Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Plenty of any one.

There was the one who liked salt and pepper and morning sex standing up.
There was the one who kissed with lips too pursed, that swallowed some pips and died one summer.
There was the one I bought a drink who took a pill, danced, caught a cab and vomited on my naked chest.
There was the one I went away for, the one I came back for and the one that got away who I thought got away but was never actually gone.
There was the painter, the clerk, the baker and the sanitary bin salesperson; the copywriter, the art director and their boss; the writer, the publisher and the publisher’s publicist who wore a skirt with no underwear and gargled whiskey before bed.
There was the one who wrote poems, carved our names in trees and left Milo stains on the valour couch.
There was the one who read Hemingway, said it was trash and sold her pubes on eBay.
There was the one who invited me over to play games and touched my penis for the first time just as Mario overtook Luigi.
There was the one who ate cigarettes in a park and pulled mocking faces at the zoo.
There was the one I fell in love with for the first time who put footprints on my heart.
There will be the one who likes to conjugate verbs and study the Atlas and correct me in front of strangers.
There is the one who still stalks the latter parts of my nightmind, licking their lips, wide eyes trained on my knees and neck and mouth.

And there is the one who knows a lot can be said for saying nothing at all, about her.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

A place I found this morning.

It wasn't the car that wouldn't start that woke me, but the man swearing about the car that wouldn't start. There was little to do now but take in her sour breath and closed pistachio eyes. Each pistachio had its own horizon. I allowed myself to explore either side and discovered a sea and a sky.

In the sea I took delight in trawling the sandy floor for shells and mines and lost treasure; I lunched with dolphins and did breathing classes with puffer fish. In the sky I met different gases that had made it as stars and birds of prey who'd lost their mind ingesting wild African acid.
I also found a place.
A place where anything could exist. Science wasn't called Science, it didn't have a name at all. In this place one could sculpt their own body; enlarging breasts, brightening eyes, shortening feet. There was no war or Big Brother or famine or street fashion blogs. It was Paradise.
But the car wouldn't start again and the pistachio opened and the horizon disappeared and for brief moments I was lost in the real world. Until a smell drew me in and I kissed her and mentioned that it was love I was feeling for her. She reciprocated, except, on the end of her admission she added the Proper Noun, ‘Robbie’. And that made me happy because it was personalised. And I forgot about the place where Science wasn’t called Science, because I could always set my alarm early and visit again tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Creature of habit.

"Fruit juice is intense, it doesn't make sense; fruit juice is intense, it doesn't make sense; fruit juice - "
Hours passed the same way, with Daniel repeating his line over again in the aisle of his local supermarket. This was his Tuesday routine.
On Wednesdays it was incessant hair scratching; Thursdays compulsive bum wiping; Fridays salsa dancing; Saturdays masturbation. Sundays and Mondays were always respected as days of rest.
But it was Daniel's unwavering obsession with elderly women that was most crippling. He could handle a bleeding scalp, sore bum and dick; even the verbal abuse on supermarket Tuesdays. But there was something about elderly women that worked him into a frenzy; their elasticised skin, tangible smell, chalky lips and liver spots were to Daniel what oysters and 5-star hotel jacuzzis are to the masses.

One Friday, after 14 hours of salsa dancing, Daniel returned to his home, dizzy with contemplation.
'What if women stopped getting old? What if the Dove and Olay and Lancôme ads were right? What if they had found a sci-fi space cure for aging?'
Overwhelmed, Daniel fell into his armchair, poured a brandy, knocked back a Viagra and began his Saturday routine early.

The following morning, above the sound of bacon fat popping in the kitchen, one could hear hushed voices explaining over the breakfast table how 'he'd broken his routine'. Nods were exchanged and teas left to stand – there was a job to be done.

When the ambulance finally arrived, the paramedics were confronted by a truly amazing sight. 32 breasts dangling over the dead man's body like snot from a baby's nose.
Without bothering to re-cloth, the 16 women put their hands beneath Daniel’s already-decaying body, hoisted him onto their shoulders and pushed past the paramedics to the front door.
After all, it was a Saturday and Daniel needed to collect his post-masturbation sausage roll from the local supermarket.
It must be re-iterated that Sundays and Mondays were days of rest.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Sometimes flying.

With his straight back, anxious eyes and bulbous forehead, David is the perfect reflection of his father. Like his reflection, David has only ever known one woman and one vocation; both of them hard work, he often whispers to himself.
His wife of nine years, Sally, shares his mother's name and her penchant for cask wine and artificial meat sticks she calls “Tony’s”. David has never asked why they were called Tony’s and, as such, has never understood the nickname given to these meat sticks that his wife devours by the kilo.  
Most nights, when David returns from the roads, he receives a brief embrace followed by a stern order to fetch more wine, or if he’s flush, a bottle of brandy.
Sally was too young to drink so much, David thought. And it wasn’t even her reflection, or father, that was dying.   

