When people ask me how I’m feeling, I never really know what to say. I mean, I’m OK, if that’s what they mean. If it’s a casual ‘how are you?’ then that’s fine, but when it’s your sister or your GP you know they’re asking how your feeling ‘inside’ which I’ve never really understood, like there could be an inside and an outside, whatever. The point is it’s one of those passing questions, and it’s either just nod and smile, or get really deep and start to shout about how shit life really can be. I guess it just depends on when they ask you. I mean if I was hungry and they asked me I’d say ‘I feel pretty hungry.’ If I was tired I’d say I was tired. You get the point. Don’t get me wrong there are times when I do want to shout, but those moments are rare.
I’m on my way to my sisters today. She’s having a few friends over and she thought it would be good for me to come along and mingle. I’m not usually a fan of these type of things but if I refuse she gives me that ‘are you ok?’ look and I have to tell her yes I’m fine and I might as well be telling her no I’m not cause she’ll still carry on giving me the look. She’s only looking out for me, I know that, but this whole thing can get a bit much sometimes. The last one of these events I went to was 2 weeks ago. It was my nephew’s birthday, so I sort of had to go. I enjoyed myself though, so hopefully I’ll enjoy this one. I think my sisters trying to find me a woman. I’ve noticed there’s always a lot of single women at these places. So when I walk into the house and see just two guys in among around 10 women I’m not surprised. My sister greets me at the door and gives me a hug, then she takes my coat and tells me she’s really glad I could make it. I shrug and tell her it’s fine, I like these events.

‘Mark!’ shouts David, my sister’s husband, ‘Over here mate!’
David hands me a beer, non-alcoholic kind. Looks like another no alcohol party.
‘I was just telling Geoff about your little disaster the other night,’ David Giggles.
‘Ah do we have to talk about that?’ I moan.
‘Oh come on mate, it was funny stuff!’ David is still laughing.
I figure I can’t get out of it so I’ve got no choice but to tell the story. I don’t even know Geoff that well! I’ve only met the guy once. Yet I have to stand here and tell him how I ended up screaming my head off in the middle The Swan pub. I had this hole in my pocket, it’s not even a funny story I can’t believe David is telling someone about this. There was this hole and I had my money in my pocket and basically I didn’t know I had a hole so the money was escaping down it and as it went down my leg it felt like a spider, honestly, it was horrible. So it happened once and I was like ‘what the hell was that?’ so I start to slap my leg, trying to crush whatever’s inside it and then this other thing goes scurrying down the other side of my leg. So I thought there was like an army of spiders in my pants so I started slapping like crazy and by this point I was terrified, I’ve always had a fear of spiders ever since I was little so this was basically my worst nightmare. Anyways by chance, a coin then must have rolled into my shoe and I screamed my head off and kicked my shoe off. It basically flew across the room and by this point everyone in the whole pub was just looking at me. A coin fell out at the bottom of my pants and I put my hands in my pocket and realised what had happened. Everyone started laughing and I had to go collect my shoe and get the rest of my money out of my pants. I told you it wasn’t funny, even Geoff doesn’t find it that funny, he’s just smiling politely whilst David is literally soiling himself with laughter. David’s like that sometimes.
‘Ah classic!’ says David. ‘You don’t half crack me up sometimes Mark.’
‘I’m glad I make you laugh David,’ I say.
I feel a hand on my shoulder and I turn round to see my sister, she’s come to rescue me. She asks me if I’ve eaten and I say no so she takes me into the kitchen and points towards the buffet. The sausage rolls look good so I grab a few.
‘So how’s life?’ she asks.
‘It’s good Katie. I’ve had a good week y’know.’
‘Mark that’s brilliant!’ She seems really happy to hear that. ‘Listen there’s somebody I want you to meet. She’s from my work, she’s been looking forward to meeting you.’
‘Oh Katie,’ I moan ‘You know I hate it when you do this. I’ve told you I can find my own women, when I want, where I want, you don’t have to do this.’
‘Mark relax,’ she says as she touches my shoulder again. ‘She’s just really interested in meeting you, she’s not looking for marriage or anything. Come on, her names Rebecca.’