Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Stroking the Void

He removed the slice of paper from the typewriter and went over what he had typed.

Dear ******

With all sincerity I can say that I really like you. Sometimes I get the impression that you harbour similar feelings for me. Maybe I am deluded. Hopefully not. That shit you are with doesn’t appreciate you. You may think he is charming but I fear he has a tendency towards being a decadent, selfish shit. Run away with me to Budapest?

He furrowed his brow, squinted his eyes, and stroked the speckling of stubble on his chin. Then with a sudden surge of resolve he tore the letter in half and then went about destroying it even more completely using a combination of crumpling techniques and fire.

He waited for her at the canteen entrance. Probably he should have just gone into the canteen and waited at a table but it was busy and he didn’t like the idea that she might show up and be unable to find him. Unlikely; it wasn’t that fucking busy. Geezus, his palms were moist with perspiration. He waited and waited and gazed into space. When anyone caught his eye he felt they were looking at him strangely. So he stared straight ahead or else downwards at his shoes. His i-Pod shuffled through some emo shit. He listened to the maudlin lyrics and felt validated.
He tried to imagine fucking her, defiling her in the basest manners available. He couldn’t do it. She was too pure, too achingly gorgeous. It caused him actual physical ache. He wanted to smell her hair. He wanted to press his face into her hair and sob.
She appeared in the hallway before the canteen quite suddenly, a spectre, an apparition. Shimmering and dreamlike. He nodded to her with what he hoped was nonchalance though his nervous grin actually betrayed him. They went to the counter to order coffee. She got served first and the disappeared to find a table. He was so preoccupied with the order process that by the time he came away with hot coffee in hand, he had no idea where she was. Mildly distressed, he looked around with an affected air of detached puzzlement. He walked around and then saw her waving at him from a table in the corner and smiling. Relief surged through him. He sat down opposite her and then remembered he needed to get sugar for his coffee. So he went and got sugar but didn’t know where there was any milk. He saw a flask-like jug shining under the fluorescent light but it was unlabelled and covered up and there was no way to know if it was milk. It probably was. But he didn’t want to risk a faux-pa and so returned with his sugary sweet black coffee. He noticed that her coffee was a dark brown; she had located milk. Everyone else in the canteen probably knew where the milk was. It was an unspoken secret. Only he was excluded, as usual. Everyone else sailed through life, everything was easy, coffee with milk was a cinch. But he couldn’t manage when it came to these little details, it was these little details which fucked him up so thoroughly. He supposed it was actually sort of amusing.

He had various obsessions which occupied him from time to time. Currently it was skateboarding. He would go home and watch skateboarding videos, study them. He would relish his favourite parts, when the skating and music came together to provide a surge of elation. Example: Guy Mariano in the latest Lakai video. Sufficiently infused with inspiration, he would go down to the local skatepark and trundle around with much awkwardness and stumbling. He preferred to go during the day whilst the kids were at school. Once the kids began to flood in around about 4pm he would become unsettled and leave.

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