Saturday, 26 June 2010

The Sublime Catastrophe

Food - that was what was needed, he just couldn't decide what to eat where to go. There was that pub along the way that did decent food but something about the ambience, he just didn't like the ambience of the place.
Keep on walking then, down onto Rose Street where there was a wee Turkish takeaway tucked down an alleyway. He had been here before got quite a good pizza, it was quite good but nothing amazing. He looked at the menu on the wall. He turned suddenly and began walking back onto Rose Street, just keep walking, keep walking. He clasped his book in his hand, tucked inside its pages was a sheet of paper with the poem he had written. Keep walking. Keep walking. See the horror etched into every face. Eh? Stop being such a melodramatic wee shite. Everything was fine, people were fine, he was no misanthrope or nihilist or pessimist. Okay, the thoughts could become gloomy now and again but everything was alright ye just kept walking where was he going but? He knew where he was going, he had a destination in mind, he smiled as he clasped the book and thought of the piece of paper within, the wee poem he had written. He had a final destination, yeh, but he wasn't ready to go there just yet. Food, it was food that was required now. He passed a McDonalds and a Chinese Buffet place, walked down onto Prince's Street. There were no chippies around here, at least none what wis open. Hmmmm. Top of Leith Walk there was bound to be something. But he didn't want to veer off in that direction. No. He walked up over the North Bridge seeing the horror etched into every face, mibby he would jump off the bridge, no, he had just way too much energy and enthusiasm for life the now. He smiled. He had his wee poem. It would be delivered.
He stepped into the doorway of a chippy, looked at the menu behind the counter. Nut. Nothing took his fancy. Walking, walking again, some aimless ambling for a while until such times as he located a suitable establishment to effect the purchase of
What pish was he slavering now? He passed a teenage couple nuzzling against each other at a bus stop. The lassie's eyes were glazed with such serenity he thought christ I need some of that. A luscious lassie, a fine female specimen, that was all that was required folks. And food, sustenance, nourishment. That's all any of us really needed eh when you stripped it down, the inane machinations, tenacity and lunacy of the human race.
He passed a pie shop. He was after pizza really, he had a wee yen for pizza. There was a restaurant up here but he wasn't in the mood to sit in a restaurant alone, plus he felt like being more economical. It's not that he was mean really, just careful with money and averse to frivolity, decadence and self-indulgence. For the most part, anyway. But he also had moments of total whimsy which were great, especially if you entered into them sparingly.
After some hesitation he walked up Chamber Street, he could see a pizza place at the end of the road, in the distance, beckoning him.
When he reached it he went inside and it was empty, no-one there behind the counter. Where was the guy. Fresh pizza lay cooling on the counter, sliced and ready to eat. He was looking at the menu when the guy emerged from the back. He decided he didn't want anything and left. Back out on the street, keep walking, ye just keep walking. There was a wee place up here, he had been before with his girlfriend for a kebab. He used to have a girlfriend, he didnae now. Circumstances change.
Inside he ordered a spicy chicken pizza and took a seat. A can of coke as well. The guy brought him the pizza after 15 minutes or so and asked was it coke he wanting and he amended his order to a can of Lilt instead. He let the pizza sit for a minute, let the mother fucker cool off. The Lilt was good and refreshing. It was the first carbonated beverage he had ever tried, back when he was a wee laddie, and the taste had been, it was like drinking fire, it had made him greet. Come to think of it he had wept often as a wee laddie, a sensitive, tearful wee shite. So no much had changed then. Fuck sake, pitiful.
He consumed the pizza with trembling hands.
Two guys were sitting at a table nearby, apart from that the wee place was empty. He heard one of the guys saying that his ma had had a tough weekend, that it would have been her 25th wedding anniversary. He consumed his pizza and then went to enquire about the existence of restroom facilities within the premises; he was wanting to wash his hands. The boy directed him down some stairs. But when he got down there he discovered the male toilets to be locked, an out of order sign on the door. Fuck sake. What wis that cunt playing at, sending him here? Unless it was genuine absent-mindedness or even ignorance of the situation on the part of the guy. You had to give people the benefit of the doubt a lot of time, most of the time.
He went to pay for his pizza and beverage. The bill came to £5. He had thought it would be more, the guy had made a mistake. The guy gave him £15 change: £10 note and five coins. Except on closer inspection one of the coins was a 20 pence piece. So had the guy realised his mistake and was now tacitly trying to rectify it? Yeh, most likely that was it.
Back out onto the street. He walked around the corner to Teviot place and he was now becoming slightly nervous and excited because he was arriving at his destination. Would she be here but? Would she be working tonight?

After the excruciating, the fucking excruciating
It was just... awful it was just the worst thing he felt calm it just fucking awful
It was so awful and he felt calm he
He walked round the corner with his book, the piece of paper still inside because she, fucking, she didn't want it, she fucking didn't
It had been awful, just excruciating, her whole body language, facial expression, it had been of complete reluctance or something even worse, distaste.
He walked around the corner into the shop and effected the purchase of a half bottle of Buckfast wine, placed it in his back pocket, exited the shop and began to walk, headphones into the ears, some music, he walked and was aware of the rhythm of his breathing his steps
He didn't think, he was calm, he felt the surging horror and anguish and he drank the wine quickly to contain his
He was in the meadows, walking through the meadows, an abundance of bodies sitting or prone on the grass, everyone languishing in the agreeable weather
He just kept walking, round in a circle, back onto the streets, he guzzled the wine quickly
He was calm and content with life in general no he wasn't it was shite it was hopeless nothing ever worked out he was just scunnered with every cunt
His phone rang and it was Rorie, it was his friend Rorie, they would meet
"Where are ye?" Rorie wanted to know. He looked around him. He was sitting on a bench in front of a statue. Groups of tourists milling around. Parliament Square. He was somewhere called Parliament Square on the Royal Mile. He conveyed this information to Rorie. He could here Rorie conferring with his flatmate as to the whereabouts of Parliament Square.
"Rorie, it's where that football thing on the ground is that everyone spits on," he said. Rorie knew where was now and was about to board a taxi.
The wine was finished. He got up off the bench and walked around a little. He went to the shop and effected the purchase of a can of Heineken lager, returned to bench. Some Austrian tourists, middle aged ladies, came and talked to him. They liked him. Older women tended to like him, whether it was maternal instinct or what the fuck, they liked him, endearingly perturbed manboy that he was.
Here came a taxi. Someone emerged from the taxi, it was Rorie. He got up off the bench and walked towards him, smiling benignly.

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