Sunday, December 5, 2010

Extract from chapter 15. A strong woman/his name was not david.

And some more from what I've been writing the last day or so. A december post for you. This continues right on from the last post. To make it less confusing, I've included the last couple of paragraphs as the first couple of paragraphs in this extract. Did I say less confusing?


I'm not entirely convinced I captured Sean's fake bravado sufficiently. 


I'll post something different over the next few days. Maybe an earlier chapter. Maybe a music related post. Maybe an old short story. Maybe maybe. 


***




At his hotel, several stories up, he could see a group of men standing outside on a balcony. The men held bottles of VB and Corona and the occasional cigarette. Heavy music – digitally compressed, bland, ready for radio – blasted from within their apartment. They scanned the street below and nudged each other and nodded and smirked. Sean rolled his eyes and counted the steps to the foyer entrance. One of the men, he could have been a Maori, looked at Rachel and pointed.
“Pinky!” he called out.
She looked at her jeans and then her shoes. One of his friends joined in.
“Hey, Pinky!”
“Hey, up here!”
Sean slowly lifted his head. “Don’t fall.”
“Pinky!”
“Don’t fall!” Sean shouted louder. “It’d be a real shame if you fucking fell!”
He held her hand and the foyer doors slid open and the hotel sheltered them from the propositions of the men.
Inside the elevator, muffled music, played very loudly and not dissimilar in style to what the men had been listening to, echoed in the shaft above. Rachel picked at a pimple on her chin, using the mirror as a reference, while Sean became intensely curious as to what floor the new arrivals were residing on. The volume grew as the elevator ascended.
When Sean had first moved into the hotel, the elevator was in dire need of a service and had made a crunching noise in regular intervals, much like that of a quacking duck. Sometime over the last few days the noise had disappeared.
But he could remember experiencing a sort of sickening horror whenever he had to go down to the foyer or back up to his room, in fear that the machinery was going to fail and that he would be trapped in the elevator for days before anyone noticed his absence. A sort of sickening horror exactly like what he felt now.
When the music could not get any louder the elevator stopped. Sean inhaled a sharp breath. The doors opened. Rachel prodded and squeezed at her chin. Distorted bass thumped and reverberated off the walls of the hallway. A singer sloppily rapped in time to the beat, and men’s voices shouted over the noise. Sean slowly craned his neck to peer around the corner. The corridor was empty and he raised himself to his full height. Full of bravado he motioned at Rachel and quick-stepped to the apartment. The music's intensity grew. The party room was almost directly opposite his room. When he was outside the door from where the music emanated, what sounded like a large object crashed to the floor. The group of men all laughed coarsely.
“Fuck, you’re a cunt!” someone screamed.
Sean flinched and fumbled with his key. Rachel nearly acknowledged the moment. The men laughed again and bottles clinked in salute.
The noise did not dull when he shut the front door behind her. He rolled his eyes and sat on the couch. She unslung her handbag and lowered it to the floor. The bathroom taps could barely be heard as she turned the water on at full pelt. Her phone rang.
“Can you get that?”
He grimaced as he searched her bag for her mobile. The only information to be offered about the caller was a number. He answered.
“Rachel Neutron hotline.”
There was a pause and a hesitant young man replied. “Hi, can I speak to Rachel?”
Sean strutted in front of the windows and looked at the high-rise apartments covered in creeping shadow. He shouted at the bathroom.
“Rachel, are you taking calls?”
She hmm’d to herself in the toilet. “Who is it?”
He addressed the phone. “Who is it?”
The man hesitated again. “Andrew.”
“It’s Andrew!”
“Aw yeah, I’ll talk to Andrew.”
Sean handed her the phone.
“Hello.”
