What will WINGULL do?

I sat on the steps, shielded from the sun’s rays, a couple of metres from the left lion. Nottingham had been good to me for the past few days and, although I had nothing to do and nowhere to go, I could sit partially separated from the hustle and bustle of the Old Market Square and play Pokémon Sapphire.

I could get used to this, I reasoned.

Thinking back on it, I needed something to get used to. I knew Nottingham well, and was used to its intricacies, but I was not used to the activities I’d been partaking in all week. It had been too much effort for too little reward – and, since I’d been staying in hotels and eating in restaurants, too much money as well. I had also recently been called “wanker!” by somebody old and wise enough to know better.

Wiping away a tear, I carefully set aside my GBA and considered heading back to the hotel to see if they had another room. It wouldn’t have been affordable, perhaps, but maybe the pretty girl was still there. Old Market Square was lovely, but (unlike the action-packed morning I’d had the day beforehand, when an old man collapsed and I waited for the ambulance for half an hour…).

Maybe I could go to another restaurant.

My body screamed as I wrenched myself off the marble and started ambling towards The Cornerhouse. I passed a record shop in which a band had once played an intimate gig. A band which a girl I had a crush on liked. I didn’t know the band at all, but I knew she liked them.

And my thoughts ran away with that tiny memory.

What was she doing now? Where was she? Would I see her again? Was she having sex? Had she ever had sex? Would she ever have sex with me? How many people here, on this little street in Nottingham City Centre, have had sex? And how many of them have done so in the last 24 hours?

The last 12?
The last 6?
The last 3?

How many people on this street are on their way home from, or on their way to, the home (or hotel room) of someone with whom they were having sex? Maybe that confident-looking man on the other side of the street was having sex less than ten minutes ago and is still coming down from the feeling.

Last five minutes.

I wish I’d been having sex two minutes ago and was still coming down from the feeling, although unlike the confident-looking man, I probably wouldn’t be walking down the street. I might be cuddling her instead.

In all honesty, I would really like a cuddle.

By the time I got to The Cornerhouse, I was absolutely convinced that everyone I’d passed had been having beautiful sex for the entire year and, furthermore, I was the only one who had missed out on this. I felt like such an interloper, me being this physically repulsive, scruffy wanker who spent his time playing Pokémon and thinking about pretty girls, all at sea in this shining beacon of sexual energy called Nottingham, where I certainly didn’t belong even though I was living there at the time, because I sure as Hell wasn’t good enough.

Burning with shame, I found a Bella Italia which did sherbet lemons instead of after dinner mints. I took a couple and, to assuage any guilt, took a table and ordered myself some food.

The waitress who served me had definitely had sex in the last twenty-four hours.

I felt better after dinner, and walked out into the dusky city, now looking for somewhere else to spend the night.