Palimpsest (i_palimpsest) wrote in diarybjones,

'You're in denial,' said Magda. 'You're pregnant, single, and you don't know who the father is'

Sunday September 4th

Cigarettes: 0. Alcohol units: 0. Calories: minus 3,465 (owing to
vomits.) Baby outfits purchase: 4 (better)

7pm. Phone keeps ringing but dare not pick up - even if was able to -
in case is one of baby's fathers. Feel have been lying here for days,
like woman in Alan Bennett's Talking Heads who died trying to retrieve
biscuit from under sofa. Maybe should start singing Jerusalem to keep
spirits up and attract rescue whilst simultaneously supporting English
cricket team.

Whoever is ringing cannot leave message as Tom has filled up machine by
ranting hysterically from San Francisco about CNN and toxic soup:
"They've got half a million poor black people wading in toxic soup and who
do they interview on Larry King Live? Some arty white photographer who
had to check out of his deluxe hotel in New Orleans and go to one in
Texas. You should hear them: 'The President is now fighting a Warrrrr on
two fronts: the Warrrr on Terrurrr and the Warrrr on Naturrre!'. The
man's a total wimp. I bet he spent the first two days crying and
masturbating under the duvet."

Tom is right, actually. If I had been in charge of America this week I
would definitely have handled it a lot better. First I would have gone
down to the disaster area immediately, and on the way got all my troops
organised to drop water and food over the city, then at least people
would have known help was being organised, even if most of it fell in the
toxic soup. Then I would have stridden about investigating needs and
making rousing speeches. Can never understand absence of leadership in
modern world. It's like in the London bombings: what people really need
in a crisis is someone like Churchill or Mayor Giuliani to stand up and
inspire you with integrityful ideas of what to think and how to be:
pride in self, and things to believe in, not some Bush-like barrage of
spin after their advisers tell them they've pissed everyone off. I would
have said: "People of Louisia ... Oh, though. Is New Orleans the same as
Louisi...... urghhhhhhh"

8.45pm. Toilet really is wonderful invention. Is just amazing to have
such a thing in one's home which can so calmly, cleanly and efficiently
take all the sick away. Wish phone would stop ringing. Love the lovely
toilet. Is cool and solid, calm and dependable. Is fine just to lie
here and keep it handy. Sometimes I think it is not a man I have been
wanting all these years but a toilet. A baby I mean. Gaah. Doorbell. Will
just be sick once more and then ... ugh.

10pm. Think may have just been subject of an Alcoholics Anonymous-style
intervention. Though not, ironically perhaps, about being an alcoholic.
Suddenly heard key in lock, footsteps, then bathroom door bursting
open. Looked up, drooling slightly. Was Smug Married friend Magda, followed
by Jude and Shazzer.
"What are you doing?" said Magda, in calm, increasingly familiar tone
of emergency worker addressing lunatic.

"Actually, I'm writing a speech," I said. "What I would have said to
the people of New Orleans is: 'It might seem in the modern world as if
everything is safe and civilised, but really we're just tiny creatures in
a huge universe a the whim of nature. The question is, can we survive?
What strength can we find within us to...' "

"Bridget," hissed Magda furiously. "Have you been smoking marijuana?
With a baby on the way?"

"Would you be speaking to the people of Louisiana about survival from
your west London bathroom floor?" chortled Shaz. "From whence you have
failed to rise for 12 hours owing to a slight bout of morning sickness?"

"We think you're in denial," said Magda. "You're a single mother.
You're pregnant. And you don't know who the father is."

"I do know," I said, indignantly. "It's definitely either Daniel or
Mark Darcy."
Looking at their faces, though, I suddenly had a mini-panic attack in
case I had accidentally slept with someone else as well and then
forgotten about it: rather like at school when the headmistress says "No one
is leaving this hall until the person who wrote 'shag' on the wall owns
up," and you feel like it was you.

"Have you thought about the implications of a child not knowing who its
father is?" said Magda.

"Well of course she's going to know who the father is the minute it's
born," said Shazzer, groping inside the fridge. "It'll either have a
poker up its arse or immediately start trying to shag the maternity

"Shut up, Shazzer," hissed Jude.

"Anyway," continued Shazzer. "It's OK, Magda. Me and Jude can be, like,
the fathers. f.ucking hell, Bridge, is this all the vodka you've got?"

"Oh, Christ," said Magda, putting her fingers against her forehead and
breathing through her nose. "I don't know what we're going to do. Who's
going to take care of it? I suppose it'll fall to me and Jeremy, and
we've already got three."

Magda was now walking around hysterically, flapping herself with her LK
Bennett clutch and pulling at the side of her hair.

"You'd better sit down," I said, pulling out a chair.

"Here, drink this," said Shazzer.

"Honestly, Bridget. I mean it's just so bloody inconsiderate putting us
all through this."

"It'll be fine, Mag," I said soothingly. "It's not like we're dying in
toxic soup."

"What about at school?" said Magda. "When the other children ask about
her daddy, and she has to say, 'I haven't got a daddy'."

"Look," said Jude, "by that time having two parents actually living
together will probably be so weird it will be actually embarrassing: like
being upper middle class or something."

At this Magda - now completely drunk - started crying and saying Jeremy
had started up the affair again and for all the help he was, she might
as well be a bloody single parent anyway.

Blimey. Think will just be sick one more time then get back to work on
my speech.

'Published: 8 September 2005
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