The “What The F*ck Are You Doing?!” Card

Julian reflects on Noel's oddness.

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Notes: Like I said, this is mindless meaningless fluff. It is nothing at all. There’s no hot lovin’ in it, there’s not even any snogging as much as we all love that. It’s coming on here anyway cos I wrote the fucker and I’ve got nothing else to do with it. And it’s from Julian’s point of view.

The “What The F*ck Are You Doing?!” Card by raynor

When you’ve been going out with someone for over two years and have known them for the best part of a decade, you think you know them pretty well. You know their favourite colour (pink/lime spandex) and you know that they believe that it really is a colour. You know the name of the kid who bullied them at school (Joshua Twinings, who got his comeuppance when dog shit somehow ended up in his afternoon sandwiches), the food that they hate the most (sprouts) and the name of their first goldfish (Sparkles). You’ve met the parents (and they were very nice), you’ve had your First Holiday Together As A Couple, which was pretty important, and most of all you liked it. However, when they move into your house, or you move into their house, or you get a house together you realise that you didn’t know all that there was to know after all.

This I realised within the first week that Noel and I moved in together. For the past few years—as soon as we started “seeing” each other—we’d practically been living at each other’s houses anyway but it became different when you realised there was nowhere for you to run to when you got a bit pissed off at the other person. I couldn’t get pissed off at Noel for rambling on about Gary Numan at 3 in the morning and decide to bugger off home anymore, and he couldn’t run back to his own house if he tired of my ponderings with regards to the jazz movement of the 50s… although I can’t understand why anyone would want to run away from that. Everybody could do with a bit of jazz education if you ask me.

For the first few weeks, everything was fine. We were in love, we were happy, we were going to work together in the day, coming home, lazing on the sofa and watching TV. Well, I was lazing on the sofa and watching TV whilst Noel was prancing around in some various get-up that usually involved some sort of feather boa and cowboy boots. Not that I minded; looking at something that pretty distracted me from those bloody women on “What Not To Wear.”

I first realised that maybe I didn’t know everything about Noel when I came home from work one afternoon to find him closely inspecting his pores in a mirror, and making various faces to see if he could spot any visible wrinkles. The conversation went something like this:

Me: … What are you doing?

Noel: I always do this. It’s what I do.

Me: Why would you do that?

Noel: I don’t know, why would I not do that?

Me: I don’t know… what would make you even think of doing that?!

Noel: I don’t know, it’s just something I do. My old flatmates didn’t mind.

Me: Your old flatmate was your brother.

Cue storming off.

Quickly, “my old flatmates didn’t mind” became one of the key phrases in our household. If I was the one doing something Noel regarded as foolish, I would say that. When Noel was doing one of the many ridiculous things that he does for habits, his sentences would always end like that. This would be quickly followed with one of us going off in a huff muttering something about “well why don’t you go back to your old fucking house then?”

The first time Noel had to use the “… what are you doing?!” sentence on me was when I was sitting on the closed toilet, reading a magazine and smoking a cigarette. Keep in mind that this is just something I do. I enjoy the privacy of a bathroom; I’m not entirely sure what it is. There’s pretty much everything you could ever need to sustain yourself in a bathroom. Water to drink, water to bathe in, a toilet to use, magazines to read, and if you get desperate there’s always toilet paper to eat. One of my friends who shall remain nameless used to keep snacks in his bathroom in case of such an emergency. Maybe it’s a Northern thing. However, Noel wasn’t impressed.

Noel: … what the hell are you doing?!

Me: I always do this. It’s what I do.

Noel: But why would you do that? That’s just wrong!

Me: I don’t know… why would I not do this?

Noel: It’s fucking unsanitary! What would even make you think of doing that?!

Me: I don’t know, it’s just something I do. My old flatmates didn’t mind.

Noel: Your old flatmate was your mother, Julian.

Cue storming off.

After time this stopped being such a regular occurrence because we simply got used to the idea that both of us do odd things… although I do think Noel’s are odder. I’ve caught him quickly washing his hair in the kitchen sink when pretending to do the pots, I’ve seen him eating birdseed when he was pretending to fill the bird feeder outside, and I’ve even seen him sniff cushions after somebody has got up and gone to the toilet.

I asked him about the last one because, all things considered, that’s just fucking wrong.

Me: What the fuck is that?

Noel: What? Have I got shit on my face?

Me: You just sniffed the cushion!

Noel: Oh yeah. Yeah me and Mike used to do it when we were kids. He used to sniff peoples chairs to see if they’d farted or not, and if they had then he tried to bottle it up to release it in my face.

Me: … What?!

Noel: I just told you, ya twatbag.

Me: You shouldn’t sniff cushions!

Noel: Old habits die hard, old man.

I didn’t even bother to storm off after that one, I just sat there with what I’m sure was a look of bewilderment on my face. After that I often watched Noel just to see if he ever sniffed anything else… or anything that I’d sat on. And I also made sure to never, EVER fart when sitting on a chair in the same room as Noel. And I started carrying Febreze around with me. Eventually I managed to stop Noel sniffing things by offering him sweets whenever he looked like he was about to sniff seats… it was kind of like reverse dog training. If he got that “I need to sniff that chair” look in his eye, I would pull out some sweets from my pocket, normally Haribo fried eggs or Chupa Chups. The man just cannot resist the chuppy goodness.

Mike however… well that’s a different story. But it’s not my place to stop him sniffing chairs, that’s more Dave’s territory than mine, and I think Dave gave up on that a long time ago. We had a conversation about it, and he was just as disturbed as I was when he first found out. Although he was more than slightly intrigued by my Noel Training, he disregarded it when he realised how much it was going to cost him buying sweets. He decided to just let sleeping dogs lie… or to let weird men sniff seats.

Slowly but surely, we got used to one another’s weird habits. Although I do still stand by my initial statement that what I do isn’t weird, it’s just things that I do. We had a bit of a problem last week when we went to Alton Towers and Noel started unscrewing one of the bolts holding the ride together… but that’s another story.

A/N: I apologise if from now on whenever you see Noel you think of him cushion sniffing. Thanks to my fucked up head, I now have this problem. In my case it appears to be uncurable. If you can help cure me, please let me know. phoon tried but to no avail.

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