I’m getting work done on my flat. There are variously three to seven men covered in dust and dirt, hammering and sawing and whistling. I can’t leave because I only have one set of keys, so I spend a lot of time hiding in my room.
The men listen to R&B, sometimes they put on local radio. One sings along to Lizzo’s ‘Good as Hell’; I lip sync in the living room while I eat lunch.
There’s a distinct shift in energy in the flat. It’s just been me since my ex moved out seven months ago. I’m used to peace, cinnamon candles, unhurried baths, mid-day masturbation. With men ripping out my bathroom from 9-5, I am afforded none of these leisures. I’m antsy, which is unhelped by their intrusion into my wardrobe to reach the cistern. They take out all my clothes and throw them onto the bed, like an angry lover asking me to leave. There’s also the matter of consent: they didn’t ask before they entered my room, which they did while I was out of the flat for a short time. There were certain things I would have hidden.
I text Flint:
Things the Builders Saw (a spoken word piece)
Two bottles of ‘cuddly soft baby lotion’ (there is no baby in this flat)
Three tubs of Ann Summers body paint (chocolate, caramel and strawberry, buy one get one free)
One well-used bottle of Boots ‘silky smooth’ lube
One pleather Dom dress (they must have liked this one, as it was off its hanger)
My dignity slowly disintegrating
You can take great dignity from the fact that they now know you are a better lover than their wives.
This is harsh, but I’ll take it.