I am dreaming of a sunny, cold seaside town, plagued by six vampires. By the white pavilion on the seafront, a fat man is sweeping the chalky pastel-coloured flagstones.
In midair behind him, a woman with long blonde hair materialises. She floats horizontally, surrounded by billowing black rags of clothes, her face a mixture of lust and terrible anger. The woman reaches out her hand to the fat man's shoulder. He turns and looks directly at me. He is trying to convey something - sad resignation? I've been expecting this? This is the way life is? - but before I can understand she touches him and both of them vanish into the sunlit morning air.
I wake up. The dream starts disappearing immediately, fading like smoke, but it has already cast a shadow over the morning; it leaves me with a vague sense of unease, as if something somewhere is out of joint, like someone has unfastened one of the invisible zippers that attach me to reality.
It's Saturday. It's 11am. I make pancakes for breakfast, filling them with king prawns, peas and lemon juice. Rammstein stands on his hind legs next to me, shouting "PRAWN! PRAWN!" I give him a prawn.
After I've finished eating, I make coffee and wander through to the bedroom to pick out my underwear.
I love pretty underwear. I spend a lot of money on it; I have five full drawers. I like to spend time picking out the set I'm going to wear every day: shall I wear the cream silk bra embroidered with tiny pink roses? How about a suspender belt, if I'm wearing stockings? Shall I wear the striped grey satin corset I had made for me?
There's an art to buying good underwear, and one has to think about it. It's very easy to fall into tacky. The red lace, the black nylon, the thongs...all the itchy, pinchy, badly made shit that's supposed to be sexy.
Let's get one thing straight though; I don't wear my pretty underwear for anyone else's pleasure but my own. When I know I'm likely to sleep with someone (it doesn't happen often, and I never pick people up spontaneously because it makes me feel uncomfortable) I put on a plain black bra and black cotton knickers. You can touch me, but I don't want you to know me. You don't like that? You want me to dress up for you? Bad luck.
I meet Amanda for lunch in our favourite bar, the Royal. We like it because of its slightly gone-to-seed opulence; the stains on the red velvet seats, the gilt flaking off the walls. Amanda is sitting on one of the sofas by the big window, in her pink fake-fur coat. Her hair is, currently, a towering blonde beehive. The glass beads festooning her emerald-green dress catch the light. She is drinking a glass of prosecco and the rest of the bottle is in a bucket in front of her. I sit down.
One of the things Amanda and I have in common is a love of wearing costumes, rather than clothes.
"Who are you going to be today?"
"I'm going to wear my see-through lace blouse with the long black pencil skirt and high heeled lace-up boots. And a hat. Kind of a Victorian slut thing. Who are you going to be?"
"I've got this long black dress which is basically Winona Ryder in Beetlejuice. I just need to work out how to wax my fringe into points."
"Want to meet up after work?"
Amanda pours me a glass of prosecco and asks: "Do you want to come to a club where people wee on each other?"
She's imitating Old Gregg from The Mighty Boosh - a major character in our personal pantheon of icons - but the middle-aged couple at the table next to us overhear. They stop talking for a moment, look at us, and take in Amanda's foot-high hair and my silver snake-print blazer. I can see them thinking that we do, in fact, look as if we would probably go to clubs where people wee on each other. They catch each other's eyes and then lower their eyes to their plates and start frantically pretending we don't exist. I'd like to make this right - they look genuinely disturbed and I don't want to ruin their lunch - but past experience has taught me that attempting to interact with them will just scare them even more so I drink the rest of my prosecco and put it out of my mind.
Just for the record, while I have been to some interesting places, I have never been to a club where people wee on each other. I wouldn't go, either. I'm not keen on bodily fluids.
Amanda orders two brandy alexanders.