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Archive for October, 2017

THE ELF (TWO)

From the moment I laid eyes on her, I knew I was in trouble…

Hold up. Rewind…or maybe fast forward…

Just got in from work. Here’s how it was.

Jock tosses and groans in his bed like a hung-over sailor. He’s not long for this world, the handover says. End-of life care. They’re not even taking obs on him any more. DNR, DNAR NFR and various other acronyms meaning, don’t try to revive him cos all you’ll do is give him a few more minutes of painful life- break ribs doing chest compressions, drag him away from the tunnel of light and back into his bed for a few more miserable minutes…better to let them slip away with dignity.

He has a sizable clan of family and admirers, including a jocose priest who sounds like a mancunian but is a fully paid up member of the Scottish national party. He wears a rainbow dog collar and has a string of one-liners, all of which point at some kind of scots heritage. Jock is from Glasgow, as are many of his family, and the conversation tends towards celtic fandom, the priest jumping in with lines like “you want to see what a scotsman keeps under his kilt, lift that sheet..but wait until we’ve gone!”

Suzanna tells me she wants to change him and the family are ushered into the dayroom. She’s from Romania, and I’m keen for her to explain to me her claims that Vlad Dracul is in fact a national hero and not the sadistic madman my big book of vampires leads me to believe. But she doesn’t want to talk about Transylvania’s historic battle with the Ottoman empire while changing the patient and its just as well as it turns out. Jock is quiet now, and offers no resistance as we roll him, pull out the filthy and bloody sheet beneath him, slip him into a clean nappy and robe…we’re half way through and he sighs and sticks his tongue out, purple between dark lips, and it occurs to me we may be changing him as he passes from this world.

Quickly we get him into his nightie as his face changes to waxy yellow before our eyes. I’m lousy at finding pulses but I find a faint one…then it disappears. The hissing of the oxygen briefly fools us he’s breathing but in a moment the nurse has pronounced him dead.

Uninvited, a song comes into my head- that silly eighties number. “..I just died in your arms tonight”. In fact I’ve just put the radio on and it’s blasting out some kind of doom laden east European violin music, which gives the proceedings a ghastly air. I quickly turn it off, just in time, for at that moment the family come surging back into the bay. The nurse says “now would be a good time to spend some time with him…” ”Is he sleeping?” says his wife and the ruse crumbles. Its fucking obvious he’s not sleeping. She commences to wailing, throwing her butties across the room and falling as she clambers over the rails to cling to him. Eighty if she’s a day but she sobs like Juliet for Romeo.

Soon the room is full of sobbing Scotsmen and scotsladies. The man with the Korsakovs in the next bed tries to get involved, babbling non sequiters as I flap him away. The family are shown to the dayroom and I’m off to make them all tea. The urn is broken and I have to manually decant it to a flask, pouring scalding tea everywhere and nearly all down myself before I manage to waddle into the dayroom with the magic substance. God knows what other countries do. I guess if you’re American they offer you coffee at a time like this? Which would surely be horrible.

That’s all I can rattle out tonight. I’m exhausted, I can feel illness coming on and I’m up bright and early tomorrow for the writing retreat… And I still have to write the tale of the Elf. This time I know full well the mighty ‘thoughtwat’ will see it. But I still have to dance like no-ones watching.

So without further ado…

THE ELF (TWO)

From the moment I saw her, I knew I was in trouble.

I spotted her across the airport. Chicago, O’Hare. An unremarkable strip of tarmac to be sure…but I wasn’t there for the landing strip.

I seem to recall her dress was long and red…she was smaller than I’d expected, the way film stars are always are. Of what funny things impressions are made…what exactly was it that made me dig her so? Very black hair. Very strange eyes. I knew all of this already, but here she was in 3-D. Little waist, big bum…sort of a sashaying walk, very self-contained. A sense of a lot of sort of…crazy seethe– within a dinky, petite package.

What was I doing there? Flying all the way to Chicago to meet a total stranger, on the basis of some online chats, a bit of wise cracking and veiled dirty talk…we’d jokingly mooted the idea we would probably have some sort of disappointing sex….but we did the honourable old-fashioned thing and acted like sex was just one possibility on what was in fact to be a meeting of minds. We hugged, she took me to her car, to a hotel, and then…

in no time we’re in bed, then naked…brilliant, scary, I’m not used to girls just taking their clothes off and saying ‘fuck me’…apart from at sex parties of course….in relationships my usual method has been “I’m too damaged from past experiences, could we just cuddle?” I always meant it. And it’s good because it gives one time to find ones groove…and before you know it, all shyness if thrown to the wind…this, however, was instant.

