weekend’ but after a gram of speed I could only talk about Fraser, too off my head to worry that this would put him off.
“What gets you going?” asked Alan the physics teacher I’d met at another club, he listened to radio 4 in the mornings. “I want you to have a good time too.” He wanted to please me.
I didn’t need to tell either men about having MS – they were already put off by the very mention of my man behind bars.  Each relationship lasted a month or so.
In the meantime, Fraser had been sent back to HMP Saughton for trial.  Over the next 5 weeks I received 6 letters from him and 3 from Marni in Nepal. Despite the high suicide rate in prisons, I was more concerned about Marni. She seemed lonely, like me, but far away and going on about how many mosquitos there were, no mention of fun or boys she’d met, none of her usual chat. I knew something was wrong.
“Little Lizzy, its Irene here.” Marni’s mother said. “Marni’s ill, would you get her brother to ring me when he comes in? Urgently.”
“I knew something was wrong.”
“We need to get her. She’s in a hospital in Kathmandu, she’s very sick”
“He’s just walked in.” I passed the phone to Marni’s brother. After the call he packed a bag.
“Mum’s organised a taxi to Heathrow, they’ve got me on the next BA flight.”

I sat alone in the flat for a week with only one letter from Fraser to keep me going. One day I locked myself in the flat, I’d mislaid my keys, couldn’t find them anywhere. I leaned over the balcony and threw some money to a passer-by who got me some fags and put them through the letter box. I’d put the keys in the fridge, that’s how upset I was.

We never found out exactly what had happened to Marni, she’d had all her jabs but they thought it was typhoid.  She’d got paranoid about mosquitos and locked herself in her room. She had dysentery too, hadn’t drunk for days. She could have died had a boy from the hostel not fancied her and wondered why he hadn’t seen her for a few days.
When Marni came back to the flat I weighed her, she had lost three stone. Her skin flapped about her bones.
“You’re pale as fuck, where’s the sun tan?” I said, Marni laughed. I was so happy to see her but in the morning we found clumps of her hair on her pillow. Stress or the drugs, we didn’t know. I got the clippers and shaved it all off. She looked cooler than ever, scary too.
“Let’s go away together” she said when the shock of her hair loss had worn off “I’ve spent fuck all of my travel money”
“I’ve got enough to keep me going and I can get Foggie’s girlfriend to sign on for me when I’m away. We could go for the whole summer.”
“The whole summer.”