Posts tagged prose
Posts tagged prose
Let’s just be clear about one thing, guys do not have the monopoly on being total dicks. Yeah, sure us chicks are precious and we write about our hearts yearning for this and that, but ultimately we do the same things in-between those girly longings for fucking princes riding white unicorns. We are pseudodudes rooting around like pigs after truffles in the piney mud while secretly dreaming about shagging those squealing grateful princesses. My point being, is that we all quest no matter how much we delude ourselves differently.
Enter ‘the guy I will only shag when I am drunk, or if he puts up curtains for me’, Slightly younger, slightly shorter, a ‘gingerish’ chemistry big fat nada. Nice enough when one has a half bottle of caramel vodka warmth softening the heartbreak of using someone so shamelessly. Nice enough when one is shitting a 40 on the Richter scale of fevers, and he kindly runs out to buy meds, places said half-baked body under a fan whilst coolly sponging to break the dratted lurgi. Nice when comparing imaginary comparison numbers and he rates himself a three- how the fuck do you work with someone who rates himself a three yet expects a ten and a happy bloody ending? So to ‘darkness my old friend’, and we are all the same in the dark- its true, especially when sex is mechanical, without love and becomes purely a bodily function. Actually by that stage, I didn’t even bother with putting out the lights, it reeked too much of tolerance- rather just feed me vodka and screw with 100 watts balling my ass. I fucking hate ‘nice’, it is my nemesis and self deriding antipathy.
So I bought tickets for Kings Of Leon and he pretended to be grateful, though I doubted his googled list of intolerance syndromes could handle the noise. He couldn’t, and got all very annoyed with the teenage attendees (that are expected at such concerts) and grimaced unattractively whenever a song that I liked played loud and long. Fuck him, I downed beer by the wagonload and behaved badly. Woowooing as loudly as I could as he rubbed that last nerve (the one reserved for chalk on blackboards), I vaguely planned my exit.
He moaned all the way to the bar as we left and ‘my shit served ice cold’ went into overdrive. Some foreigners mistaking me for a celebrity approached me, and while I signed their hotel bills, I felt him seethe all the indignation of the doormat, that had finally worn out…
I looked at him and said, ”I can’t do this anymore”.
He said, “Neither can I”.
We agreed on one thing in the end.
“Pick a number and stand in line, for ‘Laundromat dream about washing the boxers Mama gave you next to the lady doing her lingerie, who never notices you, except to skive some of your washing powder’.”
January Goldberg looked down at his tag, the man was calling his number one six six five seven two triple nine.
“You get a lot of call for that particular dream?” he asked.
“Sure thing dude, it is in the loser top fifty at the moment”, said the balding, gray nicotine stained man calling out the numbers in the room full of shuffling people.
“So I am a loser then?” asked January
“ You certainly are young man- nothing that getting rid of the Hyundai, losing the specs, a month at the gym and the latest self help book on how to be a ‘Ten’ wouldn’t help, but until then accept your fate and grab your mediocre dream for the night.”
“My mom always said that I was a homebody, and would be lucky to find a nice ‘Betty’ at the Jewish singles, the ‘Veronica’s’ don’t go with guys like me.”
“Hmm, yeah your mom is Velda, right? She is in the queue for ‘cat and rotary pie bake champion’ dreams. She is also a loser- it runs in the family in many cases.”
“But I don’t want to be a loser, I just am” said January, beginning to fell a little sweaty about not only being labeled as such, but now standing in line in a place that clearly recognized his fumbling and feeble self image well enough to be dishing out his dreams at night.
“Listen January… what the fuck kind of name is that for a Jewish kid, by the way?”
“My mom was a hippie, before she stopped cage dancing and went back to baking babkas and quickly married Hymie Goldberg to cover the fact that she was pregnant with me.”
Dixie’s opening her eyes and her mom is crying. Dixie’s dad died five years ago exactly, her mom thought he was coming to take his baby girl home today. Dixie is sixty her mom is eighty-four. Dixie won’t die this time though arthritis and pain have bent her as brittle as a wishbone.
