27/9/ I’ve a red lump on my right temple I can’t tell is by an insect or not. It’s not itchy unlike the red patch at my knuckle below the index finger of my left hand I can’t find a bite mark for though there’s a little lump.
13/10/ So annoyed at John’s marking my sheet with the biro he insists on playing with and had difficulty sleeping.
15/10/ Finishing Sebeos when John calls in with cannabis oil in putty form which he rolls and crushes with the vegetable viagra to give me an erection. He had no idea he was marking the sheet with indelible ink. After a really long session I consider lubricating John’s arse and turning him over. I can’t be arsed. Instead I get on top and push my cock between his legs and it feels like it’s in him and with a bit more thrusting faster I might even come there. I ask if I was. Nearly he says. Eventually he comes. The thin skin of my cock is raw from his tugging but unbroken. My lower arms have a rash of spots I wash and put hydrocortisone on. John was spotless and said there were none on my back. I wank afterwards to porn. My extremities have taken to itch during the night for no apparent cause.
By Monday the spots have died back and I’m thinking of giving it a week.
18/10/ Again itching and red weals in the night, going with the day. I’m killing drosophila. A debilitating cold, the first in years, puts me off moving far less going to the doctor’s to make an appointment and keeping it. The cold would confuse the issue.
31/10/ A weal makes me make an appointment for next Thursday at doc’s. If I’d phoned in, one was available at one. Penny emerged to give me a hug and step back at the sound of my cold, suggesting all manner of horrible reasons for the spots.
3/11/ Have learnt not to scratch, as Janie, my Goodreads friend advised, and to put cream on extremities before bed. Tired. Dr Simpkins was running late so I came home, listened to the end of Tchaikovsky’s 1st and Rachmaninov’s Vocalise before going back to wait. She thinks the Daktacort for red spots and patches from right shoulder to chest may have suppressed my immune system since a fungicide and I’ve to have a blood test because she can’t explain the itchy extremities. The receptionist had logged off so I’m to go back tomorrow morning to order the test.
4/11/ Before washing done, went for paper and blood test appointment though no itching extremities during night, finally coffee. John came about nine with hash and for sex both of which were had. I didn’t come.
11/11/ Jasmine took blood for iron and B 12 as well as for kidneys. John called in for some hash for his friend. He says it’s ‘defaced’, not ‘unfriending’ on Facebook. He’s had two lots of group therapy this week, one for OCD, the other for PTSD and has gone to an AA party, a contradiction in terms.
12/11/16 Involuntarily scratch sole or hand before realising not to but then cream it. Slept in.
13/11/ Itching of the extremities is back, starting with hands, ending with feet and a weal on the right thigh that had two further puckered circles on the redder raised oval and which disappeared in little over an hour. John came early. He’d found out today was not one on his list for use of the St John the Divine hall for rehearsals so had to phone people up, lying he’d just been told over the phone. Six did turn up and were shown round but no drama students who’d been warned off by their tutor from mixing with criminals. If the play doesn’t come off, John’s going to give a poetry reading instead. When he did come back he had cold duck breast with microwave reheated mashed cauliflower and some broccoli, carrots and green beans with three glasses of wine all told and two spliffs. He accompanied me to Waitrose for milk and a coffee where Kawa and a girl explained the likelihood in future of having to buy something for the coffee. He watched a girl putting her hand over a dog’s eyes and poking its teeth until her foreign mother saw him watching and stopped the indulged child.
14/11/ Creamed likely bits, having to redo two small areas in the night. Weal on inside arm took longer than an hour to dissipate. Slept in, another symptom or effect. Updated Janie on itching issue.
15/11/ Up early, feet itching. John visits and we have lunch, he three glasses wine and we two spliffs. He was going to Poundland in Kingston for shower gel and I accompany him on the bus to check up on the chair I bought which is in Heal’s warehouse under a different category that has to be altered to bring it to Kingston Heal’s, which is going to email me on its arrival. We go to HMV, shifted to below ground floor in Bentall’s and onto a different Poundland. We alight from the bus back to see if Nocturnal Animals is on, at Studio Screen 7 at 6:20. I pay for both tickets on John’s insistence, £22. Buy tomatoes and chorizo slices from Tesco and have a spliff before going back to the cinema. Great film. John doesn’t wait for a pizza but goes home to his hostel.
16/11/ An animal dropped off me and I picked it from the floor and put it in an empty spice jar along with, as I thought, another much smaller insect I caught but probably a fruit fly that got away in fact. Another weal on my upper right inside arm above where I’d applied cream. I’ve flea powdered the bed in case.
17/11/ I woke up at 3:30 to pick about a dozen bedbugs from the sheet, pillows and duvet and half-a-dozen more at five, joining the first lot in the spice jar. Online bedbuggery suggested the council would get rid of them but I had difficulty knowing which department to contact so I made a general contact and went over to the civic centre to ask. The receptionist helped me phone Dialapest and I’ve arranged a disinfestation for next Thursday. I bought bed bug killer powder meantime. Left a letter for Dr Simpkins. Read the conditions for the disinfestation online. Remarked on my unspeakable day on trivial Facebook. Told Janie about it. Stripped the bedding and put it in sealed bags. More nesting bedbugs in the underblanket along its top hem. I’m going to sleep in the bath.
18/11/ Bath too cramping, I slept in on the bathroom floor. Hoovered thoroughly and doused the bed and mattress with bedbug killer powder. Told Diana, a neighbour, of bedbug infestation as I hung out the washing which remains out in the cold. The hot wash didn’t get rid of the bugs’ shit of course. A dead bug fell from the undersheet. Put the duvet, pillows and blanket in to drycleaners next block down.
Saturday morning John buzzed. At the door he made some joke about how long does it take old people to get up. I was in my dressing gown. He walked into the room, saw the bare bed. “It’s an infestation,” I said; “I’ve never had an infestation before.” He asked how I’d found out. “An animal fell off me in the morning and I sprayed the bed with insecticide,” getting up at three-thirty, picking up a dozen, and half a dozen at five, putting them in a jar, he picked up, “Is this them?” he held up the clear glassed spice jar to look. “I told you it was bedbugs,” he went on. I doubted that, “You thought it was drosophila.” “I don’t know what drosophila is.” “Fruit fly. The doctor said it wasn’t an insect. You probably brought it from the hostel.” “The hostel rooms are done every week. They have to be.” I doubted that. “I’ve a shower every day. I’ve never been bitten, in all my years in prison.” I’d noted he hadn’t been bitten. “They don’t bite everybody. It’s nothing to do with body cleanliness. They’re carried in clothing.” “I wash my clothes.” “It has to be a hot wash,” at least 60˚. “It is a hot wash.” I doubted that. “So I haven’t been bitten but carry it in clothes?” he scorned. Typhoid Mary. “You brought it in yourself,” he went on, “from the library, and that’s a fact.” “That’s not a fact.” He conceded it wasn’t. “There are lots of homeless people use the library, smelly. One sat beside you.” “You’re homeless yourself. I’ve been going to the library for years. You lay on that bed fully clothed. The marks weren’t from a biro but bedbug faeces.” “I never took the top of the biro.” I was watching and had thought he hadn’t. “You just want somebody to blame,” he said. “All you’re interested in is exculpating yourself. I’ll go through my diary.” “Your diary!” he scoffed, picking up his bag to leave. As the door out was closing I shouted after, “It’s not your fault. You’re not to blame but it may be your responsibility.” I didn’t quite show myself looking out as I usually do to wave. He looked up and made with his hand what I took to be a ‘fuck you’ gesture. I was perturbed by the denouement but it was done now, and had to be done.