Monday, July 25

Card Tricks and The Imaginary Drumkit, Addendum

Then there was Adam, a thin, high-voiced young man who flopped around the halls on long limbs. His hair receded beyond the age of his face and he was without any discernable chin. He approached life carefree and was a fool of sorts. He began sleeping with a young woman named Sarah who found him attractive. The joke circulated that Sarah was so unsightly that during sex one would need to wear sunglasses in a dark room to avoid catching sight of her and ruining the act. The joke never died, and although he enjoyed the joke behind her back with all the other men in the halls, he kept sleeping with her. Even in the second year they were together and I could not bear their presence in the flat we rented. They would lie about all day taking up the sofas and withholding the remote control, dirtying the kitchen without tidying it and generally irritating me with their mindless natter. One night I came home drunk and burst into his room to find him mounting her. I stayed to talk for long enough that it was ruined, then I left to find more drink.
I found out, during the course of my telephone conversation with someone I had not seen for twelve years, that Adam had been having an affair all the time I knew him. He was engaged to Sarah, yes, the immature sweethearts were engaged to be married such was their love, and marriage was so natural a path for them. However, during all this time Adam was sleeping with Vicky, my next-door neighbour from the first year of university. Vicky was friends with Sarah; they had been to the same secondary school and were studying the same degree. Vicky was strange enough for me to never speak to her. She kept to herself. Her boyfriend visited almost every evening. At the weekends he would pick her up and they would go back to her parents’. She had mad eyes and thin hair that was not really there and she was muscle and sinew, giggling a lot and shrieking. After three years of sex with Adam, she became pregnant and gave birth. Sarah found out, and terminated the engagement before moving away. Vicky went away, too, taking the child with her and Adam was not allowed to see it.
It had all gone badly for Adam, not how I imagined he pictured it, if he had pictured it at all. He tended to go through things mindlessly and with little concern for outside parties. Nights out saw him drinking too little and becoming too drunk. Wobbly limbs would get him home where he acted foolishly and irritated his company. He was not fun to drink with. Still, the young man had two women and did them both irreparable damage. It seemed so tragic this weed of a character to do so much to these lives.
‘Jesus Christ! So what happened to him?’
‘Fuck knows. No one I know has heard from him or anything about him in years.’
‘Mate, that’s fuckin’ crazy.’
‘I know, right!’
‘Poor Sarah. She weren’t all bad. Fuck knows what she was doing fuckin’ about with him, though.’
After the call, in the silence of my cell with warm winds slipping through my open window, I thought back on university and how it all seemed so long ago, as though it were a different lifetime, a completely different version of me. I took nothing away from those people, I left them how I found them. A sadness came over me, one I could not quite explain, but I felt sad for them. More than anything, I felt sadness for them. It is no used to feel sad, though. They were gone forever. Dinner would take twenty minutes to prepare.

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