Great kisses and yummy fanny and her body was like it had been scanned straight out of my fondest fantasies… of course I tried to bum her from the get go…she’d never heard of no-lube anal before and was complaining she hadn’t brought lube when I tried it on with spit…we never did use much lube on her arse after that…. followed by a road trip across the us, just like all the ones you’ve read about and seen in the movies…saw Nashville, it was ok…then, Indiana, Booneville…. inside of her little apartment, and had some of the best times of my life….she was more woman than i’d ever had and more man too, if you know what I mean, Bi boys 😉

(That’s it Gene. Keep the tone dirty and cheap. No sense cracking open your heart and letting all that goo pour out. Not yet anyway. Trouble is the old ticker’s already got a hairline fracture, and I’ve got a feeling its gonna give whether you like it or not…you mardy fucking cunt…)

She also turned out to be the crudest and most foul mouthed person I ever met. Finally I could let the tourettes style stream of obsenities out of my head, through my mouth, without fear of censure.

But it wasn’t all butt sex and blow jobs and it wasn’t all vaginal sex and lick jobs either. Because this human being had a brain and a heart and a soul too, goddamn it.

And she was funny, too. Damn it, why did she have to be so muthafuckin’ funny?

There’s a bit in ‘the restaurant at the end of the universe’ where they find the guy who actually runs the universe, living in some little shack on the shore of some desolate beach on some desolate planet…also there’s the recurring theme of ‘meeting with the goddess” in popular fiction, where the protagonist faces an ultimate power, wonderful and terrible at once…

Mix them two together and there’s me: Meeting the bookish and hilarious porn star of my dreams, in some tiny flat in some one-horse town in the arse end of bumfuck USA. The first time I’d ever met someone with as high a sex drive as me… possibly higher. There’s love blossoming in my chest, fear too…I don’t want to like this girl too much…even if she doesn’t eat me alive, she lives on the wrong motherfucking continent…keep telling yourself she’s just another notch on your bedpost, Gene.

Except we fit together like jigsaw pieces, as we slept curled up like a couple of possums. That’s the worst part. I’ve finally found the shape that fitted the hole in my bed. The butt that was meant to nuzzle my belly. The tits that fit my hands.

I met her kids and they were great. I met her family and they were crazy. Her friends were warm and kind to me. We wandered round the little town where she grew up and it put all of the other small towns where my other girlfriends grew up to shame. Nothing there but dust and a Laundromat. But the elf’s house was there and that’s all that matters. If I didn’t have a kid waiting for me back home I would never have left. And maybe I’d be there still…

Got sexed out halfway into the trip and spent some time watching movies. Some weird Russian vampire movie and Chevy Chases European vacation, of all things. In this weird gothic house in Alabama, where her buddy lives and  the ventilation never shut up all night. In new Orleans we visited Marie Lavreau’s house and voodoo and found it full of tourist tat. Next door was Larry Flynt’s hustler store, way more fun. We got a massive dildo she christened ‘Brexit’ (‘cos it’s going to fuck the British) and some of doctor-sexos up-all night pep pills which sure enough put all thoughts of shyness and tiredness straight into the bin…and when all the sex I had to give was given away, I just lay bashfully on my back in the bathtub while she stood over me and jerked herself off like a wonderful lady giant, and all the shower water ran into my ears and I like a fool didn’t care and let it happen and in the end it fucked up my hearing and I was deaf for two weeks.

By the time she dropped me off at the airport she was in tears and tears were in me. (I always picture a mortal wound which tears open my chest and washes away the world when all of my bottled up tears flood out. For on the outside I am stony faced. But oh, oh, oh if you people only knew…)

A few months later she was boarding a plane for England. And shortly thereafter came the adventures which have seared themselves into the hard-wiring of my brain, like some wonderful, pornographic, love-ographic cattle brand.

And a few months after that, all was lost and those self same images were flashing behind my eyelids like malevolent neon, tormenting me in my insomniacs bed while I cursed her and god and the universe and america and anyone else i could think of to blame for fucking it all up so badly. Not me though. I’m blameless. Not me. Never me.

I know you’re going to see this, Elf. And I want you to know that…I mean, I just want to say that…I mean, I really hope you understand…uh…that…um…

Goddamn, Elf. God damn. I swear….

Fuck it.

Some guy just died in my arms and its all to clear to me, tonight- that life is too, too, too fucking short.

But too short for what?

Too short for regret…and too short not to regret. Too short for doubt…and too short to be a prick who doesn’t see he needs doubt to become human. Too short to be hung up on some woman you’ve only spent a few days with….and too short not to be…..

And so even if it is bad writing here’s the semi-autobiographical dope:  even if you don’t want me anymore…I will love you til the day I die…in the grip of some underpaid oversexed support worker just like me…

gory shitty pissy sheets and all.

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From the moment i set eyes on her, i knew i was in trouble…

of course we’d already been in communication for some months. The stream of gags, ideas, dirty talk, cleverly chosen gifs and pictures and other file sharing foolishness…I deleted the whole messenger thread, which is a terrible thing for writer to do…but the first time i set eyes on her real, three-d, fleshly form…well..

