Even though we have four couches in the flat and all of them are empty, she and I share one (the biggest one), topping and tailing under the enormous blanket that I got last winter for 60% off in the Farmers manchester sale. It was fucking freezing the day I bought it, after a coffee date with a friend of mine who was about to quit her job because everyone who worked there was going insane. We went to Cuba Street where she bought lingerie and I bought the blanket. That Farmers has been closed until further notice since the earthquake last November. For ages it was just left, clothesracks tipped over, a mannequin lying like a still-life of a murder scene in the shop window, one hand neatly severed in its fall. Now the windows are papered over. I am pissed off because now where am I supposed to buy affordable yet not ugly mugs to gift people I don’t know that well? There are literally no other shops in the universe.
I’ve used the last of my milk to make us both tea. I’ve given us matching mugs; hers says ‘stress head’ and mine is ‘space cadet’. Tonight this is accurate, but sometimes it’s the other way around. Sometimes we are both stress heads, and those are usually the nights that we share a bottle of wine while marathoning Yu-Gi-Oh Abridged in our matching donut pyjamas.
Tonight we are very sober and tired, on our grubby grey couch we got for free and will probably give us fleas if it hasn’t already. We had Griffin’s Limited Edition L&P biscuits for dinner because they were on a club card deal, which seems to negate the frustration we feel about a) a possible bug infestation and b) take your pick. Our conversation goes like this:
Her (looking up from her reading): “…it’s recommended to have counselling separately if there’s a record of abuse. Well, obviously.”
Me (looking up from my reading): “I can’t imagine how terrifying it would be to look at the horizon in a time before photographs of the Earth existed.”
Her: “I would have loved to have been alive when the first pictures of the Earth were taken. Imagine seeing this planet for the first time. The whole of human history has played out on this little blue ball.”
Me: “But for most of human history there wasn’t the technology to show us what we looked like.”
Her: “I feel like our generation missed out on that moment. We were alive to see the first pictures of Pluto, but…”
Me: “But it’s different when it’s your planet.”
Her: “It was awful back in third year when we found those cupboard mites.”
Despite its ugliness and its potential to be riddled with parasites, lying on this couch is like a big long hug. After she gets up and goes to bed, I wonder if it would matter if I just stayed here to sleep. I have a queen sized bed in my room, but it’s two doors down the hall.