Nine-thirty. Well, here I am. Mum didn’t ask what I was going to be doing today. Nah, she was too busy shouting about it being her day to take the car. I could have told her the universe was going to turn into a smoldering cinder the size of Spain and she wouldn’t have heard. She gets like that when she’s got her hair in curlers. Well, she’s like that most of the time. Who I am to talk, though? I get like that myself some of the time.
What was that book that goes on in stream-of-consciousness or something? Isn’t it really long? ’Cause stream-of-consciousness doesn’t take that much effort, I mean, I could do it. Am doing it. And it doesn’t take that long, neither. Here, I’m looking at my watch, and about forty seconds have passed. Can you believe that? Maybe I should try writing my thoughts down. Maybe it would take longer, and then time would go slower.
Well, this is a nice cupboard. No skeletons in here. Plenty of brooms. Broom. I like that word. Always have done. Rhymes with the Moxx of Balhoon. Poor Moxx. Oh! And Judoon! Plenty of things rhyme with Judoon. From the Old and Middle English brom, meaning brushwood. Loads of fun is Middle English. Chaucer. That’s who might like this cupboard.
Well, that game of Tetris was all right, wasn’t it? ’Til my hands got tired. Doesn’t smell bad for a loo, this. ’Course you’d hope with the kind of cash they’re spending on the upkeep of this place, they could afford to have decent toilets. Wonder how much the cleaning staff gets paid. Decent wage, I’d guess. Anyway, it’s spic and span. The stalls themselves are nice, high quality.
Oooh, there’s a lady just come in here. Stopping in front of the mirror. High heels on, really making a racket on that floor. “God, it stinks in here,” she just said. Well, excuse me. I happen to think the citrus smell of the disinfectant isn’t half bad. Maybe she doesn’t need the loo after all. That’s the sound of a mobile dialing. Amazing what you can hear in a loo, isn’t it? Somebody should write a book. Secrets of the Loo, it should be called. Or better yet, Whisper and Flush. Maybe somebody did already. I’ve got the distinct impression I saw a play about it once in Wales. Daft, it was.
Yes, she’s left. Don’t know what that was about. Maybe I should count the tiles on the floor for awhile.
There’s never enough time in the TARDIS to do these things. I get swept away in the big, mad adventures, companions running off, there’s never any time to do proper sonic screwdriver maintenance. Destroying one doesn’t always do the trick. It took me years to rebuild the one the Tereleptils destroyed. It’s really crucial to clean out the circuits. Maybe someday I’ll get around to fixing the Chameleon Circuit. Dunno, changing the icons is a pastime for the young.
I could really use some cabinets to put up.
There are thirty-four tile squares in this stall so, judging by the size of the room and the number of stalls . . . Oh, come on, I was never good at maths.
Suppose I popped out for five minutes. Just took a walk around. I could be very covert, very sneaky. They wouldn’t even pick me up on the CCTV. Oh, I suppose not.
It’ll be lunchtime soon. There’ll be a lot more activity in here then. So far there’s been four ladies and me. One of ’em sounded like she might have been sick into the toilet bowl next to mine. Could be bulimia. Didn’t get a good look at her, just the red wedges she was wearing. Who wears red to Adipose Industries? Some little tart, is she? Not taking the Adipose herself, is she? No wonder she’s been made sick. Don’t know who she was, though. I’d recognize that perfume anywhere, but my “Are you all right in there?” was rebuffed--rebuffed--with “Sod off.”
I brought the newspaper with me. The Times. I stole it from my mum. I looked around for strange activity, but I got bored. They say ’e’ is the most used letter in the English language. So I started counting e’s. Got bored with that, good way to fall asleep if you ask me. That’s not a bad idea. Get a crick in my neck, but . . .
Oh, here’s a nice one. Didn’t flush on her way out. Cow. I brought a magazine, too. But I just haven’t had the heart for the gossip rags like I used to. Don’t care so much about Posh and Becks. Don’t give a stuff about the Royals or Brangelina. The horoscope’s good, though. I’m a Gemini. It says I’ve got to bring a Kleenex in my purse ’cause I’m going to get pooped on by a bird. What the hell kind of horoscope is that? I mean, really? I know it’s supposed to be good luck an’ all, but I don’t want this suit pooped on. I paid good money for this suit. Well, a bird’s not going to get me in here, I can tell you that.
Come in sobbing, this one has, little squeaky voice. Getting comforted by her mate, some lady with a big brassy voice. “He wasn’t worth it, Betty, you’ve got to stop blaming yourself.” “But I thought he loved me. He lied! How can I go on?” “Get a hold of yourself!” her friend’s got it right, you know. Can’t beat yourself up over a man. Even if he was trying to feed you to an alien and gave you huon particles in your coffee every day for six months. Sniff.
Betty’s better now. E, e, e, e, e, e . . .
I’ve got my 500-year diary in my pocket. Great things, these pockets. Got string and a yo-yo and jelly babies. A receipt from 1947. Never get bored with this. Can’t put the glasses in here, though, never would find them again. Pipe cleaner, Q-tip, rocks from Mars, a button that says, “My friend went to Alpha Centauri and all he got me was this stupid pin.” Yeah, I remember that one. Hmm. A hairbrush from Jo Grant by the looks of it. Meant to give that back to her ages ago. Ooops.
Wait, I was pulling out the diary. There it is. Never find the time to write in it. Okay, here’s where I left off. Oh. No. That entry’s from the Time War. Not sure I want to read that. Moving on . . . Ah, yes, that’s better. Earth, Christmas! Crackers, turkey, and . . . Oh. Rose. Never mind.