I can’t write this right now. Why tear the new flesh from a barely scabbed wound? Life-threatening until mere days ago…be glad the pain has eased to a dull throb, with occasional searing blasts still soaking the bandages scarlet and drawing your lips back from your teeth.

instead, lets do some comparative study. Think back, to the last time I felt this bad. So long ago, now, that I can look at it truly dispassionately, and say “hmm. look at the pain that poor slob was in, over that particular dame…some watery bint, seemed like the centre of the universe back then… fascinating, fascinating…”

 

SANDRINE

Our eyes met, across a riot. Even now, when its all burned away into the distance of time, and the final judgements in, I still recall it as a unique and cinematic moment. We’d been nodding acquaintances for years, and I hardly gave her a thought. But she looked at me in a way that seemed to contain knowledge of future events. Fascination, and it seems now, pure loving lust. I was with someone else. It was 2001, and we were there to protest the evils of the worlds most powerful countries, or something. The G8 summit..the Genova police were getting ready to charge us, and it was over a year before we met again, had our first unremarkable sex, six months until the same non-event…and inbetween, i didn’t think of her at all. And yet by the time three years had passed and i was with Beryl, when we got together for what was to be our third casual, pointless canoodle….we had somehow developed and overwhelming, intoxicating, brain-buggering desire for each other.

She was overweight. She had a funny haircut. Weird slanty eyes, lashes so pale as to be invisible…and yet, flipping heck. Even now, torn up as i am over the Elf and what a lie that all turned out to be…even as images flash into my head, unbidden, of her drooling face contorting in pleasurepain as she fulfilled every fantasy in my great big book; as i bitterly brood, on promises made, and abandoned with such ease;  and on the smiles, and the tears, and the arsefucks, and the cuddles, and the  lies of love she poured from that faithless, inconstant gob and into my gullible, never-learning ears…

Even so, if ol’ Sandrine was to walk in here right now…walk in now with her wobbling-coquettish walk, flash her bashful-dirty smile and immediately begin to explain that the last ten years had been a terrible mistake and it’s of the utmost importance than i lob it out and stand it up and shake it til i spunk in her grateful-adoring face- here, even in  this very library where i type, everyone watching and cheering us on (this is, after all, MY daydream…)then to snog the jizz from that most beautiful wonderful face, and lick up her grateful tears while I’m at it, tongues dancing and hearts entwined like mating snails… Well, I’d say yes. And as the other adult-learners applaud this glorious scene of true romance, I’d sweep her into my arms (even though I AM still in love, with the heartless fucking Elf…) Id whisk her away and marry her at once- and then the fun begins in earnest…once more to waste wonderful days laughing and drinking and eating and fingering and  smacking each others happy faces red. Oh, I wouldn’t mind at all the time thats passed since last time! I’d bite her bum her, spit at her and worship her. Tie her up and offer her holes to many many black guys, weep with joy that miracle of miracles she loves me still.  I’d beg for her forgiveness for all this time wasted, to have and to hold, til death do us part, tits and smile and arsehole and heart…

Yes. I don’t need the Elf at all. So long as I have the last woman that made me feel that way…a decade back, and counting.

Which just goes to show, i suppose, that love is really as simple as locating one of the finite number of people with whom you share sufficient compatibility factors to trigger a mutual hormonal response that causes mutual infatuation.

Plenty more fish in the sea, i guess. Even if the fish you seek, is a rare one….and the granules, of course, are rushing to the bottom of the hourglass.

Yes, I’m a scientific man. I know that consciousness is located in the brain, and that your psychology dictates your internal reactions to events…but when lady love tells you where to stick it and leaves you snivelling in the mud outside of her door, well…

Its your heart that breaks, is it not?

Go ahead and tell yourself its located in your head: even as you clutch the ol’ blood pumper on the left  like it just took a javelin, blood pissing between your fingers as your knees fail and your face turns white and the life-force gushes from your body…

Damn these women. Damn them all to hell for making such a fool of me.

***************************

Meanwhile, on the Manchester vascular ward…the cue for the surgeon is growing. I watch men plead for their painful legs to be amputated, and he duly obliges. Somewhere in this building, severed limbs are wheeling t’ward the incinerator, obsolete appendages whose blood supply has failed beyond saving…and they who still long for release from their pointless limbs watch, stoical, as the flesh turns black. Toes snapping off, larvae having failed, eaten away the necrosis but the rot still spread…gangrene, pulling at your flesh.  Where dementia first dismantles your mind, this beast takes your body, by installments. Dying a piece at a time.

“Hey, Doc. Post these parts of me to the great hereafter will ya? I’ll pick them up when I get there. ”

The afterlife will be a blast, I’m sure. I just hope the almighty is good at jigsaw puzzles. ‘cos he’s really got his work cut out, piecing everybody back together.

Postscript:

It has come to my attention that some readers have perceived in the above story,  the hand of some sort of obnoxious self absorbed misogynist. To these readers, I can say only that the fault must be with my writing. I had intended to create an unreliable narrator, whose crude broadsides at a series of women- first idealised, then hated- would paint a picture of a man so heartbroken and lost that he has fallen back on these dumb swipes. It seems, alas, that while our hero cannot fool himself, he has fooled others- for of course, ‘Gene’ knows only too well where the fault really lies.

No matter. I’ll let the story stand. Let Gene Even-Wilder rage and rant against his lost loves, for now. I’m sure all will come clear in future installments.

 

 

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