Friday, May 12, 2006

Lengthen The Life of Your Fence

He is party to, privy to, a couple in the evenings. He is, as a close friend – that Jack – once remarked, remarkably touchy for someone so thick fucking skinned. Jack though, it has to be said, was not noted for his sensitivity towards what we might call the touchy type. Not that he was really – and he’d be the first to insist upon it – the touchy type. It’s just shorthand, you know. And when I said, at the start, party to and privy to, I meant, of course, partial to. It makes all the difference.

Not only is he partial to a few drinks in the evenings, he is also partial to some of the bigger, and better, disgraces. At this very moment, in fact, as he makes love - as he likes to call it - to one of those sparky little tarts from his office, he imagines his wife deep in sexual betrayal with that fat fuck from across the street. That is, he has actively, happily, placed her there with that fat fuck from across the street. His poor broken wife who, at this very moment, is choosing a gift that will appropriately mark the seven years of marriage she believes she must have been forced to endure. An appropriate present, she thinks, would be the breaking of his back.

It is, naturally, not the first time he and his wife have been here. It’s just one sordid drama after another. He takes, she bites. Together they rumble on, crushing just about everything as they go. No time, nor inclination, for children, as they, in their sheer empty wretchedness, constantly tell themselves. Their lives, as pale, as thin, as open to nothing as they really are, would not, they believe, be better improved by the introduction of children. Wretches, as said. But somehow, unbelievably, they have what many would judge to be a successful marriage.

Who are these people?

Mid-thirtied, orange juiced and Sainsbury’s. They can afford to be who they are through everything they lack. They are car drivers and shirt buttoners. Weekend breaks and work trips to Europe. They are dedicated and serious drinkers - but only when they want to be. Animal rights claim their attention. As do curtains, outside paint for gates and fences, garden furniture right up to gazebos. The Independent on Sunday. The endless dirty bastards.

In their garden, past midnight, the curious wheeze of a fox, plaintive and terrified. As they lie there, breathing not breathing, they catch this fox in their imaginations, seeing in him a glorious embodiment of the freedom they think they want. The real fox, however, is on the back step, panting his last, a threadbare interpretation of the noise of nature. There are cats out there laughing at him, birdies awake in their trees. But our heroes, tied fast to their bed, snatch his blazing teeth, slice through their bonds and fly. The wings of the fox, they sigh, the wings of the fox to fly.


Anonymous Hannah Pan said...

Horror, horror, horror. It's very impressive how such few words, so carefully put, can make you (one) cringe at the internal life of people who have no internal life. I like the choice of the fox at the end, pitiful and beautiful.

9:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Super color scheme, I like it! Good job. Go on.

12:50 AM  
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10:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's a great story. Waiting for more. »

9:57 PM  

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