She listened to the receiver as she fossicked in her bag and found her tiny notebook. She lay on the mattress and turned to what she had written. When Andrew was finished talking, she read out her questions. 
Who are you?” She paused. “Andrew. How are you Andrew?”
She listened to the reply and wrote verbatim his answer.
“What do you want? Why are you calling me?”
She scribbled some more.
“Where are you?”
Once again she copied down the reply.
“What does it mean to you? Is it important to you?”
She thought about Andrew’s response.
“I am insane.”
Sean stared at the blank television and watched her from the corner of his eye. She lay flat on her stomach with her legs stretched out. She repeated herself after Andrew had finished stammering.
“I am insane. I am insane.”
Her voice was dull and had no emotion.
“I am insane. I am insane. I am insane.”
She paused and listened.
“What? I am insane. No. I am insane. I am in –”
She halted and scratched her face, considering what he told her next.
“Ok. See you then. Bye Andrew.”
She hung up the phone and dropped it onto the mattress. She rolled off the bed and sat down on the floor, between the bed and wardrobe mirror. He dimmed the lights that hung over the bed.
“Do you want soup?
Her face was six inches from the glass. She did not blink at what she saw.
“I’m making soup.”
He shrugged and switched on the television. She didn’t move. He searched in vain for a cricket score, not sure if there were any matches being played. After the two Test series in India, involving first England and then Australia, against the locals, there had been a popular consensus in the media that the world power of cricket had switched from the antipodeans in New South Wales to the subcontinent. Sean was depressed that the English team was so hopeless. He cracked the remaining can of curry chicken soup and poured it into a pot simmering on the stove. He knew there was a clean bowl somewhere, but nevertheless washed one of the undesirables from the sink. From behind the bed Rachel inhaled deeply.
“I have soup. Do you want soup?”
He sat on the couch and flicked through his notes, waiting for the bowl to cool to his liking.
“I like this soup,” he said mournfully to himself.
He blew on the steaming bowl and stirred the contents with a spoon. He looked over his shoulder in her direction. She was still staring into the mirror. He flicked channels. There were no good movies about to start. He looked at her again. She hadn’t moved. He stood at her shoulder, his eyebrows arched incredulously.
“That’s enough Rachel. Have something to eat.”
She didn’t make eye contact. He grabbed her shoulder.
“Come on, Rachel, that’s enough.”
“Stop it!” she screamed.
He threw up his arms in apathy and went back to his soup. He intermittently flipped through his notes and watched television. He couldn’t focus on what he had written. The music continued to pound through the walls. She stretched out her arms and breathed deeply. She started to chant “Ohm”, much like a Buddhist monk.
The room grew darker as the Sun dropped behind the North Shore skyline.
He killed the television. He placed his notepad next to the pile of untouched, dusty books and walked over to her on the balls of his feet. The armpits of her shirt were soaked through with sweat.
“Do you want a glass of water?”
She nodded yes in reply. She had a sip from the glass he offered her and placed it on the floor. He sat next to her. He looked at them in the mirror. They could have been ghosts lost in some dank, murky tomb, long forgotten to the concerns of the modern world. She turned to face him. She stared at him for a long moment. She didn’t blink. He found it hard to not look away. She finally spoke.
“Do you want to be healed?”
He frowned. His voice was barely a murmur. “Ok.”
“Do this.”
She stretched out her arms and focused on her reflection.
He watched as she breathed deeply and traced a slow, arabesque pattern in the air with her slender hands. He attempted to follow her movements. She exhaled a slow “Ohm” and interweaved her fingers centimetres from her face. He tried to follow her movements but stopped as he became self-conscious.
“Wait, what are we doing?”
She broke into a smile and stroked his face. “I’m making it up.”
They looked at each other in the gloom.

