Brian Snuff – Theoretical Cat Herder
When I push my thumb towards my skull just under the eyebrow, a blurry shape appears on my outer lens. A blind spot. I wish he’d fit in there. I’m fearful if I keep pushing I’ll go entirely blind.
Leon is here. Brimful of sad-eyed smiles and faux naivety. He’s often soul-crushingly nice. It makes hating him feel like poking a cute puppy with a stick. Nobody with a heart can keep it up for long. His laid-back charm erodes my animosity. He has missed a whole bunch of important stuff and even though I’m ready for the lame excuses he keeps tucked away behind his tonsils, I still feel convinced.
He has a beguiling sincerity, that only comes in someone who believes their own lies. Stoners spin their own paranoid yarns and then inhale them back in.
LEON: I just needed to be alone for a few days. Play Fifa, or whatever. I think best when I’m playing. Put the world to rights upstairs.
He taps his curly-haired noggin.
SNUFTY: Untapped Genius is just another fucking cliché my generation specialise in.
KES: Where’s Niki?
JEANIE: We fell out. Well, I fell out with Katje. I didn’t really fall out with Niki, it’s soo unfair.
Kes is wishing he hadn’t asked. Leon is looking maudlin. I’m concentrating on not rolling my eyes.
JEANIE: She set the kitchen on fire
SNUFTY: Who? Katje?
JEANIE: Yeah, well the toast… No it was a crumpet. A tiny fire started in the centre. I was transfixed by this little plume of smoke.
LEON: Were you high, perchance?
Jeanie gives that nod she always gives. As though everything is written in the stars. A graceful acceptance that it is what it is.
JEANIE: Katje went mental at me. But really it’s because that guy she likes was talking to me at the party. It’s so unfair.
Kes is packing equipment. He looks like he wishes his ears were closed. A car horn honks outside. Bane has brought the van.
SNUFTY: Has everyone brought petrol money? Just a couple of quid?
It’s me he’ll whinge to when they haven’t. The air is pock-marked with a selection of poor excuses. Jeanie selects the heaviest bag and totters out the door like a wind-up doll.
BANE: Watch the fucking paintwork, Jeanie!