My Conversation with a Pair of Corduroy Slacks


‘Is it weird that I’m wearing you?’

I shuffle around inside my guest, trying hard not to push or press too much in any way. I begin to regret having had that McDonald’s breakfast.

‘It’s okay. If you could please just relieve the zipper so that I can talk more freely, that’d be perfect.’

I do as she says.

We begin talking about the influx of vegan restaurants in East London before she cuts through the conversation, making my life much easier.

‘I guess you want me to talk to you about my time in London during the peak of punk then, eh?’ I think she is smiling up at me, but I can’t quite tell.

‘If you wouldn’t mind’, I say, giving just enough emphasis on the mind to let her know that the sweat congealing on the back of my thigh is due to the condensed heat in the coffee shop and not caused by excitement.

‘Vivienne Westwood gave birth to me in 1975. She then offered me up to a young man named Johnny Rotten and he and I became inseparable. We went everywhere together. I went to all the Sex Pistol gigs. We wore, and we tore through London and I, for a while, bore rips and stains of our relationship across the three years that we spent together – you can see a few red wine scars if you look closely.’

‘Anyway, we separated after I caught him wearing a pair of tartan trews. He tried to say that Viv had pushed them onto him, but I’ve never believed that. I was distraught. I sought refuge inside a black bin liner for twelve years until I surfaced my waist. The problem was, that I was in the backroom of a Barnardo’s in Slough.’

‘I did what I could to fight my way back into London (apparently Punk was coming back). I held the legs of bartenders, teenagers and a stage director(?) but eventually, it was a young girl called Collie whose acceptance at King’s College finally led me home.’

I pause as I finish writing in my notepad.

‘Wow. So where next?’ I ask.

A small gust blows up from her flies.

Home – to my Johnny.’

My bottom lip falls sharply to the side and I grimace at her.

‘Err, I think John Lydon lives in America now…’