The man on the other side of the door (Kik Lodge)

You are sitting on the toilet seat in your sequin skirt, contemplating the “you ok?” that came from the other side of the door. A man’s voice which seems on the cusp of caring.

A “yes, fine” and it would be over. Or a “nearly done” in the event the door-tapper deems your well-being trivial. It’s all in the tone. But tones are riddles.

Anyway, it’s not Johno’s voice; his is more a squeal, plus he’s sucking the Scorpio’s earlobes beside the fridge because she has excellent earlobes, former-life earlobes. All the other voices at the party belong to strangers who talk about activism which you know strictly nothing about. 

If you say ‘”no” to the “you ok?”, it could go many ways. 

Bad ways, like when you opened up to the man on the 10.15 to Bridgewater and ate into your overdraft for the night at the Travelodge, the quatre fromages pizza and the preservatives, and the only advice you got from him was that if you lost your belly you’d be a ‘beaut’. 

There could be an Aunt Lilly on the other side of the door, the kind who squeezes woe out of people, funnelling every drop into a vial that they keep in a breast-pocket and take out at family get-togethers.

Or it could – wait for it – be someone who isn’t drunk on party punch like you, who doesn’t desire to bed you and ditch you the next day, who has no intention of sucking your sorrow; an individual like a teacher or the career’s advisor you never had because she was on maternity leave, and they are perched on a stool on the other side of the door, they might take notes, or maybe they’ll just listen and have the brain power to retain things because when they invite you for a non-alcoholic drink like cranberry juice – because cranberry juice never ends in nudity – they’ll ask you to tell them exactly what happened that night, not skirting round the issue, facing it head on, and that’s when out of your mouth would come pure essence, and from that moment onwards a multitude of future lives would flicker before you, balls of light.  

“I said, you ok?” 

No riddle in the menacing tone here.

You stand up, cup your boobs and breathe in and out through your nostrils like the podcast says. 

Johno will have finished sucking the Scorpio by now because he wants to up his tally tonight, and this means more mingling and shots and playing guess the star sign, so time to flush the loo that doesn’t need to be flushed and shimmy to Disco 2000 before unlocking the door, because girl you can dance, Johnno says you’re a diva.


Favorite Drink: Give me a glug of Burgundy wine with tertiary aromas like horse sweat, mud and wet leaves and I’ll have babies with you. 


Kik Lodge writes short fiction in France where she lives with a menagerie of kids, cats and rats. Her work has featured in The Moth, Tiny Molecules, The Cabinet of Heed, Milk Candy Review, Reflex Fiction, Ellipsis Zine, Splonk, Bending Genres, Janus Literary and Litro. She is currently exploring the character of Grannylou, in all her glorious forms. 

Erratic tweets @KikLodge 


image: Claire Cantrell Wood, Dive Bar Enthusiast.