Sunday, April 12

Old Grey City of London

THE SKINNY MALCOLM McGee was a very tall and lonely man who lived on the edge of the old grey city of London. Always he had shades of grey underneath his eyes, not for want of sleeping but because his eyes were that way. He ran his hands through his hair and looked at his bed as his cat, Bird, jumped upon it. Bird was a dark coloured cat, very small, big eyes that were green, skittish and always on the lookout for insects to hunt, which she did so with incredible agility; he would often find her on the sill, patting her paw against the window, swatting some fly or other that had crawled its way into their peaceful existence.
‘Looks like it’s just you and me again, Bird,’ he said, undressing, getting into bed. Bird sat on the pillow next to his head. Very slightly the perfume of her coat penetrated his nostrils and caused him to relax, to feel sweetly sleepy.
He was a very tall man, his limbs gangly, so that when he lied down he stretched right across the old grey city of London.
Bird stirred – a sound had startled her, so Malcolm said—‘Don’t worry… There’s nothing there… And even if there was, I’d protect you.’ Bird put her head down, fur shining in the dark, resumed her nap.
On this particular Saturday night in early spring, he lay down and felt tickles all over his body. It was the old grey city of London that was tickling him. All over the city there were hundreds of couples making love and some not making love but fucking selfishly so that they might orgasm and feel it through their body. Malcolm lay and tried to ignore the tickling, but he was so tall that he could not.
Against his ankle, an inch from that triangular bone, was a particular nuisance: a wife was fucking her husband with a strap-on dildo, giving him hell, little beads of perspiration ran down her brow and dripped onto the man’s penis which she held in her hand while with the other she pulled his nose. The man was in reels of ecstasy. The husband and wife were causing some bother for Malcolm McGee. He tried to sleep, he did. He closed his eyes, found a lovely position that warmed his whole body, but he was tickled by the lovers all over the old grey city of London.
Sally and Carl had been interested in each other for a long time, had been on a few dates and Carl had finally got Sally back to his flat in Peckham. He closed the curtains in his living room and opened a bottle of wine for Sally, who sat in the corner of the sofa, looking at the collections of film he had next to the television set. Before long, they were in his bedroom. Malcolm felt them on the inside of his thigh and he heard them, too – Sally made love songs like a wren and Carl panted heavily and full of desire.
Malcolm heard them – because he was so tall – and found that, of all the sounds in the world, people making love is the most affecting.
He got his penis out and Bird looked at him. She meowed.
All of the sounds, all the motions and the tickling stirred him so that it was not very long before his penis was wet and he thought he would come.
Kuba and Alexandra were spending their honeymoon in the old grey city of London. Both had been out for an Italian meal and their stomachs were full and red wine swam in their veins. Both of them were excited about the clean sheets the hotel put on their bed every day and were making love vigorously. Kuba liked to hold Alexandra’s wrists in his hand when he was inside her. It was because Alexandra’s wrists were tiny, without compare, and he thought that she was fragile, though her body called out for more. It was Alexandra’s orgasm that triggered Malcolm’s. She peeped, her wrists handled, and flung her hips at Kuba.
Malcolm McGee was so tall that he came and it started to rain.
Then all the love-makers over the old grey city of London sat up on their propped pillows and watched the rain falling on the window. They listened to the rain falling on their window and smiled at themselves. Some of them lit cigarettes and some of them reached for tissues and some of them licked their lips and some of them cleared their throats; all of them listened to the rain falling on their window.
Bird stirred as Malcolm came back from the bathroom. The rain was just letting up. A brief shower. He lay down and all of his body, all his limbs, were warm. Nothing tickled. The rain was highlighted by a streetlight; it slowed and then ceased. He fell asleep and the old grey city of London fell asleep with him.

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