The girl next to me is cuter than her accent makes her sound. She’s recounting the clothes she bought from a 'thrift store' and the new bikini waxer she visited, the one who can get her on the door of some city nightclub. I didn’t catch the name of the club, but I could picture the velour ropes and clipboard smirking door bitch. I conjured images of roofie-slinging, general-knowledge aficionados standing in the darkest corner, tapping their feet irregularly to the 90s house, waiting like a goldfish for a flake or waif to appear on the surface of its bowl.
“Excuse me, are you from Ireland?” I ask, genuinely intrigued.
“Do yew fink am from Island?” She drools, as if hit by a bus in her formative years.
I did think she was from Ireland, but no one from Ireland asks you if you really think they’re from Ireland.
“No, of course not. I mean, I also don’t think that cockroaches can survive a nuclear holocaust. No, no I don’t think you’re from Ireland. You’re clearly from Scotland.”
Their giggles tell me I’m wrong again, so I go back to writing. To hell with the fucking Irish or any of their tea-drinking neighbours. All they’re good for is a…
“What are ya wri’in, then?”
“A short story. I have this thing I do every day where I….”
“Every day yew cum to this bah?”
“No, every day I write a short story.”
“Anything. Notes, music, travel, girls I meet in bahs.”
I shouldn’t be mocking her, but the crooked teeth and obnoxious, elongated speech is really getting to me.
“Will ya reed me sum?”
There was no way I was going to read her some of my writing. Not out of fear that she’d mock it, more out of panic that I’d take a candle to her brittle hair and watch her vanish into flames.
“Sorry, I never read anything to anyone until it’s finished.”
With that, she picked up her Tequila Sunrise and left. Her stereotypically crooked teeth chattering at the back of her tall, chunky, blonde friend’s back as they barged their way through the crowded bar.
I’d read about an artist that had killed British backpackers, strung them up from low hanging branches like fruit and painted them in bright colours. Throwing fist fulls of paint at their chests, torsos and genitals. Making them enigmatic, like the kindergarten artwork of a child. He, this murderer, was jailed after only four years of making his art. He’d made only 20 works, though 22 people had gone missing in the time of his reign.
On the way home I searched the Internet on my phone for 24-hour paint sellers and smiled when I found one in Footscray. Now all I had to do was find some low-hanging branches and an ex-aristocrat to commission my work. Then I wouldn’t have to write, as long as I saw them again soon.