Thursday, 25 April 2013
Thursday, 10 November 2011
Do you check yourself regularly? the doctor asked.
Looking around the room awkwardly I said Define regularly.
Well, I mean…how do I examine myself regularly? I have no idea. I thought we came to see you people to examine us. No one ever explained how.
What sort of diet do you have? the doctor sighed. Do you eat red meat?
Tuesday, 25 October 2011
What was the worst hangover I’d ever had?
We’d been drinking cheap wine, the cheapest, and had gone through bottles of the stuff. Red, like oxygenated blood. I got up from the bed and sat by the window. Sally got up with a grunt and I heard her pad off into the bathroom. I lit the first cigarette of the morning and swallowed hard. It felt refreshing with the smoke in my lungs. I could hear the traffic from the road outside mumbling and suddenly I saw a body fall past my window. A man’s body. He was dressed in a suit with a neck tie done up. It was neat. I swear I could see his top button fastened. He was falling in what seemed like slow motion. The human body when it’s falling does not pass quickly. Then...it was gone. The building we were staying in was not the tallest. Nine floors. Now I don’t know if he died or not but I am sure he would have crippled himself for life. I don’t know.
Am I crazy? I thought to myself. Did I just see that? I am sure I saw a body go by; I know it was a body that went by. So I hollered to the bathroom. Hey Sally. Guess what?
I just saw the strangest thing.
Yeah. A human body. It just dropped by my window. He was all lined up. The feet first and then the head at the top. He was just falling through the air. He dropped right past the window.
I said No no it really happened. I’m not making it up.
She said Ah c’mon. You’re trying to be funny. You’re not funny.
I know I’m not funny I said. Look I’ll tell ya what. Come on out here and take a look out the window. Stick your head out the window and look down.
She said Alright, here I come.
She walked back out the bathroom. Sagging in the places that were pert the night before.
She stuck her head out the window and all I heard was Oh Gawd almighty!
She ran back to the bathroom and puked and puked and puked.
Well I thought as I sat there. I told you so baby, I told you so. Then I wandered over to the refrigerator and got myself a beer. I still didn't look out the window though because I was feeling bad. I drank some of the beer and I felt better. I’m not sure why though.
Maybe because I was right for once.
Thursday, 20 October 2011
I sat in the booth watching the waitress, Dolores, pour me a cup of coffee. I smiled when she finished and she flashed her chewing gum teeth and me and sauntered off. The Formica table was sticky from other patrons and the coffee was watery.
The other customers were milling around like dead leaves in other booths. Some were eating and talking, others staring out the window or at me probably thinking the same shit that I was thinking about them. I could see some young punk opening sugar sachets and tipping the grains all over the table.
The grunts in the kitchen were puking up meals onto the counter for Dolores or any of the other Doloreses to collect and deliver to the waiting mouths. Outside was snowing. The weather was gloomy and the sky was miserable. The sounds of the diner drifted out through the snow and became muffled through the never ending whiteness. I had been drawn here for no other reason than it was cold, I was out and had no where else to go. Why was anyone else here? Truck drivers looking for a rest stop and a bathroom cubicle to wank off in. Old people who were surprised that they weren’t dead yet and so spending their final days in a diner warmer than their meager dwellings. We were waiting for something to happen but secretly knew nothing ever would. We weren’t telling each other though. That would ruin the game.
Dolores delivered me my eggs and I got a look down the front of her top. I took a sip of my coffee, went to say something but she had walked off by the time I’d actually put my cup down and swallowed. Someone was smoking in another booth. I could see the fumes drifting up over the seat. They were talking about someone’s wedding. It had rained. The snow continued to fall like wet confetti. A coach pulled up and in came a crowd of people. They smelled of traveling and let the cold sneak in the front door while no one was looking.
They began cramming themselves onto any available space. Some looked at me expecting me to get out of my booth and let them have my space. I stared at them, and sipped my coffee and began to cut into my eggs. Yolk stained the plate. They hung around for a while and then not quite having the nerve to take a seat with a local they wandered away. They had loud shirts and baseball caps with teams on them. The occasional member of a younger party looked suitably unimpressed with the surroundings but squeezed into the booths anyway. Dumpy women impaled themselves on the tiny stools at the main counter and fought over menus. Men took their hats off and ran fingers through thinning hair and then slid onto the stools next to the dumpy women. The Doloreses picked up the pace and began running round serving gallons of coffee.
The grunts started receiving indecipherable orders through their hatch and the people were all assuming their conversation was the important one. They were either talking about the journey and the chance to stretch their legs or, whether the food was any good here and that it didn’t really matter as they could stretch their legs. The diner was beginning to come alive. I could no longer hear the conversation about the wedding and the young punk had gone.
The cloying smell of kerosene and bubbling fat began to drip its way around the diner in earnest. The food was flying out. People were jostling for space. Elbows clashed and jaws gnashed. The plates were destroyed. I finished my eggs and carried on drinking my coffee. The dumpy women were smacking their fleshy red lips whilst the men were making great sweeping movements with sad looking pieces of bread, mopping up any debris left over from the women’s carnage. Soon they began gesturing outside and almost as one they pulled their coats back on and headed onto the coach.
Plates and cutlery with strewn about the table tops with the randomness of a natural disaster. I looked out the window and saw people getting comfortable. Some were pulling out books, others were holding conversations, while some were nestling themselves into the seats to try and attempt to get some sleep. As the bus pulled away I turned back to my coffee. I didn’t want to see its destination. I called Dolores over to re-fill my coffee and this time I managed to say thank you to her back as she drifted back into the flotsam of cheap water stained tableware. I sipped my coffee. Outside snow was falling.