• Vol. 03
  • Chapter 08
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Sea Fishing

Before Breakfast, Mr Zope struggles with what he calls the 'Peet-pees'. He stands at the window like an exclamation mark. His hair is boxy too. He watches two magpies tormenting a neighbour's cat and wishes they would go further/stop. His wife sits behind him chewing her nails, wondering where the summer has gone.

After breakfast, he decides to turn their sitting room into the flight deck of the USS Enterprise.
You can be Uhura, he says to his wife and she smiles. It's the most sensible thing he's said in months.

Before lunch, Mr Zope has his breakdown. He gives up his job and invests all his money in a battered Luton van. I'm going to steal houseplants and sell them to your friends, he tells his wife. She grimaces: due to her husband's behaviour, she has no friends.

After lunch, he decides to take up sea fishing. He will buy specialist rods from ebay and watch specialist programs he finds buried in the TV listings.
You can drive the boat, he says, and knowing he can't swim, his wife agrees.

Before dinner, Mr Zope stands outside the toilet door waiting for the klaxon. Curled in agony by the time it sounds, he makes the bowl seconds before his bowel spasms and jettisons 72 hours’ worth of matter. I washed my hands, he tells his wife but she knows he's lying and is glad she played with his food.

After dinner, Mr Zope gets the wobbly legs and his wife agrees that he should dance. He no longer bothers with music, since once he's worked up, nothing can be heard above the sounds of his knees and elbows. I'm going to enter a contest he tells his wife between breaths. Nodding, she gets up slowy, turns of the light and leaves him spinning there in the darkness.