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How Not to Survive

By Will Davis All Rights Reserved ©

Humor / Drama

Blurb

WHAT IF your mum's an alcoholic and your dad's engaged to an evil living doll? WHAT IF you're failing college and about to be fired from your dead-end-loser job? WHAT IF you're being stalked by an accountant and you've fallen for a sexy drug dealer? How Not to Survive follows the trials and pitfalls of Jaz Jones, a twenty one year old Londoner struggling to hold it together... PRAISE FOR 'MY SIDE OF THE STORY' BY WILL DAVIS (winner of the 2007 Betty Trask Prize): 'Will Davis is a witty writer who effortlessly conjures up the frenetic detail of Jaz's sixteen-year-old world' - Independant on Sunday 'The dialogue fizzes with savvy one-liners... Davis' observations of the dysfunctions of family and school are as sharp as his prose is fresh, and his debut is intriguing, touching and entertaining' - Time Out 'Davis's narrative style makes this a stand-out read – it's a cross between Catherine Tate's Lauren and Vicky Pollard... There'll be comparisons with Jonathon Coe's The Rotters' Club and Sue Townsend's Adrian Mole, but this is a journal for the Noughties' - Gay Times 'Combines the coolness of Queer as Folk with the tenderness of Adrian Mole' - Elle

Prologue

So like, prologue.

I’m going at it on the dance floor like it’s me versus the music. Opposite me is this guy in a chest-hugging Grateful Dead tee who looks like he could be R-Patz’s double, though I can’t tell if it’s for sure or just my MDMA goggles. They’re playing this Lady Ga Ga medley so it’s the definition of a gay cliché, but frankly when you’re floating on one of Danny’s cocktails who even gives a fuck? He’s over in the corner talking to some emo in drag and he runs a hand over his head stubble and catches my eye and flashes me a quick grin. I give him the thumbs up, meaning the goods are like, good. Beside me my gorgeous vision interprets this as the latest move and starts swaying from side to side with both thumbs twisting in the air. I lean forward to tell him what a penis he looks, but the next thing I know I’m copying him, and we’re both doing it, jerking our thumbs up and down like a pair of demented reject hitchhikers. People around are looking at us like we’re this embarrassment to the human race, which we totally are, but even that’s cool as this delicious chill spreads out through my chest and down towards the base of my spine. I’m practically pissing myself from pleasure here.

Just then R-Patz leans in close and takes hold of me, and for a second I’m like, Cocky some? since I haven’t even given him much of the eye or anything. Only instead of locking onto my mouth he aims for my ear instead.

He’s like, Hey buddy, can I get some of that?

We stand there swaying and hugging for a while, and it’s pretty sweet until I realise he’s still waiting for an answer. I pull away and give him this wink, then I throw Danny this massively unsubtle like, SOS-style wave. Danny rolls his eyes but gives me a nod. I turn back to R-Patz.

I’m like, He’ll sort you out.

Patz is like, Cheers man.

He gives my shoulder a squeeze, which is a bit like being touched by a demigod at this point, and heads off towards Danny. I wave at him goodbye, slightly sorry about it since to be honest I’d of kind of liked it if he’d just wanted to stay here and carry on hugging for a while.

I look down and realise I’m still waving, that it’s become part of my dance routine, and it’s so unthinkably awful it’s like it’s gone beyond good and bad and shot straight into stupendously amazing. I’m so high I’m practically levitating by this point, and it takes a while before I realise Danny is shaking me, his face all cavernous and his mouth open in a perfect blow-up-doll-shaped hole.

Jaz! he’s shouting.

I’m about to tell him to take deep breaths and think of some happy childhood memory that wasn’t about getting sold for crack when I see what he’s upset about. A policeman. At first I think it’s just a rapid paranoia flip and I blink several times. But instead of like, dematerialising he gets even closer. He’s with R-Patz, and Patz pointing them over towards us, and his beautiful face is all serious and suddenly he doesn’t look remotely high or beautiful – or much like R-Patz for that matter.

What’s going on? I go to Danny, only when I turn I find I’m like, talking to his aura because he’s long gone, making this ripple effect as he pushes his way through the crowd towards the fire exit.

I look back at R-Patz’s dumpy younger brother. He’s staring at me and making this weird sign with his fingers, like Vulcan for Hello. In the like, the locus of confusion, I make the sign back at him. But he’s not talking to me really. He’s signalling to another policemen who’s standing behind me, and before I can start for the hills myself this hand of doom descends on my arm and spins me round.

Alright mate, goes the pig, Come with me please.

And there, right before hundreds of planet-sized eyes, filmed by a whole bunch of i-phones, I’m led off to the side of the room, stuffed in cuffs and like, totally arrested.

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