The ancestral spirits inhabited his socks. No one believed him. His mother was from Vienna. Every Wednesday he bathed his neighbour’s fish. He wrote stories. Days came and went without asking permission. The dial on his foot said “EMPTY”. He lived for the dead moments. He enjoyed haranguing sofas. Their placidity enraged him. That day you unblocked his toilet a monarch died. Stars don’t even go with stripes. Above all, he tried to be expensive. Ladders and snakes made no sense to him, so he burned his bridges. Sometimes the moon got wedged in him. Evening made his eyes sweat, morning gave him the shits. Nothing was ever straightforward. Plug sockets persecuted his toaster. His brothers were four-and-twenty blackbirds baked in Pi. They had unpleasant names like Jim and Jasper. At Christmas he laced their drinkies with bleach. His arms were sausages, his chin the Devil’s cock. All very inauspicious. Calendars oppressed him, especially on rainy days. He felt his neighbours’ ears pressing against the partition walls. He once got lost in a picture of a cat holding a baby. He still has the suction marks on the back of his eyes. The last time he allowed his feet out they came home drunk. The hair growing from his nostrils suffered from Rapunzel Syndrome. He rarely ate swans. Plates made eyes at him. Every seven years he fell in love with your auntie. His eyelids smelt of kerosene. Doctors puzzled over his hairy heart. Women distrusted his taste in plimsoles. He made windows for a living. Unable to afford glass, he used frozen vampires’ tears. Those unlucky enough to notice disappeared. Televisions disliked him. They eyed him suspiciously as he sat blankly on the sofa. He sat on the bus, thinking of nothing. On another bus, in another town, nothing sat on the bus, thinking of him. He often confused art galleries for brothels. Fleshy nudes winked at him. The bored attendant was their pimp. He ate slices of moon and wiped his mouth on clouds. He stored an arsenal of AK47s, bazookas, muskets, halberds and spud guns in his capacious nostrils. Whenever he saw a tree he thought of Sweeney Tod. He didn’t believe in Thor, so Thursdays proved problematic. Catfish haunted him. He gave birth to his dad and took every opportunity to scold the scraggy, bearded baby. Happy days. He kept a mound of ripe manure in his kitchen. Cows knocked politely, asking for it back. Children scuffled on the ceiling. Biscuits fell in love with his shins. Armpits danced a tango in his shoes. Everyone was too busy beating their chests, bellowing and swinging their penises around to notice that he had electrocuted their pets. Golden syrup made him feel like God. His arms embraced Eternity, which had manifested in the form of his nan. His trousers researched the lives of the Roman emperors, but took little interest in the task. His hair caught fire with irritating regularity. The local fire brigade turned a blind eye; there were catty women waiting to be rescued from tree houses. He embalmed his boss, by way of experiment. His colleagues, chained to their desks, scowled behind their Halloween masks. A fly laughed. The writing didn’t go well: he tried tropes but turned out tripe.