Doris is the biggest bitch I know.
Doris is HOLY FUCK WHAT IF I AXE MURDERED SOMEONE BY ACCIDENT. Doris is there is no way I’m going to hold your baby just in case I drop it, and I would prefer to stay in bed watching 10 seasons of friends on repeat than bathe in the sunlight of 5 o’clock.
Doris is I need to go cry in the bathroom for a little bit and run my head under the sink. She is all my underwear turned inside out because I can’t be bothered to wash anything. She notices they’ve been online for 11 seconds and haven’t responded to my message about the latest episode of drag race. She concludes that this is a sign of her social ineptitude and she would be better off becoming a hermit in Siberia.
Doris has ALS, Cancer, dementia, crone’s disease, two stomach ulcers, HIV, a urinary tract infection, two strains of gonorrhea and a sky rocketing fever all at the same time.
Doris sits down in the shower and drinks the water as it pours down. She chokes a little bit.
Doris plucks her toenails with a kitchen knife but makes sure nothing bleeds. She cleans the floor with a fuzzy sock stained black. She finishes the job with a used make-up remover wipe smeared with red and purple (from the Mac collection). She pulled that wipe out of the garden bin.
Doris’s enemy is called Diana. Diana is fabulous and silly. She buys a sixty pound sparkly red floor length gown with velvet black decals. She wears the gown to Tesco’s. She buys the ingredients for several batches of balaclavas and chocolate chips cookies but imagines replacing chocolate with strips of aubergine.
She invites 15 people to her house for dinner and does not start cooking until 30 minutes before. She tries to make a curry from an online video and forgets about the pan. There’s smoke everywhere, the alarm is ringing, it smells like gas, but Diana’s laughing and flapping a towel around the room like she’s uncovering a magic trick. Her dreams are sharp slip ‘n’ slides on a San Francisco hill in summertime.
She gets so angry she chucks chips across the street and it hits a bald man. She thinks she’s angry because he’s bald. She’s actually angry because he’s a man. She shrieks sorry and sprints away.
She braids her pubic hairs and wears bright blue lipstick because it makes everyone giggle. And the pale blue looks like she’s been cryogenically frozen.
The seventeen tequila shots she washed down hit her funny and she has to cycle home. She is carried home by a retinue of strangers who find her lying next to a dustbin chuckling to herself. Sobs come when she gets home.
She dreams of running away to Argentina and buys a train ticket to the airport but misses it because she is making chokers out of Sainsbury’s bags. When she gets bored she moves to Tesco bags.
She plucks her toenails until they bleed and runs the blood on her fingers. She makes a design on the bathroom wall. Smiling faces, five of them.
Sometimes, Doris and Diana bleed into one another. It gets confusing. It’s a confetti piñata shit fest; an Angel food cake with vomit frosting. Yum. The odd thing is, Diana and Doris look exactly the same. They’ve got the same face, legs, arms and hair. They even have the same mannerisms, the same jokes, an almost identical way of conversing with others. Their conflicts reside deep under shades of Mac lipstick and dyed hair. They’re deep under the skin and bones and into the bio-chemical bodies that swarm the brain. It’s a sway, a change, affected by nothing but a couple bad night’s sleep, an icky relationship or two, and the flashback of a trauma.
The doctor said I have “bi-polar.”
Words: Lael Hines
Images: Edith Pritchett