 

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Extract from chapter 15. A strong woman/his name was not david.

I've either been lazy or busy. This is rough, but that's the idea, this blog is a dump. 

***


There was a shopping trolley on the pavement, abandoned, overturned, its wheels pointing to the sky. A blue jumper and black jacket, heavily stained, were crushed underneath the carriage. The street was well travelled and dirty and completely accepting of any injustice that had been, and was to be, dealt to it. He had walked by this trolley for several days in a row.
“Wait! I want to take a picture of you. A picture of you with the trolley.”
She obliged with his request and posed by the metal frame, with her foot planted on top of a wheel and her leg cocked. She stared into space, the empty coffee cup in one hand and her notepad in the other. He took a photo. She delicately balanced on the cart, straddling the frame, her leg stretched out, seemingly about to fall at any moment, and sipped her coffee, indifferent to her vertigo. He hadn’t expected her to pose and appear so confident. He finished with his photography experiment. Her face did not react.
“Did you notice how I puffed my cheeks out? I was trying to look like you.”

At the entrance to the laneway where he had met Linney the sausage dog, and, several days later, the blonde woman who had unsuccessfully propositioned him, there lay a pair of red high heel shoes. Rachel stopped and knelt by the shoes. The coffee cup dropped by her side. She picked up one of the heels and squeezed the toe and ankle in an obsessive grip. She ran her gaze down the length of the footwear. The shoes were not to her liking and she dropped them back onto the street. He watched and waited, several steps ahead of her. Her scarf was slipping again and she wrapped it through the hoops in her jeans, tying the two ends together in a big pink bow. She stood up and followed him, clutching her notepad.
Neither of them spoke. A thought hit her about conversations to be had and she frantically scribbled some more notes, continuing her ongoing, imaginary dialogue.
To their left, Woolloomooloo dropped away thirty feet and afforded a view of an enclosed, city playground.
She took notice as they walked past. Children swung in swings and slid down slides. Anonymous parents watched in their dotage. Faceless children’s voices floated over them. Rachel paid strict attention to the goings on. He watched what she looked at.
“They’re a liability!” she roared out venomously.
He ignored her. He was somewhat convinced she was putting on a show for him. She didn’t break pace and her gaze did not falter from the proceedings.
“They’re a LIABILITY!”
She unreservedly hated children, but was not exactly sure why.

At the back of the Woolloomooloo Waters, on the opposite side of the laneway, in an alcove that was a driveway, outside a roller door, drawn shut, and underneath the collected letter boxes adorned with apartment numbers, a batch of Yellow Pages Telephone directories had been delivered to the residents of the building. One set of the directories had been stacked twenty-four books high in the corner.
The books were covered in shrink-wrap. The plastic was buckled at the top and burnt pitch black at the bottom. The contents, baring close inspection, appeared to have been untouched by the flames, long since died out. 
The rest of the books were the aftermath of a makeshift fire pit. A few had survived and were mildly toasted. The rest were yellow and black and roasted to their spines with the odd page obscenely spread. Melted shrink-wrap, now dry, stuck to the paper and cardboard. Wind or an errant foot had kicked the ashes across the concrete driveway. 
Sean was struck by the tableaux. He had to take a picture. He framed several shots and fired away, stopping every so often to wipe the mobile’s display clean of sweat and squint at the screen through the dark of his sunglasses, trying to discern if any of the images were worthy of his time.
Rachel stood at the entrance to the driveway, crossed her arms and yawned loudly. 

“I can’t believe you live in a hotel.”
“Well, it’s not exactly cheap.”
“How much?”
He curled a lip.
“Is that why you’re moving back?”
“No.”
“How much is it?”
“It’s not good to talk about money amongst friends.”
“You can move in with me.”
He sighed melodramatically. She flicked the remains of her rollie into the gutter.

At his hotel, several stories up, he could see a group of men standing outside on a balcony. The men held bottles of VB and Corona and the occasional cigarette. Heavy music – digitally compressed, bland, ready for radio – blasted from within their apartment. They scanned the street below and nudged each other and nodded and smirked. Sean rolled his eyes and counted the steps to the foyer entrance. One of the men, he could have been a Maori, looked at Rachel and pointed.
“Pinky!” he called out.
She looked at her jeans and then her shoes. One of his friends joined in.
“Hey, Pinky!”
“Hey, up here!”
Sean slowly lifted his head. “Don’t fall.”
“Pinky!”
“Don’t fall!” Sean shouted louder. “It’d be a real crying shame if you fucking fell!”
He held her hand and the foyer doors slid open and the hotel sheltered them from the propositions of the men.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Chapter 12. Jam Doughnut.


And here's another, earlier chapter.

***

At 5 in the morning she rolled over and draped her leg against his stomach, startling him from his sleep. Never before had he been with a girl who had hit him so many times in the balls.
“I’m going to end up like Heath Ledger,” she sighed into his ear.
“What do you mean?”
He wasn’t really awake. 
“Have you seen the Black Curtain?” she whispered conspiratorially. There was urgency to her voice.
“What’s the black curtain?”
She squirmed and turned away.
“I AM going to end up like Heath Ledger!”
“No you’re not, don’t say that.”
He had woken up a little but still felt asleep.
“Have you ever seen the Black Curtain?”
“What’s the black curtain?”
“The Black Curtain is death!” she cried. “Have you… ever… seen the Black Curtain open?”
He thought about death. From the dark recesses of his memory he thought about when his Grandmother was dying from lung cancer. He paused for a long time.
“I think so.”
“Where have you seen it open?” her hands clung to his chest. “WHERE?”
He didn’t answer and wished for her to fall asleep or to change tack and talk about something else. He turned away from her and her body shifted closer to his.
“I think security cameras are watching me.”
“Of course they are,” he blurted out. “There’s at least one camera on every street. And a camera in front of every hotel and pub,” he added matter-of-fact.
“Oh,” she replied in surprise.
They lay in silence.
“I’m going to smash the next camera I see,” she said, completely earnest.