Shelley is sobbing while she hugs her pink bunny ‘cos she’s going blind, not from the cancer that’s killing her, but from the drugs she is getting. The doctor told her that her blindness wouldn’t be permanent; he didn’t tell her that her death would.
Future Ndlovu has none at twenty-one, fell out of a truck and snapped his neck ‘Christopher Reeve’ style. A machine breathes for him while he waits to catch a bug that will kill him because he is not wealthy enough to afford quadriplegia.
Jack has also broken his neck, but would have walked out of here had his surgeon not ruptured his stomach during a routine feeding tube insertion. His kidneys have stopped working but he is taking a long time to follow in their failed footsteps.
Mrs, Nazwisko is bleeding out after an angiogram, though she bravely tries to punch the doctor while she swears at him in Polish. Her and Jack are neck and neck as to who will go first.
I look up at the clock, it’s four pm and Abdul is first to the finish line. I close the curtains around his bed while his Christian wife and Muslim mother fight about who is going to bury him when he goes, they don’t notice that he is already gone and nobody won.
The heat would wake her night after night summer had never been more ruthless. Days baked down white-hot, leaching their muggy legacy into evenings that weren’t cool enough to invite easy sleeping.
She had taken to icy cold showers just to cool herself to a temperature where she could fall asleep, only to wake around midnight naked and dripping to wide open windows that could not usher in the cooling breezes that refused to arrive.
She would get up and stare down at the pool next door that placidly mocked her discomfort with its inky cool stillness.
One particularly evil evening, while lying under a ceiling fan that did nothing but uselessly slap at the occasional mosquito, she got up ripping a towel from the rail and stalked outside to the small gate that lead to her neighbour’s garden. He was hardly ever there; she had never met him and only glanced at the back of his head once or twice as he pulled into his garage. She was pretty sure there was no sign of a Mrs. neighbour either. At this point she no longer cared who the hell saw her, all she could think about was how good it would feel to have cool water stroking her irritation away.
He watched in surprise as the naked woman approached his pool, he often swam on nights like these, after long stretches in the air on the international flights he piloted. The hours were long and made it very difficult for him to socialize to any normal degree. He had moved here a year previously and still didn’t have a clue as to whom his neighbours might be.
You looked at me and saw who I was in the instant it took for the smile to reach your eyes. I didn’t scare you like I did all the others.
Your hands looked safe, I knew that I would be safe in them. Your shoulders broad, strong enough to pick me up when I fall, as I do repeatedly.
I could see a lifetime of tenderness pulsing just above your right shoulder blade, centimeters from a jawline I would never stop staring at. I saw all the holidays, the tangled sheets, the shower big enough for two and Chinese food on the couch watching ‘Fight Club’ just for the last scene. I saw us planting trees that grew taller and more rooted with each passing year and the look of utter concentration as you landed that trout on the riverbank, the gray just starting to touch the sides of your hair.
I smelt the comfort of breathing the middle of your spine, my eyes still closed on cold mornings not wanting to wake from the realization that you don’t exist. You never did.
So I walked on past you, feeling regret burn the back of my head.
Sixteen-year-old Lameeza Hendricks knew about the dark man, because she could see things that the others couldn’t, her granny called it the family curse and told her not to speak of it. He lived inside people and whispered bad things to them, he killed the part of them that was good and laid eggs in their brains that would hatch into worms, whispering worms.
Nobody understood why uncle Yusuf the devout Muslim with four good daughters would take four-year-old Feroza Jacobs and do terrible things with her private parts before stuffing her broken body in the sewerage pipe.
Lameeza knew, because she saw the dark man following him, whispering into his ear a few weeks before. With every serpentine flick of his tongue, he laid his eggs in Uncle Yusuf, until he became strange and silent, often seen talking to himself and shaking his head. He had stopped going to Mosque and left his haberdashery shop open during Friday prayers, drank in the tavern, and stared blankly with his dead fish eyes, his lips moving all the while as he whispered to himself. Uncle Meintjies had tried to joke with Yusuf and offer him a Bertrams but dropped the glass and walked away in terror when his eyes met the drowned eyes of the dark man living inside.
