The first of the two men was holding a clipboard; the second a camera. The one writing had large frightening hands and the one taking pictures had small distrustful eyes. Both wore similarly drab outfits; both intent on sinking into the background so as they could loiter around unnoticed. But I noticed them and I wasn't the only one. Mr Bartholemew did too, and was then out, pulling a disgruntled looking Marlowe along with him, and following the two men at a weak farts distance behind.

I may not have felt too clever but I didn't feel stupid. Two men, dressed to the hue of the day, one taking notes, the other pictures, and each time their outmoded box of shit flashed it was pointing right over this way. Ha! “Little Dick you'll have to do better than that!” I screamed, laughing neurotically with it. When I was quite finished I came around to find Bartholemew standing right outside. Marlow had his leg cocked and shot a hot steaming squirt of piss in through the front gate. Bartholemew looked worried. As if he had just glimpsed in on another man's insanity. As he stared on in shock I held a clenched fist up at him and just as he was about to look away I hit myself dead flat in the centre of the face with the palm side of it. Bartholemew kinda ruffled and fluffed up like a fat bird then dragged Marlowe away in fear, casting nervous looks back to make sure I was still the safe side of my window. I was.

Bartholemew's arse was bouncing around like a badly set blamanche. Not even ten doors up he had turned around to find me coming out my gate with a face full of blood and he'd started up a fast trot back home. But I was not out for him, rather for the two Drabsters who were once again passing by across on the odd side of the street. In the parked car they passed sat the same familiar dark shape as was there yesterday morning. Hmmm, so there are three of them? All colluding and working in sync to try and bring me in? Nice.

The shadow in the car I had no time for. At least he showed who he was and why he was there. The other two were my game... insulting me with the transparency of their plain clothes. Striding across the road in my paisley pyjama bottoms I approached the first man and ripped the clipboard clean out his hands. Taking up the cheap pen that was tied to it I scrawled across his notes: “FUCK YOU LITTLE DICK” before shoving it back into his chest with all the force I could muster. When he saw what I had written he took on an astonished, comical look. Then turned on his other half, I wrestled the camera out his grasp, turned it towards myself and shot at least half a dozen horrific closeups of my bloodied face. And I would have used up his entire stock of film had he not found some bravery from somewhere and grabbed the camera back off me.

“Sir... Sir... are you Ok?” he asked, drifting back from me. “Do you need help getting 'back' some place?”

“'Back' someplace?!” I screamed, “Don't make pretend you think I'm an escaped loon and just acted crazy! I'm not a fucking idiot. Now totter off and give the fucking clipboard and camera to The Inspector. Tell him they're christmas presents from me, Tristram Spencer, he'll understand.”

“Inspector?” asked the one with large scary hands. “Sir, we're not the police.”

I looked at him, squinting at the space where the words had just left his mouth. Then I turned to his colleague who was at a distance standing in the shape of a nerd. I noticed that his legs were too chubby for his upper half and his knees and feet turned slightly inwards as if he was about to piss his pants. “W-w-we're bird watchers....” he stuttered, “from the council's Enviromental Welfare unit. We're here to observe the recent influx of pigeons, hopefully discover why they came here, where they came from and evaluate the increased risk of disease associated with their presence. There, have a look at Ted's notes. Ted show the gentleman your notes.”

Ted's large hands handed me his clipboard. Behind my words, which now read like a childish insult, there were street names, counts and estimated sizes. Up above was indeed the council logo. All of a sudden I was confused. I looked from and to each of them, then over towards the shadow sat in the car. Smoke. Large hands. Chubby legs. Cigarette. Squinted eyes. Car. Clipboard. Shadow. Camera.My mind was flitting between it all.

I don't remember clenching my fist this time but I felt the force as I clumped myself square in the face one more time and bust my top lip open against my teeth. Bewildered I staggered back across the road, up the yard and in on home. Inside I slammed the door and made an instant rush for my hammer. In a fifteen minute outburst of confused pain I smashed a good part of the hallway wall through, shattered the three quarter length mirror in the bedroom and clawed all the kitchen units off the wall. When I finally ran out of energy the apartment was in a fog of swirling dusty particles. I collapsed down, my lip throbbing and my head suddenly feeling light and dizzy. Staring off at the skirting board I wondered why it was there... what possible use it served? Then I wondered why useless things should ever need to exist at all? That brought me on to myself and then I thought of death.

1 comment:

  1. 'Staring off at the skirting board I wondered why it was there... '

    Quite. It was always just something else to paint.

    Next year all our troubles will be miles away


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