I do the check, pressed for time. Left leg pocket - phone. Inside jacket pocket - iPod (public-blocking-out-device, Apple in origin). Right leg pocket - packet of Blackcurrant Fisherman's Friends.
A minor 'fuck' at this stage, it must be on the couch. Not on the couch. It must have slipped down the back of the couch. 50p and a layer of dust, but nothing. The table. No. Back to the bedroom. Not on the bed. Back to the couch. Checked there already.
The fear growing. Wore tracksuit bottoms to the shop, must be in the zippy bit. Not in the zippy bit. In hoodie. No.
FUCK. It must have slipped out of my pocket.
Check the corridor outside the apartment. Not a thing. Check the bathroom, could have left it there while having a shower. No. Check the bed.
YOU FUCKING CHECKED THE BED ALREADY.
What's the number for Mastercard? How do I cancel? My Laser! My health card! My social services card! My 1995 USIT identification! My three-years-out-of-date press card! My receipts! My gym membership!
My what now?
Panic. Fuck. Check the fridge. The milk needs replacing. "FOCUS for the love of Beethoven!" Not in the fridge. Check the inside of the microwave. On top of the radiator. Behind the telly, which is raised on the wall. The freezer. The cupboard. The washing machine. Fuck fuck fuck. Late late late.
The couch again. Losing mind. Behind the couch. All sorts of imaginings. Inside the bin. Smell is rank.
Fitzbollix's room. Not a hope. Back to my own. Giving up. Inside the laundry basket. Last chance saloon. Nothing there either. Life is over. Sweating and heaving. Life in ribbons. Bank account hacked. Someone's flatscreen. Someone's trip to Ibiza. Somebody's drinks are on me. My finances plundered.
Then I check my arse pocket.