Yusuf was in prison now, but the dark man was back. Lameeza could hear him at night, walking the streets, the dogs didn’t bark when he walked, huddling as close as they could to their front doors. He had fingers like knives that he would scrape along windows and letterboxes until he found his next victim.
This time it was Taliep her neighbour, he was her friend at school and would often walk with her, keeping her safe from the gangs and the bullies. Taliep wanted to be a doctor and was very clever. His sister *tikked and his brother was in prison for murder, part of his ‘twenty eights’ gang initiation gone wrong. Tannie Willemse pinned her last hopes on Taliep, they all said he was clever enough to go to the university.
She knew Taliep had been taken quickly by the dark man, for he did not recognize her the next day nor the days and weeks that followed, his eyes were already dead, and she could hear the worms whispering terrible things while Taliep cocked his head to one side, listening closely to their instructions. It was not good; Lameeza knew that Taliep had been instructed to take his father’s gun to school that fine sunny spring day.
She raced on ahead to try and alert Meneer Van der Poel, the headmaster, but his secretary would not let the hysterical tear streaked Lameeza into the office until she had calmed down.
A while later, he called for her.
“Lameeza what is the problem, Tannie Astrid says you are upset, alles is goed good by die huis (is everything ok at home)?”
**“Dis nie ek nie meneer, Taliep Willemse het ‘n geweer en ek dink hy sal baie mense vandag doodskiet ( It’s not me mister, Taliep Willemse has a gun and is going to shoot and kill many people today I think).”
The Post Apocalyptic Western Cape had returned pretty quickly to becoming the renegade political province it had been prior to the uprising. Compliments of a previous democracy that had separated it politically from the rest of South Africa, it had endured as a renegade state. Things had always been done differently there.
The Not Very Badly Bitten (NVBB) had formed an alliance with the remaining surviving humans that resided or had fled there, along with the aliens from district 9 that held no edible charms for the hardcore zombie mob, but found the lack of order and brainlessness even more demoralizing than their previous segregation, under the South African Government. Thus the DAHZA (Democratic Alliance of Humans Zombies and Aliens) was born.
Sid ‘Mad Mlungu’ Snopes and Thad Angelo were childhood friends and later on- lovers, a relationship that had endured despite Thad eating the brains of both Sid’s and his own parents and attempting to do the same to Sid whilst he was in the fresh throws of the Zombie bloodlust, a fact that he still felt terrible about. Sid still had a small scar above his ear, but his lover had needed him and their relationship was now stronger than ever. They were the first zombie/human ‘alliance ‘that had ever been documented, (though the craze had caught on rapidly), and the Western Cape had de-nationalized itself from the rest of the country shortly after the initial Apocalypse, with Sid and Thad at the helm as joint prime minister. Their swing voter in decision-making was their minister Ooloo, also a childhood friend who had been adopted by Thad’s parents shortly after the expose on District 9 ‘prawn’ orphans was aired on National T.V. Ooloo was a natural law maker and peace keeper and thus was in charge of defending the borders and maintaining the tenuous peace between the species. He also held the deciding vote on matters of national importance that Thad and Sid could not agree upon, such as whether to spend 4 million on a birthday party for themselves, and/or make it a national public holiday. Ooloo had vetoed them both and bought a heat seeking missile to vapourize Johannesburg (which was a bastion of zombie dominance), and had a small family cheese and wine for them instead a fact that the zombie and human were still moaning about six months later.
