Contains scenes that some might find offensive - not really explicit or anything, just not for your eight year olds. Amsterdamned I never believed in hell. The writing was on the wall. It was over the urinal; a whole sentence in black marker pen squeezed between the phone numbers of prostitutes and that amusing joke that is supposed to make men piss on their shoes. There was not a tile left white in the cramped washroom, and the stench of urine overpowered Richard. The sentence caught his eye because he was trying to focus straight ahead; looking from left to right was unadvisable. Not that the mores of the gent’s room were stopping the man to his left having a good stare. Richard shot a dirty look at the guy who was examining his ‘wife’s best friend’, but all he got was a shrug and a smile as the other man shook the snake and left without washing his hands. Sadly, the phrase ‘wife’s best friend’ did not really apply to Richard’s proof of manhood. They had been sleeping on opposite sides of the bed since the birth of his only child, his daughter, Mia. They had been in love once, a long time ago. Now they were held together by a squirming mixture of mutual emotional and financial dependency that just exacerbated things, dependency breeding resentment, insecurity and further dependency. Richard was the kind of dull rationalist who becomes an accountant out of competition with his school mates, and never dreams of anything more, or at least that was the way it had seemed until his hair started thinning at the back. Now the oddly oppressive world of the panoptical office, spreadsheetpsychotic boss and the socialcivilbureaucraticmoderndiplomatic moderately-paced café-capitalism society to which it belonged, hit him with the sort of existential nausea that men turning forty are prey to. The net effect of which was he had started hitting on the twenty-one year old anarcho-syndicalist office temp, Janet. The road to the hell toilet being paved with the intention to do something bad for a change, now he was standing, drunk as a lord and out of his head, in a men’s toilet in a marijuana-café in Amsterdam with the memory of Janet’s words still turning his ear red: “meet me in the toilets in five minutes”. A prospect doubly enticing because he knew her boyfriend was sitting not ten meters away. Janet slipped through the door of the gent's, catching Richard’s gaze and giving him a smile. Janet was an easy enough caricature to give a cartoonist no problems; once you drew the knitted hat, the retro flairs and the velvet jacket with the indie band badges, the rest of the girl just slotted into place. She pushed him into the empty cubicle and kissed him hard, ramming her tongue down his throat with the sort of enthusiasm of lust that he could no longer remember. Her sexual confidence didn’t stop there - she was already unbuckling his trousers, and Richard was simply standing in dumbfounded shock. Figuring he should be more aggressive he pulled off her top, to reveal her slightly underdeveloped chest. That was when the door was smashed open. There was a moment of confusion and the flash of a camera, followed swiftly by several steel-tipped cowboy boots to the face that left Richard bleeding in a toilet that was far from hygienic. It was about half an hour later that Richard managed to stagger out of the cubicle. Leaning against the wall, he read the same message; I never believed in hell. Now he was there.