Friday, July 06, 2007

Like Walking on Flower Dust

Jack Poole, new shoes, jacket, outside in the springness, taking in the first stroke of that warm spring air. A dog by his side, attached by a lead, his dog, Curtel. Down boy, Jack says, when approached slowly, sneakily, by Greymat, the old town’s fat town crier. What be you off down here for? asks Greymat while also glancing at his watch (as if the time, too, were a crucial element in the strangeness, according to Greymat, of Jack being down there). Why, says Jack, I’m taking in the spring air is all, giving Curtel some exercise and also exercising – that is, taking out for a trial run – this here new jacket and this new pair of shoes, sports shoes as you can see. Adidas shoes I see, says Greymat. Aye, replies Jack, I don’t normally like a sport shoe but this pair of Adidas here will do me right fine. Aye, says Greymat, I reckon they will.

Greymat, later, in the town square: Hear ye, hear ye! Jack the Poole, the town fool, has himself a new pair of right fine shoes! Next time you pass, look down at his feet to be in for a treat!

Tender evening squeezing in and there’s Jack snug in the snug of The Bestway, his best girl by his side. Martha, the finest pair of breasts this side of Clappenhorn, known far and wide for them and the very reason why all the fellas this fair evening cram themselves into the snug whenever they order a drink. And what will you be having Martha my love? they ask, cockily, cocking a peek at those peaks as Jack tries his best to cover them, tenderly, without raising her embarrassment. Because, ah, it’s true, young Martha there is sublimely unaware of the effect of her magical young breasts.

What, Jack? they say, to Jack, as he mumbles for his cigarettes. Two of them, old sisters, sucking mints behind the counter, unable to reach for cigarettes even if they wanted to. Their son/nephew, Brian, over the back somewhere, behind cereal boxes maybe, or stacking egg cartons, bald and vaguely stupid, piss-stained jeans and a nose as big as his neck. But at least he can reach for cigarettes. There you are Jack, your Benson and Hedges gold packet of twenty, it’s a good job I’m here, right? Yes, mumbles Jack, it’s a good job you’re here. What, Jack? chorus the sisters, pulling faces, we can’t hear the man Brian, he’s such a fucking mumbler. Shh now, don’t upset our customers. Say, Jack, can I have a look at your new Adidas shoes? Ah, there they are. Oh, they’re real beauties them. How much?

How much? says Jack, his terror obvious even to the teenager behind the counter/on the floor. Sixty nine ninety nine. Sixty nine ninety nine? Sixty nine ninety nine, yes.

I’ll. I’ll take them.

Soft march across concrete, jags of grass, through the whatsit, the quadrangle, on his way to see Martha of tender large breasts and magic. The boys in the park, tower block boys, taunt him from a distance, mindful of Curtel whose eyes grow with his growls. Soft tread though, despite the taunts, and courtesy of the Goodyear soles complete with his Adidas shoes. Adidas? the boys shout, you’d have to be a mooncalf to wear Adidas! He’s got though, Jack today, his steel skull rings on his fingers and he wants to give them a dusting, give those boys a busting. He says to them, when he’s this close: I have come here to chew bubble gum and kick ass - and I’m all out of bubble gum. I’ve got some, offers one of the boys, holding out a shabby packet of Hubba Bubba Max. Meanwhile, at a flat window high above, young Martha is pressing her magical breasts softly, but deeply, tight against the glass. Look up Jack, look up. What did he say? says one of the boys, as Jack marches fast on his way. I have no idea, says another, something about gum.


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