Politics however were not the main thing on Ooloo’s mind as he munched his morning toast, looking out of his to the right at Sid and Thad’s adjacent leafy garden in upmarket Bishop’s. Sid and Thad had always been rebels, and were not the cleanest of comrades, often complaining that there was not enough money in politics to cater to their newfound taste for the lush life, now that they no longer had to dodge being eaten. They had anonymously set up a snuff website called ‘Carnage’ which, which had gone global within weeks, and made them enough money to buy their boy toys and luxuries. The snuff films were basic zombie/human porn, using farmed humans and deadbeat zombies. Sickos from both sides seemed to like it, judging from the geography of registered ‘hits’. Ooloo was happy to let them have it and because of his security role could prevent it from being linked to them and any possible future scandal. It suited him to have this blackmail card for emergencies, and also kept the two halfwits from making too many stupid boyish political decisions, such as a woman’s right to choose pregnancy (it simply wouldn’t work in a post Apocalyptic world).
I found the wormhole on the edge of the mountain and taking a leap of the last vestige of my shredded faith, I jumped, free-falling to twenty-one years ago.
A little disorientated I walked into the hospital nursery toward the eighteen year old girl, naked breasts engorged to the point of bursting, trying to feed a crimson angry baby, whose arms jerked in the air as he frantically nuzzled her trying to latch. The red orb of the July sun was streaking the ocean horizon just as I remembered.
I sat down next to the teenager and said hello. Tear streaked cheeks greeted me and the look of disbelief from her bloodshot blue eyes. “You” she said.
“Yes it’s me, it’s you twenty one years older.”
“That is not important, but you are, this is. Where you go from here affects the you that is me now”.
“Are we not happy?” she asked.
“And him?” she pointed at the baby that still had no name.
“Oh he is all grown up doing very well overseas, we barely see him, and he breaks our heart with his beauty, courage and indomitable spirit”
“Are there others?”
“Yes, two more and they look just like him, they are incredible, wonderful, also heartbreakingly so.”
She smiled, “but that is exactly what I wanted, for them, for us”.
“Did you want to be alone, isolated and struggling to make ends meet, fighting depression and despair every single day so as not to end up like our brother did?”
“What about Rainer?”
“It ends, you will end it out of boredom and the lack of direction you both suffer from. Your life will spiral downward, you will stop seeing the beauty of our children and become an uninspired sea of debt, exhaustion and lacking the resources to overcome either. You will drink too much one-day and swallow a truckload of pills. You will not succeed and become wracked with a guilt that paralyses your ability to make simple life decisions. You will be lonely and numb.”
“What should I do, the thought of that is terrifying. For fucks sake I have just given birth.”
“Could you give up the baby, leave Rainer now?”
“Never, I love them both too much.”
“Neither could I” I said, “looks like we are royally fucked”.
I stood up and bent over the baby “his name is Dylan by the way”, kissing him on the top of his fuzzy newborn head and inhaling a scent long since forgotten.
“Will you visit us again, I have to say I don’t know how to deal with what you just told me?” she said.
“I hope I won’t have to Ali. If you will just learn to love yourself, appreciate your place in this world, and always be wise and fair and kind, I will never exist. I wish I didn’t.
Walking out of the nursery and back toward the rip in time. I hoped with every screaming cell in my being that I would not step out back onto that cliff again. I knew that if I did I would jump, avoiding the wormhole this time.
June the jellyfish had been rather relieved to survive a polyphood spent dodging seagulls, sharks, turtles swordfish and at least one species of salmon.
Blooping away elegantly with her trailing tentacles all aquiver, she dreamed of meeting a handsome male jelly with good genes and settling down in some lovely globally warmed current with a brood of little polyp tykes.
For June as with most of her ilk, sooner was better than later. No letting the wine mature and become fullbodied in the case of jellyfish. June only had three to six months to streak through Maslow’s hierarchy and actualize before dying naturally or becoming an Asian delicacy (she was still on the coral fence about which she would prefer), and so a suitable husbandly prospect needed to float past pretty soon recognizing her for the rare jewel of the ocean that she was.
Cue in a moonlit night off the Greek coast and a jelly single soirée with Andrea Bocelli singing Liberta to announce his entrance/floatrance. There before her (many) eyes was the wobbly personification of her deepest ocean fantasies.
“Hey gorgeous, name’s Sid, Sid Sea and you float my boat wanna make it a double?”
