Saturday, 4 February 2017

Ficción #1

The bar I was drinking in used to be a hairdressers. I knew this as I recalled having my hair cut here as an infant. And now it was a gentrified bar. An odd thing to have out here in my rural hometown on the outskirts of the city. And an odd venue in which to be drinking on a Monday evening. The place was dimly lit and empty.

Two dark haired men in their early 40s entered. One was bearded and had shrewd, twinkling eyes. The other was impassive and nondescript, calm. They slowly evaluated the empty scene and then took seats at a table close to where I was seated at the bar.
"Espero que estés bien," murmured the latter fellow.
"Tengo depresión severa," replied his companion, grinning in a most disconcerting manner. They suddenly reached over the table to hold one another by the forearms and began screaming in ecstatic horror. I began flecking my tongue rapidly in and out of my mouth in what felt like a gesture of solidarity.

Outside, behind the building the bar was housed in, there was a path which lead through some woodland, illuminated by orange streetlights. There was something perfectly melancholy about this lighting as I walked the path through gentle mist after exiting the bar. It was after midnight on a cool spring evening. I felt inspired and potent, a feeling which is always wont to wane. After walking for a while I was overcome with lethargy and fatigue. I zipped my coat up fully, slowly lowered myself to a prone position on the ground, and rolled under some shrubbery to nap.

I awoke to the white sky of daylight, birds chirping. An elderly couple were walking past with their tall, slender dog. It seemed as elegant and fragile as they did. I felt overwhelmed by a feeling of total love and sympathy for this couple and their pet. It was a tender, tingling feeling and I allowed it to seep through my central nervous system.

Back at my parent's house I let the dog out into the garden. He sniffed around and swished his tail. Ostensibly I was here to babysit him whilst my parents holidayed in Greece for a week. I was beginning to find his neediness wearying.

That evening I used my father's black and white laser printer to print out an image of a girl I'd been dating for a couple of months. She'd gradually stopped responding to my increasingly desperate text messages. I placed the printout on my bed, lay beside it, unbuckled my belt, unzipped my jeans, pulled them to my knees, and then began masturbating listlessly over the image, giggling intermittently. After around four minutes I ejaculated on it and then sank back into the mattress, descending into a light snooze.

I awoke at dusk and decided to take the dog out for a walk. The son of a bitch was as eager as ever. He dashed on ahead of me, sniffing around and swishing his tail. We encountered a judge who lived locally, out walking his dog. My parent's dog attempted to mount his, much to his chagrin which he expressed loudly. I giggled nervously in response and managed to apprehend and lead my dog away. Once we were out of sight of the judge I admonished the animal and then later felt bad about it.

Back at the house I poured myself an enormous tumbler of vodka and orange juice and put on Wayne's World (1992) on DVD. My parents owned an agreeably large TV screen. I dimmed the lights and then the dog and I settled on the sofa. I reflected on how this film always made me think of 90s American indie rock. The older I became the more life seemed increasingly incomprehensible. Not necessarily in a bad way either.

By the time the film was finished I was attending to my third enormous tumbler of vodka orange. Warm feelings of elation and goodwill flowed through me. I watched a documentary on TV about the Grateful Dead whilst enjoying two more tumblers.

I awoke on the sofa. The sky was white. Birds were chirping. I took the dog out and immediately encountered the two Spanish chaps I'd observed at the bar a couple of evenings prior. In spite of the fact that it was before 11am they both seemed to be drunk. They were cavorting around in a manner that could be described as both frivolous and disconcerting. I grinned nervously. They greeted me with ornate bows replete with hand flourishes. I responded in kind. The dog barked and became animated, perplexed by this behaviour. We began dancing, the three of us, locking arms and spinning one another around in an improvised jaunty jig. The dog swished his tail and bared his teeth, his eyes gleaming, his tongue lolling. We clapped our hands and shook our asses. A bald, bespectacled man in a puffy jacket stood nearby, tapping at his phone whilst smoking a cigarette. He'd occasionally look up to observe us with complete nonchalance, as if he didn't possess any sense of how preposterous this spectacle was.

Memories came flooding through me. I remembered stifling a sob at my aunt's funeral. I remembered mutual masturbation with a school friend during adolescence. I remembered a drowsy afternoon during summer at my high school music class. I remembered the swimming pool at high school, the sound of echoed shouts and splashing water. I remembered orange light reflected in a shallow rain puddle in the school playground. I remembered days of snow. I remembered a bird-watching expedition with my grandparents. I remembered a trip to the zoo with my grandparents.

Things just go away. They go away and don't come back. Good things, bad things. They're gone and that's it, they don't hurt you or heal you anymore or whatever it is they did, if they even did anything at all.

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