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 LancĂ´me 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.