June swooned, he sounded like a jelly Johnny Cash.
Turns out he drank like one too. A month later June was up to her tentacle pits in screaming polyps and Sid ‘Sea ya later’ had boozed himself into a Japanese drift net’s early ending, after going on a jelly shots bender and misjudging a complicated bloop maneuver.
June could not endure the stinging commentary from the other jellys and chose to leave the bloom, ending her days in a string of sad coastal dives stripping her tentacles and bloop syncing to sad Italian music.
Sean was the kind of man one dated for a brief while before dropping gracefully into the sort pile marked ‘too nice to shag but too boring for anything else’.
He was pleasant looking, and pleasant is just about the only thing that comes to mind when I think about him, that and his connection to Dave Mathews, part of a strange trio of chapters in my life that happened once upon a lifetime.
His vanilla taste in music matched his even milkier impression on me, though that particular night his choice of music, venue and surprisingly delicious company did slap some liquorice on my soul and put him resoundingly into the ‘things to tell my grandchildren’ pile.
We picked up his London partner from the Michelangelo in Sandton and were headed to the Blues Room for dinner, drinks and an evening with Freshly Ground, one of my favourite South African bands. Exhausted from my day corporate whoring and the thought of having to fend off his eager (unexciting) advances, I had only agreed to go because he offered to make the fourty odd kilometer detour to my house, which meant that I would get fed, watered and wouldn’t have to drive home afterwards.
I barely noticed David getting into the car, mumbling something resembling a greeting whilst lusting for a double whiskey, the bliss of some darkness and good loud music to drown out Sean’s incessant cheer.
The five minute drive to the venue did nothing to improve my mood as I listened to them talking about stock shares or some other rubbish that left me screaming on the inside. I was fantasizing darkly about giving Sean a nudge that would send him crashing as we descended the steps to the club, when I felt the pleasant shock of a hand placed too firmly on my lower back.
I looked up at David who was apparently guiding me down the stairs, “ I would hate for you to fall, it’s awfully steep” he said in clipped British tones.
I almost did fall, he was rather bloody gorgeous and most definitely my type- the dangerous kind. The expensive smelling, hand stitched white linen shirt kind.
Sean prattled away unheard over the din as we appraised each other smiling, trailing a bit behind him while he sought out a table closer to where the band was playing.
We sat at a small round table, Sean on my right and David to my left right up front where talking was an exercise in futility and a balmy augmentation to the first drink lying warmly curled in my belly. I sighed relaxing into the dark smoky music, Zolani Mahola’s velvet voice stroking every nerve that was primed for melting. I felt myself drifting away from my body, watching as the rest of the evening unfolded from the other side of the room.
I saw David move his chair closer than was necessary pouring a glass of wine and toasting me with steady eyes. Sean was seemingly unaware of the small tornado happening to his left as he air drummed his legs, all shiny smiling face and boozy bliss. I felt almost sorry for him as David leant over and whispered something in my ear.
I watched myself get up and walk to the bathroom, closely followed by David as Sean’s eyes remained transfixed on the band- he looked like a man bewitched. Zolani must be a witch who had seen my desperate plea from her vantage point and was doing all this for me! The whole club had stopped in time.
The girl in the bathroom had a frozen in surprise look, lips blowjob primed with her lipstick in mid application.
There was no one to witness as David lifted me onto the basin, closing the stall door and hitching up my skirt in one smooth movement. We fucked for an eternity before my scream shattered the mirror outside, and we exited as quickly as we came.
I walked back into the Blues Room, just as the sound came back into focus, sitting down next to a bedazzled and unaware Sean. David timed his arrival a for few minutes later, holding a bottle of wine. Freshly Ground kept rubbing in the vibe oil, and I could not wipe the smile of ‘freshly fucked’ satisfaction of my face.
Later, as Sean dropped me off at home and asked me eagerly if I had had a good time, I told him I had. He looked so happy as he drove away and I wished I hated myself more right then, but I couldn’t. I blamed it on the music instead.