Friday, 26 October 2012

After the Funeral

The three young men entered the pub on an overcast weekday afternoon. The place was not particularly busy, a few old guys attending to pints. A wall-mounted television screen was quietly displaying sports. Everything seemed somehow inert, hopeless.
"Right, what we having?"
"I´ll have, eh, a Guinness please Jon."
"Aye same."
"OK, two pints of Guinness please and a bottle of Becks."
The young men took their drinks to an untidy table and sat down. They sat in silence for a few minutes, tentatively sipping, furtively avoiding eye contact or any kind of contact really.
And then Rob spoke. "Somebody we all ken and love has just been put in the ground. I think we should all take a moment to remember our good mate Stevie." Jon and Andy nodded solemly though Jon seemed slightly embarrassed. They continued to take small, perpetual sips in a kind of weird rhythm they had going between them. And then Jon stood up and he was going to the toilet..
He went up to the bar. "Excuse me mate where´s the toilet?" He was directed down a perilously long hallway, so long, unending, nightmarish, a nightmarishly long hallway adorned with bleak oil portraits of aristocrats playing chess. Eventually, after a good ten minutes of wandering, he realised that he couldn´t find the damn toilet and, what´s more, he was hopelessly lost. Doorways multiplied. He wandered if he should just turn round and try to get back but that seemed impossible now and, besides, he was still bursting on a piss. He did a wee dance, clutching his penis through his jeans, trying to hold it in. Hundreds of doors had been passed, not a single one with a sign to indicate that it was a toilet. For fuck´s sake man. In desperation he lurched for the nearest door, grasped the handle and pushed it open.

"Where the fuck has Jon got to? Is that cunt taking a shite?" Andy pondered. Rob smirked humourlessly and continued to leaf through the copy of the newspaper he had found abandoned on an adjacent table. They let another ten minutes pass before finishing their drinks and abandoning the premises. A light drizzle had began as they shook hands and bade one another farewell on the street outside.

Jon stepped through the doorway. He was in a corridor illuminated by pink light. Weird, ethereal music was emanating from unseen speakers. He stepped forward very slowly, walking as if imitating slow motion footage of himself. The corridor turned to the right ten feet ahead and he didn´t know what was round there and he felt uneasy. He crept round the corner and passed through a white door and found himeself in a room with blue walls and a window. A weathered single pedestal dressing table was positioned beside the window and here a young lady sat gazing out onto the gently sunlit late autumn street. She seemed engrossed in some kind of stupefied contemplation and hadn´t notice Jon enter. "Whoops, oh shit, sorry hen," Jon was muttering and she merely turned slowly, a laconic grin spread across her face. She wore a navy blue dress and all of a sudden that was off, up over her head, and Jon had the sensation that he was dreaming. She walked slowly towards him in her underwear and casually reached for and unbuckled his belt, undid his jeans with effortless precision. Then her hand delved into his boxer shirts where it found and clasped his penis, stroking it with gentle insistency. Alarmed, excited and perplexed, Jon found himself massaging her breasts, sliding the straps of her plain cotton brassiere down over her shoulders to help facilitate this task. She was tugging his penis more vigorously now and it wasn´t long before he was snorting and spasming as he ejaculated, large globules of semen arriving on her bare thighs and plain cotton pants.
"You have to leave now," she was urging him, helping him with his breeks and ushering him out the door, her manner now changed, somehow perturbed. She closed the door and he was back out in the pink corridor, silent now; the music had stopped. It was very cold. He would have to make his way back to the bar now and he had no idea how to go about that. And the need to pee, which had absented itself whilst he had his handjob, had returned with increased intensity. He did his shuffling, penis-clutching dance and began to walk back the way he came, through the interminable corridors and hopefully back to the bar. He would have to pee out on the street or else rush home.

Jon was reported as being missing on the 24th of October, five days after the funeral of his good friend Jason Grieves. The last reported sighting of Jon was at a small wake in a local pub with his acquaintances Andy and Rob. The two reported leaving the pub after Jon went to use the bathroom and never returned.
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