Archive for July 2008

pub chat ii

July 25, 2008

She made her way back through the rapt crowd. They stared at the televisions suspended from the ceiling.

She stared at him. Her fingers flicked as she took her seat again. Her hair fell again. She cursed and pushed it behind her ear.

‘Fucking smoking ban.’

He rolled his eyes. She was already fiddling with another cigarette. From the filter end she twirled it around her thumb and forefinger. The nail on her thumb was chipped, the polish peeling a touch. He watch it twirl. She watched him.

‘I’m not going to smoke it yet. I just need something to do. And you’re avoiding the subject.’

‘I’m not. I just need to order another beer.’

‘Go on then. And stop stealing sips from mine. Thieving bastard.’

Too many eyes on the game for a queue at the bar. He ordered two pints and tapped his knuckles against the hardwood. The other half of the bar gasped, sighed and then shouted the odd profanity. Jeers followed.

‘So how long does she need to think for?’

He’d only just sat back down.

‘I don’t know. I hadn’t planned a schedule. Neither, I think, did she.’

She reminded him of some 40’s newshound from some generic film noir piece. Hurried, impatient, right. She tapped the butt of the cigarette on the table again. Jennifer Jason Leigh in The Hudsucker Proxy. Prettier though. She didn’t take her eyes off him.

‘Is she that stupid?’

‘Again, a little harsh.’

‘Are you that stupid?’

‘Probably.’

She finished her first beer and pushed the empty glass aside, drawing the new one towards her. She used the hand that wasn’t twirling the cigarette.

‘No, dammit, you are NOT that fucking stupid.’

‘Well maybe I am. Maybe I’m just that fucking stupid.’

‘She doesn’t love you. Love isn’t about thinking about anything. Love’s when you don’t have to think. Love’s not thinking.’

‘So’s being stupid.’

on toast

July 24, 2008

He didn’t mind the rain. It peppered him, the tiny droplets settling and disappearing into the fabric of his shirt. He noticed it. He tried feel each individual drop as it landed on his head. Not to count, but to give each one its due. It occurred to him for a moment to seek shelter. He wasn’t far from home.

It came down heavier. He sat and felt the dampness rise through the seat of his jeans. The drops lost their individuality, becoming a rhythm. A hum. Before long it was like sitting in a shower.

But with no hot water.

He raised his head towards the sky, squinting to keep the drops out his eyes. He felt them race down his face, his cheeks and chin, matting his hair to his head. He tasted it. Stuck his tongue out like a child and for a moment focused only on what hit there.

It came down heavier. He looked down and saw his flesh through his clinging, saturated shirt. Shook his head and felt the waterlogged strands of hair whip to and fro. Standing he looked skyward again. Deep, bruised clouds looked so close he could touch them.

His key stuck in the lock for a moment, then a click. He felt a drop of water on his chin dislodge and fall.

She looked at him in the doorway, cocking her head to the side. In her right hand a mug, steam lifting lazily up; in her left a plate.

He grinned at her. She shook her head and smiled back, almost a laugh.

‘Tea and toast?’

‘Yes, please. Butter and honey on the toast, please.’