Friday, February 12, 2010

you're welcome

Early hours night. A transparent time, when the worn out threads of the old day begin to thicken and twist into the pattern of the new.

A vast black brick of a church weighs down this corner of the neighbourhood. A street light blazes at its feet.

A man and a woman argue under it.

‘I can’t believe you’d do this,’ she cries. ‘I’ve only just met you and you’re saying that.’

The man shakes a mobile phone in the space between them, as if there’s something stuck in it.

The woman is wearing a red velvet pillbox hat. Her yellow hair curls out abundantly from the sides and tumbles down around her pale face. It’s like someone has dumped a bowl of noodles on her head, and the sauce has made her makeup run.

She snatches the phone from the man, and starts prodding out a number with her thumb.

‘I can’t believe you’d do this,’ she says.

The man turns to us as we approach. His chin is rough with stubble, his smile like the rip of Velcro.

‘Sorry about this guys,’ he says, nodding towards the woman. ‘I expect you’ve got better things to do.’

‘What’s going on?’

The man is dressed in ratted combat chic, a partisan of cool, with an expensively bad t-shirt and farm-grade studs in his bottom lip and eyebrow and ears.

‘She’s in a band. We met in a pub. She got upset. She took some Aspirin. Her boyfriend’s a drummer. He’s in Wales. Her parents are divorced.’ Then he seems to become bored with the sound of himself. He terminates the report with a shrug of his shoulders and a meagre upturn of his hands. ‘Like I said, I’m sure you’ve got better things to do.’

‘Hello? Hello?’ shouts the woman into the phone. ‘It’s me. I’m going to hospital. I’ve taken some pills.’ Her words give way to a convulsive sob; she just manages to get out the name of the hospital, then jabs the phone off and tosses it to the man, who catches it with a little bob of the knees and a curiously self-conscious flourish, like a bad juggler at a children’s party.

‘You’re welcome,’ he says. And pops the phone in his pocket.


Camilla Winlo said...

Can you overdose on aspirin?

lulu's missives said...

Hi Spence,
I am so falling behind with the reading and writing of blogs (too much homework!)
Loved the imagery in this one and it's simplicity too.
Happy V day.

Spence Kennedy said...

Hi Camilla
You can OD on Aspirin, but it would take a very large dose. It's bad news for your stomach, too.

Hey Jo
Bah, homework! Hope it's all going well.


Cheers for your comments! :{|} m'wah m'wah X


Pat said...

"Early hours night. A transparent time, when the worn out threads of the old day begin to thicken and twist into the pattern of the new."

Wow! I just love how you wrote this...That's pretty much how we see the new mornings from out Comm centre windows!

Spence Kennedy said...

Thanks Pat

I wonder what you can see from out that window?

I used to work a night shift for a press cuttings agency in London a few years back. We used to have a fantastic view over the city as the sun came up.

But I have to say that working nights is getting me down! I'm dreaming of a regular job.

Hope you're well x

Anonymous said...

Aspirin's really difficult to o/d on! I think it's something like 7500 mg for a standard 9 stone adult to be classed as an o/d.

I love your description of the early hours, the old day fading and twisting into the new!


Spence Kennedy said...

Thanks Lisa! I didn't know that. Thinking about it, we come across so many ODs it'd be handy to have a crib sheet for the front runners, their effects / the dangerous dosages.

Cheers for the comment! :)