Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Mr Flockhart - Part One

We crept in the backdoor with our bags and looked for signs of life. Sick with exhaustion from our psychedelic journey and love-making we found our room, clambered into bed and fell silent. Hours later, woken by the dappled sunlight leaking through venetian blinds, I went in search of water.

Surely this monstrosity of a house has a kitchen. Or perhaps I was to ring a bell for a maid, or something? Fuck, I don’t want to make the wrong impression. I don’t want them to think I’m some uncultured pauper who has never had ‘help’ before. I know what they’re there for. I once had a gardener, remember. Well, not mine, but the neighbor’s… and he did trim my overgrowth… no, not your pubic hair, silly. Not that I would ever ask him, but I’m sure he wasn’t that way inclined, those muscular  forearms with their golden brown hue… Fuck… I really do need some more drugs to straighten me out. Back. Focus. Water. Exactly, there’s the kitchen. Nice one.

It was nearing mid-morning and my mouth was dry and ash-filled – not entirely foreign feeling. Having focused all my attention on getting water I hadn’t noticed Flockhart earlier. I’d expected to see things worth writing about on this weekend of investigation, but nothing like this - Flockhart, on all fours with his head in the refrigerator, having his asshole licked by a pitt bull terrier, which to my knowledge he did not own. I’m guessing he wasn’t searching for a sandwich, and I wasn’t about to ask. I could have written pages for my article about that scene alone, but it would never have done it justice.
Carefully I backed out of the kitchen, trying not to drop my glass, but unable to avert my eyes. This was going to be a productive and eventful weekend, though I had already made a pact with Sarah to write truthfully. My editor would see it differently, of course, but as Flockhart had said himself, I had a reputation as being honest, and a writer of the truth; the truth on drugs, but the truth nonetheless.
Flockhart had been a wealthy and respected businessman before his downfall. It wasn’t the drugs, or the gambling that brought him unstuck, but the women. It was made known, via sensationalist but clever pieces of journalism, that he was a womaniser. Unfortunately his company’s success hinged on its image, and how that image was seen in the eyes of women. His company made sanitary products, and in a twist of irony, it seemed that his sexual encounters had left him the only one bleeding from between the legs. “I used to string along dozens at a time”, I once heard him being quoted.

When Sarah and I finally rose, sometime before regular people have dinner, we decided to explore. On entering the living room Sarah had her first taste of Flockhart – naked on the couch, with what appeared to be two dead hookers, each with a head on one of his sagging breasts. It was some display: three sets of legs, one grotesquely hairy, fanned out like a giant minoura. I’m guessing it was Sarah’s involuntary yelp that startled them into consciousness.

“Let me shower, and I’ll take you two for dinner. What’s your name precious?”, Flockhart mumbled in Sarah’s direction, completely ignoring my presence.

“I’m Jeremy, and this is my fiancĂ©, Sarah. I’m the writer you sent for”.

“Lovely to meet you both”.

He leant on one ass cheek, as if leaking sulphur into the air, and made for a pile of white powder next to an art deco reading lamp like the kind you’d find in the State Library. In a foul swoop some powder was cut, inhaled and was on its way down the back of a dry throat. Like hunting dogs, the two women, comatosed until this point, rose from his chest and sought revival. In less than two minutes the stack of white was gone, and the table now appeared like a chipped weatherboard beachouse. Flockhart rubbed the remains into his gums and exited the room. We waited while he showered, eluding small talk with his two female companions by fidgeting with artefacts and decaying books. The shape of many of the objects we picked up made me uncomfortable and I was glad to see our host finally re-emerge, sharply dressed and clear-eyed.

Flockhart wanted to take Sarah and I out for a pre-emptive ‘thankyou dinner’ by the shoreline. We indulged him – though I knew better than to have my journalistic integrity swayed by shrimp cocktails and drinks served ‘old fashioned’. There we sat comfortably in hand-woven chairs facing the seaside, all three in a row. Like ducks, my mother would have said.

“That looks good”, Flockhart commented, pointing at the crab bisc.

How can something look good? It’s on a menu, sheltered behind a plastic sheath. No smell, no sight, and certainly no taste. Irony is lost on these people. I mean for fuck’s sake, I know he’s not the only…

‘What are you having, dear?’

He wakes me from my inner-tirade.

‘The crab bisc’, Sarah, replied. ‘It does look good’.