“It was me”, I told her. “I was the one doing Belle du le d'Oxford. And I'm giving it up. This has all been for nothing.”
“Oh God”, she said. “Why?”
“Because I'm losing ground”, I said, “and now I'm really angry. I'm losing ground to someone that thinks that every line of dialogue deserves to be printed, on a new line, regardless of how nauseatingly poor it happens to be.”
“That's crazy”, she said. “Who'd read that? All of it?”
“I know”, I replied.
“Was that your Mojito or mine?”
“That was yours. Where are the toilets?”
"The ones with the brown door?"
“You go down the stairs”, I said, my eyes fixed on hers. “You take a left, and then they're in that alcove just behind the Itbox. Are you going now?”
“No, I don't need it now. I just like knowing.”
There was a pause, so the next line of dialogue is also hers.
“I can see what she's aiming at, a little”, she said. “You might think that this quick, faltering style of dialogue creates the impression of sexual tension hanging in the air”. She hesitated, her words hanging in the air. “That is, if you'd spent the past decade doing nothing but read Hugh Grant scripts while weeping.”
“It's not about sexual tension.”
“Sure”, she said. “It's not.” Her lips closed, with a faint pout almost visible.
“STOP DOING THAT!”, I yelled. “I don't want to have sex with you!”
“I can't! It's your narration! I just closed my mouth!”
“This is why I'm giving it up!”, I yelled. “This has become my life! I don't have hobbies any more, everything is sex! I'm sick of writing about twenty seemingly identical men, each with zero outward sign of a personality and names like “Puppy” and “Handle” and “Roadsign”, each of whom is portrayed as being so unfathomably bland that I could mince their parents in front of them mid-blog, and they'd react with nothing more than "Awww, shucks" and a wry smile! By my age, Mozart had written, like... 50 operas! And none of them were about blowjobs!”
“Well, 'The Magic Flute' was at least ambiguous -”
“Fuck off, I'm ranting. A monkey could write this!”
“You're being harsh on yourself -”
“I'm not! I'm not! I let it write one! Did you not see my last one? It had a fucking “pedestal” pun, for fuck's sake!” And you know the insulting thing? The monkey had the better sex life! I just have to accept that I'm a moronic satirical creation who'll inevitably end up “in publishing” through my connections alone, sleeping my way through the layers, putting the apostrophes into Danielle Steel books and translating Peter Kay autobiographies into English!”
“Oh, [my name], you're not a -”
“I am! I am! And everyone knows it. And if they don't, they're stupid. Though to be fair, at least half of the readers of this blog are just scanning for words to masturbate to. Pussy pussy cock ass Gaga.”
There was a pause. Whatever scenery this is in either fell silent, or stayed silent. If we're outside, a dog barked.
“There's only one thing you can do. You have to tell them that you're you.”
“What do you mean?”
“Tell them your name. It's the last act of every dying sexblogger. Put your name out, and buy an extra three months of reader interest through posts about the terrible, invasive tactics of sexist scumbag journalists. Get a book deal on the basis of the publicity, and end up serialising your book through the very same newspapers full of terrible scumbag journalists who are terrible and invasive and sexist, but own pretty nifty chequebooks. Do media interviews to “set the story straight”, for no less than a grand a time. Off the back of this new exposure, become an avatar for feminist issues, female issues, sexual issues – whatever ITV are doing a documentary on that week, basically.”
“My god! It's so simple! Why doesn't everyone do it?”
“Have you tried giving out your name and making it sound like an accident? Like you said, people are stupid. What are you going to do? Drop your laptop while logged-in, then point and yell, 'oh, how embarrassing'? And if you tell friends, they'll just keep it to themselves, like the caring bastards that they are.”
“What can I do?”
“I know someone who works in PR, who knows someone who works in television, who knows a plumber who knows someone who writes for the Sun. All you have to do is let Mr PR know, and the chain does it all for you!”
I felt a rush of excitement. “Let's do it now!”, I cried.
“No”, she replied. “You're already over 800 words, people are already skimming”. She looked out through the screen. “You bastards”, she cried. “You absolute bastards”.
“Zoe”, I said, “This could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”