Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Of Air Like A Crystal

The retired locksmith, contriving to meet strangers, speaks to the dead and relays their cryptic messages to the witless, the credulous and the recently bereaved. His violent childhood or, rather, his holiday in Norfolk, is disrupted by the arrival of an attractive stranger who, as we soon see, takes refuge in rap, Christianity and the absolutes of academia. Please, no snoring. Back in the land of the real, the Science Train is making its ineluctable progress through the countryside, bringing light and life to the ignorant and the stupid. That is, of course, farmers and animal fans. And yet, despite this retired locksmith’s faith in both science and old shit (such as conversing with the dead), he cannot, try as he might, shake off his desire to dress up as a woman and recreate the spirit of the Blitz. But even then he knows that the chaos of war won’t – however hard he tries – give him the chance he needs to kick-start his life, to get it to flourish. Bombs? he asks. Well, he continues, I escaped with the skin of my life so I believe this gives me the right to worm at length about the reasons why a group of deluded, murderous, backward cunts decided to blow me, and many others, up. And, you know, the more I think about it, the more I relive the terrible events of that terrible day, the more I come to the conclusion that it was my fault they did it. In fact, in fact - the more I go over this, the more you give me the space to damn those you want me to damn (and all from the vantage point of being a sympathetic survivor and therefore the only possessor of the truth) the more I would like to blame everybody except the perpetrators themselves. It was my fault they did it. It was your fault too.

The retired locksmith. Part-time cat burglar and nancy boy. He has proclivities in that direction, as they say. He all a dress in a fold of black, sometimes, when the moon is full and silver. He take to the rooftops and he take to the drainpipes, swinging. No safe is safe. No damsel is safe either. Proclivities again, in their direction, those covered fleshy mounds of forbidden fruit and endless delight. Trinkets, snaggle tooths, bracelets, necklaces, earrings and all manner of shinies are his for the taking. Damsels did I say? More like old, bored and lonely housewives, too far gone from their kitchen sinks with only their servants to blame. Shuttered windows and red roof tiles. Falling plant pots and etc. Top secret submarine plans. He a retired locksmith you see. Locks inside and out.

But hearken, what can this retired locksmith do? In the face of betrayal? Who cares for what he does, least of all his so-called wife of betrayal and fancy? Can he jump the roofs all he likes - the fool – knowing that no-one, especially not his apparent wisp of non-wife, will give a yowling damn for anything he does? Is that the fact of the reality he has to face? Where does she tread, this non-wife? Who is she with now?

She rides there, his non-wife, a rush of dawn and the flash of the past, as she rides into the past, the glow of what went before recreated by new sunny magic that, for the briefest of moments, hides the dark. Until she returns, back into the nooks and crannies of dusty locks and.

Once she was herself, and too, a locksmith, a venture of twosome in the voyages – the many voyages – around doors, gates, lids and the like.

In all seriousness. A salvation of sorts – for him, anyway - when the bombs came. Those glorious bombs. His face, stripped of all its lovelessness, blazed in red, his passionate red eyes peering out from every front page. Oh, the things he put behind those eyes. The things he extracted from them.

He wears his crown heavy with lengths of chain and girders, tin boxes full of tin coins, each held fast by a silver lock the size of a dustbin lid. From his crown to his torso, the upper part of which, wrapped a coil like Houdini and welded hot metal searing flesh and locks and locks and locks. Keys in the river, in the fucking river mate. His stomach, punched. A medicine ball. His stomach wrapped with sheet metal, four times round, rivets punched. His waist, his general groin area, his arse, the tops of his thighs, all punctured with steel spears, rammed through, affixed at each end, on walls on either side of the room. His legs of flesh and putty removed, replaced with cylinders of rusted tin, nailed to the floor, through heavy bolts of steel. Let’s, as they say, see him get out of that.

His non-wife, a feather. A barrel of monkeys. A vat of lard. A container of sperm. A river of ice. A hoop of fire. A bucket of blood. A nest of vipers. A snake in the grass. A car full of bees. A room full of lies. A mouthful of spit. A ladle full of dreams.

Not dreams. A ladle full of lies, like the room.

It was, of course, the heavy burden of unwieldy, unworkable symbolism – coated in poison – that did for him in the end. The bombs were, after all, merely a boom.

2 Comments:

Blogger {Minion} said...

I keep popping back and reading this. Don't really know why, as I can't seem to relate to it, and yet I do...
Somehow this piece pulls me back.
I like it, that's all I can say.

:)

6:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Keep up the good work » » »

8:10 PM  

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