Tuesday, May 15

Lapels & My Churning Glands

THE RIVER THAT slunk behind the town – in its woody armpit – was crusted with litter. The water was dark green and did not move an inch. The eighteen-thirty-nine sunshine had weakened but was still bright. With the sun out and all the rain that has fallen for the past month, the earth was colourful; each blue and green immensely bright, there for the enjoying. But to enjoy is was difficult because an incident had occurred that made me furious, and it was all I could do to sit there and stew in it. Sharp slivers of anger that made my stomach hurt. How strange! I thought, that anger should make my stomach hurt. However, the river didn’t move. All the litter upon it had lost its colour over time.
An unremarkable taxi took me to the restaurant. I sat there and I looked out of the window. It was his window, not mine, he who had started to talk to me but I swore so wildly that he left me to myself. It was better that way. Some drivers talk and talk and have nothing to teach anything. It is their job to clean the back seat of their cab at the end of the day, and they hate everyone for it. I thought I should make myself look presentable so I ran a hand through my hair and buttoned up on my sleeves.
The concierge at the restaurant greeted me from underneath his moustache. It was an impressive moustache. Thick black. Perhaps there was no skin underneath. It was hard to tell. He showed me to the table that my mother had booked where I could wait for the others to arrive.
At the bar were a large group of women; they were not as young as I but they were dressed well; middle-aged to old. I did not look at them. I did not want to look into their eyes. I ordered a pint of beer – ‘A peroni, please, and, uh, a double glenmorangie.’ ‘Straight?’ ‘Yes. No ice.’ No sooner had I slung half the pint down my throat than I felt better. It was cold and it filled up my stomach. Outside the sun caressed everything in rich yellow. There was nothing to die from. The moody ambience of the place was somewhat disturbed by the brilliant Spring sun, which we turned away from collectively. I sat at the table in the middle of the restaurant and looked around me. So much time can be spent looking around one’s self with some liquor in uncertain surroundings.
The older women sat to my right. They asked for the curtains to be closed because the sun – eager to get a look in – was blinding them. It was at just the right angle. They talked loudly. Their husbands had released them, or maybe they had agreed mutual nights out, to return home drunk, fumble, to collapse and to clean up come in the morning, on the pill, on the toilet, planning Saturday morning breakfast. Why did they not fire me up? I ordered a whiskey sour and another beer. Before, I would have dreamed of them; not caring about the loose skin; just to be pummeled by their thick hipbones; driven to the centre of the earth by someone mad enough to have her own children. Nothing. I sat there unfeeling as the sun dusted for fingerprints on the front door.
What is happening to me? What purgatory is this? Romance takes flight and I am sitting here – here – without so much as fondness to hang on to. When will someone enter my life and grab me by the lapels and my churning glands and drain me of something? To have not is unbearable. Even writing favours the Desiring, if not the Desired. It shall pass. It always does. I should have been an astronaut. I call out another whiskey and pray they don’t bring a sour, though I don’t state otherwise. For now, while my weekday sanity graces me, I stare out into the sun and feel quiet – that is my organs are ticking over and I am with money but without love. My mother walks in through the entrance. She orders a cocktail. It is bright red, which is good, because, in the view before my eyes, there is not enough red.

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