Relations between John and I remain strained and it seems each event is now pulling the string ever more taut. When it finally snaps someone will end up with their eye out.

At just gone noon today there was a ring on the bell. Normally when that happens we stop breathing and hide, sometimes tiptoe down the corridor and eye the caller through the spy-glass, but we never open the door. That has no other history than the anti-social behaviour of new lovers rimming the hell out of each other. We started leaving all 'outside intruders' standing on the doorstep and somehow it just grew from there. Today however, when the bell went, John hit his accelerator and went zipping off down the hallway. I followed, curious  to know why.

Before I smelt his mother's cheap toilet water (eau de toilette) I heard him:

“Aww, so this is where my letters fall, nice, real nice, not a palace, but quite charming in its lack of modernity. Kinda reminds me of my grandmothers. Oh, and this wallpaper, I do love this, could just touch it all day, gives me the shivels, ya know, like the feel of expensive air mail letters,” he sang, floating down the hallway and into the living room, John following behind as if led by the secret scent of his arse. It was like a perverted Bisto gravy ad. “And a fish! I luv fish, not LOVE, but Luuv! Hee hee. And who is this? [now picking up a cheap framed photo] Mummy? Sweet, Really. Oh, aw, I luv it, I just luuv it!” And then he stopped and not even John had a clue as to what on earth he was talking about. As for me, I was still stomped as to what the postboy was doing here on a Saturday when there was no post.

“Cup of tea, Aristotle?” asked John, giving me a sly grin after saying his name. “The kitchen's this way.”
“Oh, a kitchen, how passé! I had a kitchen, once. Now it's a microwave on the bedside cabinet, looks like a huge alarm clock, hee hee! But I don't wanna talk about that, the kitchen that is. Brings back too many angst ridden memories, oh, sooo much pain and shit and I don't wanna/am not ready to deal with that right now. Many things are like that, I just put them off, ya know, say 'sorry, not today!'”

In the kitchen John whizzed around to the side-cupboard and prepared the cups. As I pulled out a chair to sit down the post boy suddenly beat me to it “Oh thank you, how kind!” he said, collapsing down in what would have been my place. I took another chair opposite and sat scrutinising his scabby, yet rather beautiful face, over the top of the tea-pot.

“How d'[you take it]?” John almost asked, setting down a cup in front of the postboy.
“Like a bitch! Hee hee. Black, no sugar, bag in, spoon out! [John nods to me. It means “get pouring!”] I find if you leave the spoon in, as they sometimes advise in those 1950's good house guides, it affects the... What's that? Half a cup? Fill 'er up and don't be shy! Hee hee. As I was saying, leaving the spoon in affects the infusion.”

John wheeled himself to the table. As there were only two cups I had to go without. I watched the postboy nose his way through the little straw tray next to the empty sugar bowl.
“And who's the secret druggie? Huh?” camped Brian, picking up a strip of my zombie pills and examining them.
“I'll take them, thank you, and they're for sleeping purposes only. One two times a day, no more!”
“Two times a day? So how many times do you sleep? Are you like one of these guys who spend their lives wrapped up in blankets, crying? Me, I can't be awake enough... it's like I'm allergic to sleep or something. I'm crazy like that.”
“Well, no, I don't sleep that much,” I said “I go to bed with John, and then there's also my afternoon nap.” I must have said something funny as at that point the postboy almost spat a mouthful of tea out in laughter.
“So, Aristotle, if I may, how old are you?” I asked. That's when he got serious. He looked at John as if saying 'I told you this would come up!'
“Er, Tristram, here's the thing, ok. I have two names for a reason, that reason is to create a clear and distinct boundary between friends and associates, i.e people who I like and who like me back, and people I don't really know,” he looked at John. John nodded in approval almost like saying “you're doing fine, go on”
“Ok, so that boundary, that line, is to protect my personal space, you know, stop me getting so involved and hurt. That personal space is very important. In fact, it's probably the most important thing in my life right now. If I allow any old so an so to cross that line I will become all fucked up like before, trusting guys, maybe falling in love with them before I even know their cock dimensions. So here's the thing, yeah, John can call me Aristotle, that's fine, I feel safe with that, but to you, at least for the moment, it's Brian. Oh, and I'm seventeen.”

That's when I got a little childish and left, something I now regret. For the next 45 minutes I sat alone in the living room, staring at Jaws, and listening to Brian's pop-tart voice drifting through the flat. I couldn't always make out what he was saying and even when I could it didn't make much sense. What got me most though was the whispering. It didn't last long, but struck up almost the exact instant I left the room...

1 comment:

  1. I'm surprised you haven't already installed hidden CCTV.

    There isn't a room in any of my properties without it.

    I can assure you it will change your life forever.

    And your opinion of friends, family,

    Human Nature.

    And if it doesn't kill you

    The truth will make you stronger.

    Like me.


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