After dinner Sarah retired to the bedroom, as much out of fatigue as allowing the opportunity for me to set out on writing my article.
Flockhart spoke with an air of distinction, all except when speaking of women. When he did his voice was guttural, his actions primal and unforgiving. A slap of the back, a jab to the ribs, he became one of the boys. I unsheathed my dictaphone.
‘You’ve been in love’, I stated, rather than asked.
‘With one, yes, her name was Sarah’.
I knew Sarah was a sickly common name, but I couldn’t help but feel a pull in my stomach at the sound of this beast having loved a woman that shared the same name as mine.
‘At what age?’
‘About yours’, he said, predictably.
‘And how old would I be?’
What the hell did he want me here for? Drug guzzling, womanising scum. If I were Thompson I would have called him swine, yeh, that’s what I’d call him, swine. I’m going to tell the truth, alright. The truth that he is evil, a manipulative, self-absorbed rich piece of shit. No, be balanced. You made a promise. Right, the fucking promise; the promise to Sarah. Like I promised her a three-piece suite and never to quote Trainspotting again.
I change the topic.
‘I read somewhere you were into philanthropy?’
‘Sure. I once sponsored some Thai children’
I wanted to lead him down a dirty garden path. One filled with sexual innuendo, an unravelling of a complex child pornography ring and three counts of sexual penetration of children under the age of 16. I’d have a scoop, maybe a fucking Pulitzer. Better yet, a book deal.
‘I took two boys in. Their family was so poor that each child had one notebook only. Am I speaking clearly enough into this thing?’
“Well each boy only had one notebook, right, and each time the notebook was filled, all the knowledge was rubbed out and replaced by more sentences that were destined to be forgotten.'
‘That’s terribly kind of you. And where are they now?’
‘Both ran away when they found out about the hidden…’
Right, I’ve got you, you filthy fucking animal, you filmed them!
‘The hidden money… They stole from me. I hold no grudge’.
In my periphery I saw Sarah. She’d come out of bed, draped in velour. Woken by some talking she said. Flockhart looked more than pleased.
‘Should we smoke?’, Flockhart produced a rock and what appeared to be an ivory pipe from his pocket.
‘Why not?’, Sarah replied, before I could start.
He had a way of grabbing one’s attention that infuriated me. When he focused on you, you were his world. And now that he was focusing on my girl, I wanted none of it. I was ready to pack it all in and drive home, but I’d had too many, and even my voice was wobbly. I wanted to jump from the balcony to grab her attention, but she was in his focus now. I was a mere flaming cherry in the very dark periphery.
Sitting in the shadows, Sarah in my only tunnel of vision, she looked as if she were blind. Cloudy eyes hung low in her skull, and her face looked contorted as if constantly searching. I’d seen many blind people before, but none that could actually see, and all of them carrying a cane. I realised that much of this wasn’t making sense so focused my thoughts back on the task at hand, Flockhart. It seemed difficult that I would ever write a bad word about this man, considering his hospitality and lenience with sharing his cocaine.
With my hands I found my way along the walls and into the bathroom. The gear had run through my head, down my chest and aroused something in my belly – there was no greater need than to seek out the stinging chill of a porcelain seat and a wrinkled copy of Time magazine to keep my mind occupied while I emptied my bowels.
One article on Bush’s ‘War in Iraq’ later and I made my way back onto the balcony. Something caught fire inside me immediately; I felt both numb and intensely hot. The type of feeling I imagine one could only replicate by stoking a fire atop a frozen mountain. I saw him, his hand between her legs, her arm extended behind her, moved back and forth as if skiing. I carefully moved back inside and searched frantically for a gun.
Surely this fuck would be holding. I’ve seen it in movies. He’s rich, home invaders, must protect himself. The jewels, keep away from my fucking jewels. They’re my fucking jewels, you thieving fucking….
There wasn’t a gun. What should I do? Do I grab a knife? Do I get in the car and drive fast and hope for a tree, snapped neck, a coma even? No, no! I’ll jump off the roof, break my legs and never fuck her again.
Then I saw it, outside the window.
With a chocolate biscuit I ended it all. I lured the mongrel close and grabbed it by the scruff. I removed my belt, and slowly pulled the leather through until the buckle was tight at the very last hole. I had him.
It took mere minutes for him to stop struggling, and about the same amount of time for his eyes to shut off as it does for the fire to appear after striking a match. Two hind legs, that had once propelled a savage dagger into the bowels of the man I despised most, hung lifelessly below the oak tree.
I grabbed my keys, rife with new life, and made my way back to Melbourne, with a pending book deal and the rationalisation that I’d done the right thing.