Bad luck seems to hang over The Boyfriend and I in a big, broiling cloud. Periods of moderate contentment are short-lived and therefore never fully enjoyed - we're always warily awaiting the next disaster to befall us, as it always inevitably does. The months following Fat Shite's return to Ireland revived my fate in an omnipotent deity because whoever They may be, They proceeded to dump Their chamber pots all over Yours Truly.
The first sign of my impending misfortune was a bird emptying its bowls in my hair while I plodded home from work in the rain. I sucked some air through my teeth, balling my hands into fists, counted to ten repeatedly in my head - The Boyfriend and I were three days in to our second attempt at giving up the cigarettes and this was not helping. Saturated to the skin, I got home to an empty house and realized I'd forgotten my keys. The Boyfriend rocked up two hours later. Naturally, I refused to talk to him because nicotine-withdrawal makes me blame him for everything. I went to bed at about six o' clock that evening, eager to finish the day.
My alarm didn't go off the next morning - I was ten minutes late for work. Boss shot me an angry look. I noticed a red-eyed Sappy hiding behind the coffee machine. The argument they had at lunch time startled customers out the door it was that rambunctious. Every hour passed painfully slowly, and my urge to light up was making my eye twitch.
The following week began. I was waiting to get home from work. Every single person at my tram stop seemed to be sucking on a glorious cigarette and my train was delayed, indubitably, by forty minutes. My fellow passengers were horrified by my behaviour and left a wide berth when the tram finally shambled into view; lingering behind random strangers, snorting their second hand smoke is - apparently - not a good way to make new friends. I hated everyone and everything.
That weekend, Beanie Face came across a mangled bicycle. I'd been loudly contemplating starting up cycling as a hobby and he is the sort who remembers stuff. He hauled it home, and The Boyfriend promised he'd fix it up for me. The brakes weren't exactly prompt, but they worked enough for me. We put two new tyres on it, pumped it up, washed away the cobwebs. I hopped on the saddle, The Boyfriend doubled over laughing at the sight and once he was done with his little episode of uncontrollable mirth (which stopped abruptly once he saw my stony expression), I tested the peddles. It is as easy as everyone says it is and I was beginning to enjoy myself. But remember I told you the good times are always short-lived?
The Boyfriend and I were racing each other to the shop - which was located at the bottom of a hill naturally enough - and the brakes were just as bad as they had been moments earlier. Clearly, I was temporarily stripped of any mental capacity, because unsurprisingly, I ended up bouncing off a tyre that reached my chin and rolling onto the bonnet of the biggest 4x4 I've ever seen. I found myself with my jaw firmly planted on the tarmacadam. My ass was literally throbbing.
Thankfully, the driver of the vehicle was more worried about me than his gargantuan wheeled monster. The Boyfriend helped me limp home, where Beanie Face and Cali Gurrrl were having a domestic.
The lease was coming to an end and The Boyfriend and I still had heard no word about sponsorship. We didn't want to start a lease without first getting a definitive answer about our visa - it was too much of a commitment and too hard to get out of it if things went awry. We were physically stuck. And the bad luck cloud hadn't even burst yet.
So I had a cigarette.