February 15, 2009

Spliffs and Suspicions

Portia waited in the bar, drinking glass after glass of cheap house white, waiting for him to tip up, and so when he finally did, she was of course very drunk. It was inevitable. She’d had a couple of spliffs, too, and was on top of the world floating about. And the world didn’t seem as sharp and painful and like it was going to fuck her over. It felt softer, blunter, funnier. Nothing was normal. Not anymore. And things were spinning and not normal and happy.

‘My mother died’, she announced euphorically to the rather taken aback French barman who brought her the fourth glass. ‘And it’s funny’, she continued, ‘because I would never have imagined Mum to die that way. She was so careful.’

Finally Ben was there, wearing a trippy shirt that flashed and danced. It completely mesmerised her and he sat there for about five minutes while she laughed at his shirt, a painting on the wall, the bubbles in his cider.

‘My mother died’, she announced finally.

‘I know’, he replied. ‘I’m so sorry my love. I really am, but you mustn’t destroy yourself like this…’ then stopped as she burst into peals of laughter again, peals that jarred in his ears, cutting the air, making people nearby look up in surprise.

‘What else is there to do?’ she choked, wiping tears from her eyes. ‘Everything’s ended, messed up, twisted…’ Twist was such a funny word that she started giggling again. When she had recovered, she continued: ‘She was always so careful. So it’s all wrong.’

He looked confused.

‘She would never have eaten something with nuts’, she cried, then started laughing again at the words ‘nuts’. She was so hungry… ‘And even then, she knew where her epinephrine was!’ She looked closely at him. ‘And so did you.’

He went cold.

‘Because you see where I’m coming from’, she said. ‘Because you know right? I leave you and my mother alone together, and then she dies because of her nut allergy, and now we inherit everything. Right?’

He said nothing. But he remembered the night of Portia’s mother’s death. He remembered cooking. He remembered looking for her epinephrine. He remembered standing there, waiting just that little bit too long.

Portia collapsed off her chair. The barman peered at her over the bar, looking concerned. Ben smiled apologetically picked her and began the long walk home. Via the river.

January 21, 2009

Dispatches from the sofa

I quite liked Alex's recommended title, so I hope he doesn't mind my blatant plagiarism. This is still the first draft, I'm quite pleased with it really.

"Soph... Would you give me a massage? Please? And would you turn the kettle on too? Can you pass my mug? Oh would you rinse it out? While you're washing up, would you do this knife too? And this fork? And this plate? And this saucepan? Where's your baking tray? Can I borrow it? And where was that massage? Oh are you cooking broccoli? Can I have some of that? You'll have to show me how to do this at some point, though I don't know if I can do it as well, so maybe it'll just be best if you do it. Then can I have another massage? I'm so glad you're living with us next year..."

"Would you chuck us a beer Soph? Aren't you drinking too? Oh just one! Oh, you're drinking wine! Oh, can we sellotape your hands to the wine bottle? Get her! Oh where's your sense of fun! Oh let's put some vodka it in! And drink this now. Drink! Drink! Drink! You forgot to EG*! Again?? Here's another one. Did you just say 'Drink'**? Consume! Pour her a shot! Stop arguing! Get her! Where's your sense of fun? Can I have a massage? Go to bed Soph, you're pissed. Oh get up!"

*According to the international drinking rules, when one finishes one's drink, they must then tap the person next to them with their glass and say 'EG' before putting the glass down.

**The International Drinking Rules also prohibit the use of the word 'Drink'. The fact that it is used prior to this is a reference to the fact that we usually only remember halfway in.

Random Act of Cruelty

The second draft. What does it need?

"I can't stand these fucking flies any longer!" raged Gavyn, storming in, and manically spraying the kitchen ceiling. One by one, the flies dropped onto the floor and table, and lay on their backs feebly waving their legs. We watched them, fascinated by the sudden transition of proud, annoying, flying beings to pitiful, ill, dying ones. Sometimes, we slapped them to put them out of their misery. I think Andy ate one. I fussed over my food, that was now doubtless covered by a veil of fly spray. Finally, we left the room, unable to breathe the now toxic air. When we ventured back, an hour later, the flies were still rolling pathetically, their small black bodies trying to turn over back onto their feet. It took another hour for the flies to stop moving altogether.

November 12, 2008

Drunk Girl's Love Song

There’s this familiar pounding in my head.
That bright light will soon drive me insane.
I’m really starting to wish I were dead.

I’m not sure what I did or said
But I think you kissed me in the rain.
There’s this familiar pounding in my head.

I remember that to my room I was led.
I remember you kissed me again and again.
I’m really starting to wish I were dead.

I think about you with excitement and dread.
To remember more is such a strain…
There’s this familiar pounding in my head.

It thumps as I walk, with every tread.
I need to find you, we need to explain.
I’m really starting to wish I were dead.

Just imagine what remains unsaid
Like that the memory of each and every kiss I retain.
There’s this familiar pounding in my head.
I’m really starting to wish I were dead…

Goose warfare, or Fun Scenes from my Window

Early morning, the field is quiet and cold,
Leaves gently nudged by the breeze.
Sun shines through like dappled gold.

Suddenly, can be seen through the trees
Geese and ducks in their multitude,
Approaching like ominous armies.

The geese are warlike, their wings have been chewed,
They divide angrily, with Garuda like shrieks,
The sun accordingly curfewed.

The hissing geese, stabbing with their beaks,
Tail feathers a-shaking, waving their wings,
Scare the ducks, who emit frightened squeaks.

Majestic in their way, as are petulant kings,
They advance upon each other, startling the magpies,
Those small bold birds, reduced to birdlings.

The ducks group together, with frightened cries,
But all the geese know, there will be no fight,
Just angry hisses and similar replies.

Almost all at once, the geese will take flight
Rising as one, then parting, so neat.
The field will breathe easy in their respite.

The magpie returns, remaining discreet.
The scene is now quiet, as of old,
But for the crunching of leaves under duck feet.

Such scenes I can view from my window.
I’d rather watch that, and my essay forego.

Do not go off in that good night

Do not go off in that good night.
Disturbing students’ needed sleep.
We rage, rage against your flashing light.

As we emerge, blinking in the floodlight,
Your shrill pitch causes us to weep.
Do not go off in that good night.

Those who prank, we threaten to smite.
As out of our halls we do creep,
We rage, rage against your flashing light.

Lock our doors, rebel as we might,
Into our ears thy din does seep.
Do not go off in that good night.

A fire-like rage you do incite
Though you ‘protect’, we hate your bleep.
We rage, rage against your flashing light.

One day a true fire shall ignite,
Yet we shall ignore, and remain asleep,
So do not go off in that good night.
We rage, rage against your flashing light!

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