Friday, January 25, 2008

So Much to Answer For



It is Friday night and I am driving into the city. Lisa has gone to visit her father for the weekend. I love my wife. She is the mother of my child and she is also my best friend. We are good together and good at being apart – we have trust. I would be with her now, but she understands that I have got to get this project finished. What we have is understanding. She is a good wife, and I, a good husband.

I open the window and taste the damp metallic air. The icy blast feels good on my face – I feel very much alive at this moment in time.

I met Lisa watching The Fall at The Ritz. We fucked in the toilets.

I park the car and walk the city streets to Nitrate. The band are good and sound a bit like Bauhaus, but I watch the cage dancers intensely and smoke. I get the nod from Trix and go upstairs and hand over the goods to Brother. He has a new girl with him and he pushes her in my direction – she seems eager to please – but I find this a turn off. I go back to watch the dancers some more before leaving.

Lisa fell pregnant three years ago. I stopped tooling around with bands and put my degree to use. We moved out into the country and started having dinner parties. Lisa got a job illustrating children's books from home. The novelty of money kept us entertained. Lisa was going to call her Amethyst but I worried that if she grew into an ugly child that her life would be made miserable. Lisa's mother died and we agreed to call her Helen.
I leave the club and light another cigarette. This is my opportunity to restrict my pleasure to the voyeuristic only.

I walk to Chorlton Street and to the desperate whores.

Helen was born two weeks after Helen was buried. Lisa fell apart for more than a year. Her sister moved in to help look after Lisa and Helen. One night she made a move on me when Lisa had gone to bed. She said that I must feel very lonely when Lisa could only think about the Helens. She took of her dress and put my hand on her breast. The next day I told Lisa and her sister was gone. This was the catalyst for Lisa moving on from her grief and her guilt. We became stronger.

I skulk in the shadows until I find a girl who looks right. She gives me directions and I look at her thighs. She does not ask me my name or what I do for a living and I do not have to bother inventing these. I look into her eyes and tell her that I want to be inside her. I hold this thought until we arrive at the block of high-rise flats in Hulme. In the hallway the door is open to a room, her pimp boyfriend is talking to another man. I am shaking with nerves, but still ignore the possibility of leaving the situation. She leads me to the bedroom and goes down on me as she pulls off my jeans.

We left Helen with my mother and spent three weeks in Italy. We climbed Vesuvius, and we ate pistachio ice cream. We drank under the stars and we made love in the shadows of Pompeii. We felt like we were young once again.

The girl says that she needs the money before we can fuck. She says that she needs to buy some gear for her boyfriend and that we will fuck later. I drive her through the maze of streets in Moss Side until she tells me to pull over, lock the doors and wait. She goes inside. Twenty minutes go by. A knock on the window makes me jump out of my skin. "What you doin' here boy?" I say that I'm waiting for a girl. "Ain't we all" he says, and pulls a gun to the window.

I close my eyes.

Lisa had started illustrating again and I was given a promotion. Lisa was back talking to her sister and we gave up drinking and joined the gym set. We were moving on to a new kind of life. A better life.

Nothing.

I open my eyes and he is laughing. He's made his point, calls me bumber clart and walks off. I turn the ignition but the girl appears and gets in. We drive in silence back to the flats.

I was given a project to lead on – subliminal advertising in teen magazines – success would mean that I could retire at fifty or even before. Our dinner parties were now for Lisa's publishers and my executives – we felt that our old friends could be a potential embarrassment. They certainly did not fit in with our lives any more.

She runs up the stairs and I lose her. I cannot remember which door, but knock on several until she answers. She leads me to the bedroom again and leaves me there. I sit thinking that it might be her pimp that next opens the door. Twenty more minutes and she is back. She tells me that she has just come on and that she has shoved half a toilet roll up there and that we can't fuck. I tell her that I have paid, that I have been fucked around, and that she can suck me dry. She looks in the direction of the door, and I can see she is thinking about the pimp, but the drugs make her too apathetic to do anything other than take me in her mouth.

Lisa had left Helen with my mother. She felt that Helen made her father depressed and that it was not a good environment for Helen.

I cum in her mouth, she spits it back in my face, I zip my jeans, and leave. She stands there expecting to get hit. I carefully walk over the pimp, who is lying on the floor. I get the fear that he will reach out and grab my leg. I get in the car and drive. I cannot stop shaking. A police car follows me for a while and I feel sick with paranoia. I go to Luke's house. I need to think. I know that an ounce of weed will buy his cooperation.
Luke starts skinning up and I tell him to keep quite, and phone Lisa's father. He tells me that Lisa has left. Something has happened to Helen and she has gone to my mothers. He says that she was going to call me on my mobile. I feel in my jacket and my phone and wallet are missing.

I need to phone Lisa, but I need to get my thoughts straight, if the pimp, or the girl, has already answered the phone, then I am fucked.

I try and talk it through with Luke but he is already stoned. I phone Lisa and tell her that someone has stolen my phone. I realise that I should be asking about Helen. Lisa says that she has been taken to hospital, that she is having trouble breathing. I tell Lisa that I love her. I tell her that everything will be ok and that I will get there as soon as I can. Lisa just says ok.

I use Luke's phone to send a message to my mobile offering money for its return. I have no idea if Lisa has already called it.

Luke starts trying to tell me that self-preservation is completely justified, but he makes little sense. I try and think of Helen and Lisa but I just think of my entire life being pissed away. I try and reassure myself that the events will distract Lisa from suspicion, and cover for my agitated state. I tell myself that I do not want Lisa to find out because it will hurt her so much. I tell myself that I am a good husband but that I am just weak. I take Luke's joint. I will need some inspiration to convince myself that I am a good father.

I get in the car and put on Closer. I feel a good deal of self pity will be the new order.


Pablo Vision

2 comments:

marlinmark said...

Great stuff! Loved the back and forth. It was powerful and I felt somewhat like I was watching a fab tennis match!!

thanks so much for creating this piece.

Anonymous said...

A grimly fascinating and compelling story.