You know, I wouldn’t mind a bit to eat myself. These ladies are all coming back from Costa Coffee or McDonalds or Pret-a-Manger, and I’m starving. Barely had time to grab a coffee and a biscuit before I had to get the car. I took the whole package of biscuits. It’s in my bag. But it’s not sanitary, is it, to eat in a WC? I could get cancer or bird flu or God knows what--I could catch an alien disease from those little fat creatures. Blech. Put me off. Put me right off my appetite. But my stomach’s rumbling, I know it is.
Oh no. “Excuse me, is there anybody in there?” “Yeah, I’m in here.” Rattling the door. “We’ve got a line forming here, and I think you’ve been in there for a very long time.” “Just . . .feeling a little ill.” Damn. Nosy woman. Not going to shift me. “If you’re ill, hadn’t I better call someone?” “No, be done in a minute.” A mild groan, that’ll get her back in line. That’s right, back in line. Better flush, just to make it convincing.
Galileo did some of his best stuff locked up. And Boethius, he was in jail. The Sariega of Nolt, he was in prison for three centuries. Cranked out a six-volume dictionary and a couple of paperback novels. The novels were rubbish, though. I tried my hand at writing a novel once. Felt derivative, though. The truth’s better than the fiction, though. But I can’t be bothered to write it down. See, that does make me inconsistent.
That’s what I was constantly getting told off about in my Academy days. That, and a whole load of other things . . . “Consistency,” Borusa was always telling me. He would have loved to have seen this regeneration, wouldn’t he? So flippant, so cool, so bouncy and full of energy! He would have hated it, but I would have loved to have seen him hate it. But he’s gone now. They’re all gone now. Even the Master. All that time, he was coming up with those stupid schemes on Earth, Daleks, Ogrons, hypnotism . . . it was so sophomoric. I loved swishing around in that cape and he loved twiddling his moustache. We could never have foreseen . . .
I wonder what the Doctor’s doing right now. Right this second. Is he flying that TARDIS of his? I dream about the TARDIS sometimes. I see that big column in my dreams, all green light, and all those funny holes in the walls, like pores in skin or something. I dream that I’m there and I’m back. He’s such a weirdo but he’s grand. I’m gonna find him. I feel like I’m close.
I used to think trips to the Costa del Sol in the summer and EuroVision were all that life amounted to. I was so glad to be back on Earth last Christmas. I cried in my pillow because I was so glad. Maybe I cried because I couldn’t face telling Mum what had really happened. I bought all these books on traveling. And I thought, THIS is life, because I was never a big reader but I was being diligent and good about this, because I was changing my life around. But it wasn’t enough. And I kept having the dreams. And sometimes nightmares, too, about flames.
I know he’s some kind of Time Lord, but what if he’s dead? Can the Doctor die? Wouldn’t that be awful? No, I won’t think about that. I’m going to find him and I’m going to hop aboard that TARDIS and see the universe. I made a mistake. All right, so I made a horrible huge mistake about Lance, but that wasn’t my fault. Not really. I said no when I should have said yes.
Awww, I’ve cracked a nail.
How did that song go? “Des violons de l’automne . . .”
I wonder . . . did the chicken come before the egg? I’ve got to go find out. I’ve been to the beginning of fowl life on Earth, I should know this one . . .
Dropped off for a bit there. Yawn. Not much time left. Good thing I’m in a loo, ‘cause when I need to use the loo . . .
That’s better. Where was I? I wonder if I packed enough. There’s no telling what kind of climate the Doctor sees on a regular basis. I mean, his skin’s in pretty good condition, but he might not have combination skin like I’ve got. Maybe it’s not even really skin. I’ve got no idea really, have I? I could really use a cuppa right now. Maybe Grandad’s on his way up the hill now. He’d probably appreciate a Thermos of tea, and there’s no way Mum’s going to bring it up to him. There’s nobody in here, is there? I think I’ll do some yoga. Bought myself a yoga mat after Christmas. Christmas present to myself, I said, for going through a hell of a wedding. And I was taking the classes for awhile, too. Well, not enough room in here for Triangle, that’s for bloody sure. Oof. I’ve really got to wash my hands when I get out of here. Downward Dog? Nuh uh.
Ooh, what’s this in my pocket? Forgot to clean this blazer out when I got it back from the cleaners. Business card. It’s a journalist or somebody. Ms. Sarah Jane Smith. We were both on the scene of this one UFO thing, and when I mentioned the blue box she smiled and gave me her card. Don’t know what I was thinking, blabbing about it like that. Probably thought I was mad. She didn’t look like the sharpest crayon in the bunch, either. Oh. Here’s a card for a masseuse. Why didn’t I check my pockets earlier? This is fun.
Right. Past five. They’ll be closing down soon. Good thing. There’s only so much staring at mops a Time Lord can take. Read all the labels of all the bottles of bleach and translated them in my head in 32 different languages. Recalibrated the sonic, gave up looking for the iPod, held my breath for about sixteen minutes and got bored with that one. Martha always wanted to stay in one place and look around. She said I had Attention Deficient Disorder. Her and her diagnoses.
Time to find out exactly what’s going on at Adipose Industries. No more plans for eternal youth, giant robots, test tubes full of clones, please.
What was that journalist’s name? Not that one, the other one. Penny something? She seemed keen on all this. I wonder why she gave up so easily. Oh well. God, I’m starving. A few more minutes, then I’m eating this package of biscuits in the corridor. I don’t care if I get crumbs on the floor. The cleaners can deal with it. They get paid enough, don’t they? Searching for the Doctor doesn’t pay particularly well.
God, what do I say when I see him?