Book 1, Chapter 8

Fuck Andorra.

I ditched it.

I've spent the two weeks of purgatory riding through northern Spain, and taken my munted head with me.

Every stitch in my lip has fallen out. Way too soon.

The kid intern botched the job...

My lip is a gnarly, lumpy mess. Like a ball of puss.

I lick it all the time.

It's like licking a scab...

I can't help it.

I'm sure it's going to go septic.

It's the smell...

I'm never gonna be ok again.

Eating food with a mouthguard on... Jesus... What could possibly be more retarded?

The 'neighbour tooth' has changed colour.

Fade to black...

Besides the tooth, some other things have taken a strange turn. I was cooking up some burritos and talking to one of the girls in a hostel when I very suddenly couldn’t concentrate on the conversation... Things went really dizzy all at once and I had to quickly grab hold of the kitchen bench to stop myself from falling over. My head went all fizzy and fuzzy as the room kept spinning.

I was sure I was about to black out.

It all happened in a moment, and took me completely by surprise.

It lasted maybe five seconds before things slowly started to come back to normal, but I continued to feel weird.

Either I handled it with aplomb, or the Yank wasn’t paying attention, because she didn’t seem to notice anything had happened…

I’ve been analysing the shit out of it.

Obviously something's caused it, but I’ll be buggered if I know what that is. I've been in overdrive trying to figure it out, but I'm coming up with doughnuts.

Like the proverbial ostrich, I’ll stick my head in the sand and pretend like it didn’t happen.

Nothing to see here...


Barcelona.

My favourite place.

The neighbour tooth didn't make it...

Over the last week and a bit I've had another root canal, and two zirconia crowns put in.

One thousand eight hundred and twenty euros.

What's that in dollars? Two and a half-ish grand?

Honestly, that's not that bad. Cheap even, considering the days of work that have been put into me...

I reckon I would have gone for four times that much back home.

And the quality? Well... I'm not happy. There's a gap between my front teeth that wasn't there before... They don't really feel like they're mine; they feel ginormous in my mouth. Too much girth.

And they feel loose. Every time I eat I can just imagine my teeth tearing clean out of my gums...

Fun.

And I talk with a fucking lisp now.

But, on the upside, the crowns look legit - they don't look like they're not mine.

It's a better outcome than I expected, I guess...


I'm staying in the cheapest hostel I could find here in Barca.

The whole mob is out tonight, boozing it up at a 'beach bar'. Loud music and good times, right on the coast.

We're all pretty merry...

I've met two interesting people. One is a gorgeous Canadian, who I reckon is giving me the 'glad eye'. Ball-'o-puss-lip and everything. I can't really believe it, but, then, there it is again...

That look...

I've Australianised her name to Shazza.

The other interesting person is Ben the Australian. He's a maniac. A very calm maniac. We had a chat in the hostel before heading out, and the guy's got stories to tell.

He's hitchhiked up Africa.

My new hero.

Ben's paired off with the other girl from Canada, and it's looking like being a good night...

Sick of the music, a mob of us head down to the shoreline for a break. I don't know when it happened, but I'm arm in arm with Shazza. We watch the waves roll in with the thump of the music from the club in our backs...

The other Canadian strips off her clothes and sprints into the water. Ben the Australian - calm as you like - strips down and casually strolls in too. No rush...

Our fearless leader from the hostel, a drop-dead gorgeous, born-again hippie with thick red hair like something out of a fucking shampoo commercial, takes off her loose fitting summer dress in one smooth movement like something from a fucking dream. She catwalks into the white wash.

Who knew she hadn’t been wearing underwear this whole time...?

Sweet baby Cheeses...

Shazza has to pick my jaw up off the floor for me. Like a fucking cartoon. She's not even mad…

After the necessary drunken frolic the whole motley crew head back into the club, covered in sand and dripping wet.

This is going to be a good night...


The mob thins out to me, Ben the Australian, and the two Canadian girls.

In a moment alone, I kiss Shazza. She seemed to like it. I still can't believe it... Maybe she has a fetish for guys who look like they've been in a hockey fight? I don't know. Don't look a gift horse in the mouth...

We decide that a swim is actually a brilliant idea.

So back down to the shore we go, and Shazza and I head in, with Ben the Australian and the other Canadian standing guard over our clothes.

Good times.

There's something about being naked in the ocean... Nothing quite like it...

Back up onto the sand, I'm pulling the jeans through my crusty, sandy feet and up my wet legs.

They feel light...

I pat myself down... Flat. Empty...

Panic.

All my shit’s gone.

Wallet. New two-week-old phone that cost a fucking fortune.

I look over the sand...

Nothing. Gone.

"FUCK!!"

The thieving bastard left my jeans behind. How kind of him...

But, you know what, I don't even care.

Nothing can ruin this night.

I never thought anyone would kiss me again for the rest of my life...


During an even wilder, far more debaucherous night the following evening, I make a solemn vow to the group that I will not buy another phone till I am 'in the foetal position and crying' for want of a rectangle... Seems healthy...

It's a vow I plan to keep.

Oblivious | Luke Gelmi