It’s been a while. I’ve been busy trying to keep a job, and move into a flat. A really bohemian flat where I can truly focus on achieving my ambition of being a pretentious douche.
When it comes to writing most seem to think it’s a good idea to plan, write, read and rewrite. I can’t work under these conditions. As someone who is constantly told he seems like he has some form of ADHD, I just don’t have the patience for such nonsense. I much prefer to plant a word seed, and let nature take its course and see what beautiful cherry blossom might grow, or what disgusting foul smelling word weed. Anyway. Here’s something I let evolve from not being able to sleep last night. I hope you find it delightfully melancholy.
Behind Closed Doors.
7B or not to 7B? Or perhaps first we should delve into 7C.
Here we find a man lying on his back, head half submerged in a soft pillow, smelling synthetically sweet from detergent. A cool, damp summer air drifts playfully through his window, gently rattling the wooden slats of his post-modern blinds. He’s not entirely sure what post-modern means, but he was assured that they were, and thought that sounded cool and interesting. He’s lying on his back, in the dark, heaving shuddering sighs of loneliness, much as he had done the previous night and the night before that, much as he no doubt will do all the nights that stretch oppressively before him.
He almost feels envious of the angry and violent noises emanating from 7B. From the sounds alone, he finds it difficult to tell which one is getting a severe beating, the man or the woman. Perhaps both are giving as good as they get. They’re speaking, or rather shrieking in their own native language, so for all he knew it was simply part of their culture, who was he to judge? As he listens to the dull thuds the, hefty slams and the yelling and the screaming, he feels as though he might be dreaming, but all the while he couldn’t help but feeling, that the touch of a fist to the face, was better than no touch at all. That words spat in malice, cruel taunts and aggressive jibes, were all preferable to the endless silence.
He lies awake wondering whether to call the police, or try and force sleep, before attempting the latter. Thinking of the faces of all those he wished he had had the guts to be rejected by. He lies there, as the light, late night, swing music from number eight makes his feet twitch in some absent little dance. He wonders what it would be like to be loved. To be loved unconditionally and endlessly, what would that feel like.
All good things must come to an end, that includes love and life my good friend.
Sleep won’t claim him for some time.
Alas, his brand of melancholy is somewhat cliché, if we spend too long watching him our minds might decay, our sympathies wane.
Now 7B… no let’s go with 8.
What a fine lady she used to be. Now at the ripe old age of seventy three. One might be forgiven – upon first glance – for thinking her trapped in some hypnotic trance. The swing music you see, was a passion of her husband’s, they met at a dance, he played the trumpet. Each night, she puts on her records, surrounded by her outdated wall paper. After dinner, she sits upon her chair, she brushes what remains of her hair and talks to her husband who is no longer there. The records go on, and she exclaims to the air ‘remember how we used to move? Remember how you used to play?’
She sets the table for him each and every night. If someone should come visiting and enquire she’d say, ‘Why he’s just popped down to the shop. He’s playing at the club. He’s nipped across the way to help Mrs. Henderson with those pesky pipes of hers. You know how they leak away. Nothing’s built to last these days.’
Can’t click along to the music these days, arthritic fingers you see. But she can hum along. In that hum, lurks a spark of youth that you can tell once blazed furiously. Once it was alight with such potency it threatened to blind all that beheld it. In that hum you can hear the youth with a ferocious sexual appetite, a lust for life that now tonight, sits in her chair, talking to her husband, who is no longer there.
Before we get to 7B. It might be worth mentioning 7A.
There’s a man, or rather a woman who lives there. A man in woman’s clothing. A David who likes to be called Davina, or would very much like to if he ever let anyone know. There’s this one draw he has, filled with artistic polaroid pictures of him in an array of dresses and a number of wigs (unfortunately, despite his many efforts, male pattern baldness had ravaged his head of all but the thinnest of hairs).
In many ways, she looks beautiful. It doesn’t necessarily suit his life style as a club bouncer, or rather a doorman – they don’t like to be called bouncers, it has a negative connotation. Only one person had seen these pictures. An old school friend. She had been very supportive, encouraging him to be – above all else – honest with himself. He shouldn’t have to live in shame, for there was nothing shameful about it, he shouldn’t have to hide away, the world needed to accept him – her for who she was.
She had moved away some time ago, started a family of her own. She was missed.
She stands in front of a full length mirror, admiring her full legged reflection as a purple sequin dress clung to her chunky torso. Clean shaven face made up to perfection. A curled hazel wig comes past her shoulders. A single tear rolls down her face.
Jerzy is an engineer of some sorts, the details of which escape even his loving wife Cecylia – derived from the Latin Cæcilia meaning “blind” – a fitting name then perhaps, as they always said love is blind.
There’s no telling how this argument started. Perhaps it was with some seemingly innocuous comment, or perhaps it had been building for days, like an airtight barrel, being filled with water, eventually it would have to break apart. The first blow wasn’t entirely unexpected. It hit her in the cheekbone. White lights danced before her vision, little, juvenile fairies playing before her sight. It didn’t hurt at first, it was numbed, the pain came moments later as she leant against the kitchen counter. He was still screaming at her, she screamed back. She was shaking with fear and rage and hurt. It hurt her more than words could ever describe, how this man that she loved could do such things… but she did love him.
Why else would she stay with a man that blackened her eyes, split her beautiful lips and treated her with such callous disregard? Love makes people do strange thing. Love is not logical. Love is cruel… Love certainly does hurt.
She screamed at him, slamming her hands down on the counter tops for emphasis. Questioning his manhood. This does not sit well and the second blow comes, a fast open palmed slap to the other cheek. It makes a sort of popping sound.
In these moments she remembers their wedding night. Jerzy was slimmer then, had slicked his hair back, had shaved his face, revealing a sharp featured, strong jawed man with sparkling dark eyes, two spheres of polished jet. He looked genuinely happy. Happy to be starting his life with this woman – her. She had cried happy tears as they were joined in matrimony. Her mother had wept too.
She was running out of excuses. Her mother was beginning to think her exceptionally clumsy.
She was shoved to the floor. An angry grizzled face was snarling at her, foaming at the mouth, some rabid beast. All she could see was that smiling, black eyed man, all suited on their wedding day.
What goes on behind closed doors is no business of anyone’s. The following morning, all these characters might pass upon the stairs. They’ll nod a casual greeting, and start another day.