He was the kind of guy who helped old ladies across the road and looked for their gummy smiles. He was that guy at the party who hung out in the kitchen and swapped band recommendations for tumblers of expensive whiskey. He was the kind of guy who cried when he saw a discarded teddy bear in the street…
“….a massive wanker” She bit my earlobe hard and I heard my stud crunch between her teeth. A gentle blow on my neck later, she wiped a trickle of blood from her chin. My ear began to throb to the increased beat of my heart.
I shrugged her off without any venom or animosity.
“Oh, fuck off, wench” I smiled “…or I’ll double team you over this desk… just me and that bottle of Jack.”
“Double team” she repeated, mockingly. Witheringly. “Double team.” Sucking on a cigarette, she stared thoughtfully at the ceiling fan as it chopped up a thin trail of smoke. Then she cackled, expelling cauliflower breaths. “Double team.” Another wicked grin. “Double…. team.”
I went outside to clear my head. Stuck in my writing bubble, I felt like someone overcoming general anaesthetic. Closing the front door behind me, I stood for a moment looking down the hallway, lit a sickly green by unclean bulbs. Everyone here was normal and asleep, with their normal wives and husbands, normal dreams in normal sheets. It’s three in the morning and the glass entrance door is so black, it could be locked against me. I can smell that the cleaners have been. Everything is pine, everything is drowsy. Our mailbox is the only one that is overflowing. We haven’t checked it in months.
“It’ll just be bills and junk” she said. “Nothing interesting.” Everytime our lights flicker, I think we’re about to be switched off.
I like walking at night. I move faster in the dark. I’m fitted with anti-solar panels that give me energy by the sun’s absence. I stroll along the dark lanes that weave between the houses. When I’m sober, I walk hunched over, carrying the weight of expectation and peer pressure on my shoulders. After one drink, my back straightens out, my shoulders fold back, and I walk with a certain confidence. It adds years to me. After two drinks, I walk with arrogant swagger, like a prize fighter walking to the ring with horseshoes in his gloves. The only thing that gives me away is my thousand yard stare. I fix on nothing in particular and I head in another direction. Past three drinks, I’m a mess. I stagger about like baby Bambi in an earthquake. I’m drowsy, nostalgic and even worse in bed than usual. I get too tired and, halfway through fucking, my dick fills with piss and gives me cramps. I try and disguise it, but the passion is dead when I have to abruptly leave in the middle of hammering myself deep, take an audible toilet break, work my confused pecker back to solidity, roll on another condom… No one likes ad breaks in a sex scene.
I need to piss now, so I head out towards the fields. I walk past the disused public toilets, where my best friend from school lost his virginity. Hard Cock Looking For Pussy Boy, 10pm Every Wednesday. He answered the ad, turned up in a blazer and tie, and wouldn’t you know it… Hard Cock was there. He told me it was the most romantic evening of his life, but then you have to take everything he says with a pinch of salt. He once told me he got off as a kid by putting knots in his school tie and pulling it out of his arse.
I urinated on a dead fox as the flies swarmed and tickled my genitals. I thought about gods and monsters, and how they both terrify us as children but only the monsters get publicly defeated; in space battles, by heroic swords, by the deeds of the good and just… the gods just quietly withdraw, and we find ourselves distracted by the empty space left behind. We fill it with all manner of things just to end the silence, but we never stop to think whether any of it is useful. I shook myself clean.
When I finally returned to the bedsit, my clothes were clinging with sweat. Little black flies stuck to my face and arms; I could feel them in my ears and my vision was speckled. I spat out a couple of the fuckers on the floor opposite our neighbours. With any luck it might ruin their lives, to try to go to work in about two hours and see a globule of phlegm on the floor swimming with carrion flies. It might tip them over the edge. He’ll quit his job and start abusing alcohol, starting fights in bars, spitting his teeth out into the faces of his opponents and dribbling blood into their beers. She’ll commit to whoredom, shave off her hair and tattoo her arms with the names of her past lovers. They’ll take the car to the expensive supermarket in town, leave their faeces in the fresh fruit, brush their teeth in the aisles and swing from the advertising signs.
I shook my head clear of this little reverie. It’ll never happen. Never.
I was anticipating that she’d want to fuck me. I did not anticipate opening the door and seeing her dressed in my smart trousers, shirt, tie and hat with one eye overly mascared. I got the reference easily, even before she handed me a length of varnished tree branch with a metal studded head.
“I’m tired” I begged. “I have to sleep.”
‘It’s less than an hour before daylight’ she smiled. I know this. I looked out of the window. The first rays felt heavy on my shoulders again.
“Just the one” I said, looking into her one good eye. “Just… the one….”
I knew she held up two fingers behind my back as we closed the door and ventured into the dawn with sunsets on our minds.