Like his father, David only bore one child, a son. Michael, unlike his father and grandfather, was born without the bulbous forehead and was not yet in possession of the anxious eyes.
But, as repetition would have it, David’s son was a keen diver, just as he had been.
"Watch me, Daddy, watch me", Michael would plead from the 2m board. But David exercised his parental right to ignore his son's request, and never watched Michael enter the water from a great height.

And not that any of this is relevant, but it wasn't long before, like his father, David began to die inside.

So, staring into his reflection, David smiled. He took the apple juice from the hospital tray, peeled back its lid and savoured its sweetness. Then he read aloud a birthday card that sat next to some dehydrated flowers and lingered on the final sentence: “Happy Birthday to the father just like me”.

David knew this would be the last chance he got to say goodbye to that straight back and taught face. Levering himself from the vinyl chair, he planted his first and final kiss on his father’s bulbous forehead.
And with that, with his reflection dying beside him, David forced open a window and looked down on the emergency department's entrance below.

If only his father could have seen how perfectly flat he'd fallen.

Thursday, May 17, 2012


There’s a group of four Spanish women dancing in front of Simon at Café Bombocado. The owner – a man who looks more cartoon than German – is doing a terrible job of concealing his arousal.
Simon doesn’t know it yet, but this man is going to be integral to –
Simon stops his brain’s voice over and gets back to writing his novel and sipping the white wine he hopes will cure the hangover dimming his creativity, and his writing progress.
Simon’s writing style had the same elasticity as a pensioner’s breasts, so, without a plan, the plot of his novel had stretched and shrunk again. He knew it would never be published, despite the ingenious title: Morbid Memories Make Mad Men.
In the beginning MMMM was the story of a man who wrote a eulogy for every one of his dead erections. So, literally, Simon wrote hundreds of eulogies for his protagonist’s dead erections, each one thinly veiled accounts of his own promiscuous sex life. But MMMM would never be published, and Simon knew this, for nothing truly genius would ever be recognised in its own time.

One of the Spanish women falls to the floor with a flourish. It’s started raining outside. Simon has an erection. His writer’s block, gone.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

My Third Time Eating Fish.

“Nothing owed to nuance.”
“What the fuck does that mean?”
“Not sure.”
This is the conversation I imagine the German couple are having next to me at McDonald’s at 3am.

After choking down the Fillet-O-Fish I ordered via language blunder, I make my way back to our apartment, skipping over dog shit like it were my first time dancing. The towers are eerie. The surrounding trees ominous. There’s silence among the communal bins.

At level two I pause and listen for what Mr Kauf is playing on his stereo, or singing, or shouting. Instead, there’s nothing and I get lost in whatever it is I’m meant to be thinking:
No matter where you go in the world, hairdressers always have puns for their salon names: eClips, hair of the dog, hairport etc. No matter what time it is, someone, somewhere in the world is having: a shower, a beer, a shit, a colonoscopy, open-heart surgery, their last meal.  No matter what anyone says, you can trust your mantra. And if you don’t have a mantra, you can trust that a Holiday Inn will provide a continental breakfast at a reasonable price and a cosy place to sleep, free of bedbugs. There may be the occasional streak of human faeces on the mattress cover, though. Which reminds me, I need to book a room for two for the start of June.

I escape my thinking, climb the final set of stairs and turn the key. There’s a rumble from the kitchen and I’ve momentarily forgotten someone sleeps there. My fly already undone, penis poking through my pants as if seeing the world for the first time, urine readied to splash into the bowl with great force. The same force that someone, somewhere in the world, is using to: flick a bug from a leaf, hoist an infant onto their shoulders, push a car into gear, or sign the customer copy of their last meal before stepping into oncoming traffic and being ploughed into by a scooter with enough force to send them plummeting back into the memories of the third, second and first time they had ever tried fish. 

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Chris went missing #1

“You’re born, you shit yourself a few times, and then you die.”
This was the note we found on Tuesday morning in the fridge, wrapped around a bottle of Becks.

Chris hadn’t been sighted in two days. We’d considered putting up a poster in the local burger joint on Sonnanallee where he ate most nights. I’d even crafted it in Powerpoint:
(picture of Chris)
Last seen with BBQ Burger and Becks.
Comes to the name of ‘Chris’. Red hair.
Reasonable Reward
(my phone number).

The day before he went missing there was something noticeably different to Chris. His gate had slackened, his conversation had become laboured, his text messages almost indecipherable. At band practice he refused to sing. Clapping in bridges, howling during verses and not participating at all in the chorus.

To be fair, the night before Chris went missing he’d had his first altercation with a Turkish drug-dealer. His shins blackened by kicks, visible bruising on his neck where the brut had held him to a wall, threatening worse if he ever openly used the word ‘coke’ in a text again. The following morning the chain on his bike had come off a few times, and he’d been short changed at the local supermarket.
Not to mention that, on that same morning, on the day he went missing, his girlfriend had called from Australia and told Chris she didn’t really love him. That she’d never loved him, and that she in fact loved someone else.
I only say this so matter-of-factly, as this is how Chris had told it to us. Outside Laidak, cigarette in hand, two days ago.