Monday, 8 December 2008


Janine kept shrieking, clutching at her nephew and becoming partially animated but in her own flimsy, inebriated way. Sometimes the nephew grimaced and he was drinking rapidly.
John was intent on watching a Roy Orbison DVD at high volume whilst Marie was insistent that we all play Trivial Pursuit but no-one could hear the questions. The vague frustration that everybody felt was beginning to articulate itself in dim, idiotic ways. It was intense, unbearable.
One of John's sons hid the TV remote as a frivilous jest. But I was concerned this frivolity would not bode well in the tense atmosphere we now found ourselves in. An atmosphere that teemed with unspoken resentments that were clunking toward the surface.
The brightness of the room pulsed from the flickering Xmas lights. Cards were perched along the mantlepiece, staid, obligatory gestures now. Before long they would be gathered together and binned.
After a while, everyone had drunk enough to reach a sort of stupified equilibrium and any tension seemed resolved or else extinguished by wine or ale. I sunk into the couch and examined photos of my friend's ex-girlfriend's breasts, which he proudly exhibited on his camera phone.

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