Friday, September 19

Big Thumb Without a Nail

WHERE ARE THE words that I wish to write down? I could not think of anything to write and, uninspired, I went to bed every night this week without having put down a single word. There is no need to try, I don’t even sit before the keys but yesterday I scribbled down a haiku:

inspiration fails
me so I cannot write a
word to you tonight

But things are getting better at home because at home is where everything begins. She is lighter again, but exhausted all of the time, happening to fall asleep on the sofa until I wake her (myself having sat there and read and wishing to write but banging my head against tiredness and the things that sleep under the bed in shiny black coils). This heat of September brings thunderstorms at night that crack and rattle the windows, poking flashes in blinding white stripes over the wall. I am nowhere near as powerful as a thunderbolt. We get into bed at seven and fuck. There are no thunderstorms at seven in the evening, just the dim light that comes through the leaves of the trees. Everything moves and so on. We clean up. We pass the evenings in each other’s company. The cats purr someone shuffling a deck of cards. At night the thunderstorms or the cats wake us up, terrifying and amusing in turns.
A new walk at lunch to shake things up. It is good enough weather for learning a new route, and it takes me down one of my favourite roads that is quite unremarkable except for it is exceptionally wide and on each side are Georgian structures that appear to have nothing going on inside but coaches of Christian tourists parked outside. Then around by the Cathedral do they congregate, pose, smile, mingle, dawdle; with the brightening of the season, all is busier. By a statue I see a lady I recognise. She has legs that are younger than her years, perfect and shapely, recently shaved, beautiful and delicious. I approach her and ask—‘Are you Mrs. Azaar?’
‘No,’ she says, looking me up and down. She tucks her chin into her neck. Her legs are beautiful and delicious but her faded ginger hair is dead on the vine, shaking all about her skull and her skin is wrinkled. She is most definitely Mrs. Azaar, the mother of an old school friend and she is standing there in front of me.
I ask her—‘Are you sure? You well look like Mrs. Azaar. Luke’s mum.’
‘No. I am not. You must have me mistaken for somebody else.’
‘You used to give me cold pizza whenever I came over.’
‘Don’t be so disgusting.’
I leave Mrs. Azaar. As sure as St. Paul’s is standing there all grey, missed by the Nazis and budding with tourists, she is Mrs. Azaar. When I get back to the office I am perspiring greatly and in need of food. Sometimes I keep walking and walking until I feel faint. There is no food within my belly but I, walking and walking, cannot pause. My legs almost give way. I stiffen them and go on.
I stand in a particular spot where the afternoon’s two o’clock sun is halfway meeting its shadow. I stand there a few minutes and the shadow has leaned in to kiss the sun even further. I am in shade. Is it possible for the earth to spin so quickly? I am taken aback that the sun has moved a yard in such a short time. The sun has moved a yard. That is exactly what the sun has done: it has moved a yard.
She removes her trainers and leaves the rest for me. She has put her trainers by the bed and her trainers are named after the Grecian goddess of victory. Her trainers are neatly by the bed. Some time later our clothes are everywhere and she has my cock and her thumb is massaging my thick purple glans which looks like a big thumb without a nail. Out of the end of the big thumb without a nail is a hole that ejaculates inconsistent semen all over her.
‘Where would you like to come?’
‘Your belly.’
It goes everywhere. The big thumb without a nail deflates and drips. ‘If you’re uninspired, write about this.’
At that exact moment a lady gets on the train at Stepney Green. She has all English Roses about her but up close I see that her skin is raw. Trying to read, I keep my glances to a minimum. She leans against the pole. Upon her breast is a BABY ON BOARD badge that they hand out at the underground offices; what proof is required before they hand out such treasure? She is in pain. Her violent lips are flushed. A gentleman who steps out of his seat offers her his perch but she declines. I can see that she is in pain but I cannot – over the leaf of my book – work out whether it is physical or emotional. On her feet are canvas shoes that expose small thumb-shaped patches of skin. Small, feckless tears roll down her cheeks and she massages them into the nooks of her nose. She alights most delicately two stops later and I, at the start of the day, observe her steps.


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