Extracts from Dan’s Diary: Part I

A few years ago, I decided to start keeping a diary on Dan’s behalf, the idea being I would have it finished by Christmas. This didn’t happen because I eventually lost interest, so now, for your eyes only, I’d like to share it with you all. Be warned: This shit’s not safe for work. Unless it’s Dan’s work. Where people touch him.


23rd July, 2009

Dan is at work. Dan works at an opticians. Sometimes, the dirty old queens of Merchant City come in to be fitted for glasses and they feel Dan’s legs while he tests them. Dan doesn’t like this, but his manager says he isn’t allowed to stop them because it’s good for business. Sometimes, Dan comes home from work and I can tell he has been crying. I never ask why.


24th July, 2009

Dan’s mum phoned today. He’s to go home next week for dinner. I don’t think he likes going home because of the fear and terror he feels upon entering the family home and seeing the harsh, unforgiving face of his mother. When Dan was a little boy, his mum used to lock him in the cupboard under the stairs with a box of grass snakes. The snakes would crawl up his legs and nibble on his testicles and penis. Dan would emerge from the cupboard hours later, bleeding and crying, to find his mum and the neighbours laughing and spitting on his photos. They would also jump up and down on his favourite toys. When his mum finally noticed he’d got out of the cupboard, she would say, “now put the special shorts on,” and Dan would have to do a clogs dance in leather pants until he had blisters on his feet. This is why Dan can’t commit to a relationship with a girl or feel human love.


28th July, 2009

Dan had to cover for someone at work this morning because their dog was sick. Dan had a dog called Charlie when he was little. He loved him more than anything in the world, and the pair went everywhere together. One day Dan ran home from school as fast as his little legs would carry him; he couldn’t wait to hear the happy bark of his furry friend. In many ways, his only friend. The other boys pretended to like him, but really they only let him join in their games because he was marginally remedial and laughing at him was fun. When Dan finally realised this, he got so upset that he started crying and soiled the sexy leather pants his mum made him wear to school to humiliate him. He was twelve years old. Anyway, this day wasn’t like the others, and when Dan bounded into the kitchen, he was met only by his father’s solemn expression. Early that morning Charlie had been run over by Mr Stewart’s mobile butcher van. It was dressed up to look like an accident, nobody wanted Dan to know that his beloved childhood friend had actually thrown himself under the wheels in a bid to escape the duldrums of living with Dan. Sometimes Dan still has the nightmares, I can hear his screams from my room. It is possible, however, that that’s because I’ve started breeding fruitbats in his cupboards. We’ll never know for sure.


19th December, 2010

It’s nearly Christmas. I think that Christmas has a smell, but Dan disagrees. I think this is because the only smell he associates with Christmas is brandy and stale cigarettes, which is an all year round smell in Dan’s house. Every year when Dan was little, his Mum would drink too much while she was making the dinner and inevitably collapse through the plastering table they ate off of. Most of the toys Dan got for Christmas were broken by Boxing day because his Mum used them to open bottles of beer. One year, she vomited all over him. She said he wasn’t allowed to change because it would make everyone else uncomfortable, so he had to sit there covered in sick, crying into a plate of burnt turkey. This is why Dan now spends his Christmas in the flat, sad and alone.

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