“Come on, get up. It’s 8.20.”
She stirred slowly. The sheets were stained with menstrual blood. He grimaced, as he thought about the security deposit on the apartment – excessive cleaning was a deduction on the bond.
“Can I borrow some underpants?”
“What?”
“I need underpants so I can wear pads.”
“Right.”
He looked through his collection of clean clothes.
“I don’t know if I have anything that would fit you.”
She yawned. He brought her a pair of dark blue, Bonds ‘action briefs.’
“Here, try these.”
“What day is it?” she mumbled.
“Thursday.”
She sat straight up in bed and rubbed her hands together in glee, grinning in excitement.
“I’m going shopping for jewellery!”
She pulled up the action briefs as high as possible, they hung loose around her hips, and then sat on the edge of the mattress, searching for her black, pipe cleaner jeans. She hooked a foot in its respective leg and, in one motion, jumped onto her feet as she pulled on the jeans. The jeans slid up and over thighs, and she bounced around the bed yanking on the fly to try and make the last inch. Sean remembered when he too once wore tight pants.
“Can I borrow your phone to ring a friend?”
“We have to go?”
“I’ll make it quick?”
He pointed at the mobile on the bedside table. She dialled a number from memory. He filled a water bottle in the kitchen sink.
“Hi Dylan! Are you doing anything today? Do you want to take me shopping? I’m going to get jewellery!”
Her voice was akin to fizzy bubbles, caught in the breeze and floating away in the air.
“I can meet you there. Um, eleven o’clock, I think! Bye Dylan.”
Sean checked the list. David he knew. Daniel was familiar. Dylan was a new name. Maybe they were all the same person? No, David and Daniel had different mobile numbers.
She rubbed her hands again.
“Can I borrow one hundred and twenty dollars?”
“Huh?”
She arched her eyebrows and flashed a smile, her eyes shining bright.
His face was a study in irritation.
“I need it for my heart medication.”
“Yeah right.”
“I have high blood pressure, I need my blood thinners.”
“I’m not going to give you money for your meds, that’s not my responsibility.”
She shrugged, indifferent. He agonised over whether to wear the Doc Martins or Ecco shoes. Rachel looked at his Nile ‘Annihilation of the Wicked’ t-shirt, hanging over the back of one of the chairs, as if noticing it for the first time. She pulled the shirt over her head. 
“Don’t wear my shirt.”
She stood in front of the wardrobe mirror, smiling at herself. She did not wear a bra and her breasts were small and pert underneath the fabric.
“I’m serious, don’t wear that shirt. I have no clothes as it is.”
“But I have nothing to wear.”
“What’s that?”
He pointed at her long sleeved, green shirt, with gecko print, rolled into a ball next to the couch.
She grudgingly swapped his shirt for her own. He held open the door.
“Are we ready?”

“Can we get something to eat?”
“Yep, but make it quick.”
Rachel picked a jam doughnut, an Up N Go, and an Apple Slurpy. Sean selected the largest can of Red Bull he had ever seen. As an afterthought she remembered the Maxi-pads. She nibbled on her doughnut as he looked for his wallet. The attendant asked him if he wanted gum and then told him the price. He handed over a twenty-dollar note.
The doughnut slipped from her grip and hit Sean’s shoe, rolling under the counter.
“My doughnut!”
Sean stared dumbly at the ankle of his trouser leg. Jam was everywhere.
“Can I get another?”
“No, I haven’t got enough money for it.”
“I want my doughnut.”
She reached under the counter and felt around on the floor. He grabbed a handful of serviettes and tried to wipe up the jam. A line of people waited impatiently behind them.
“I think I can see it!”
The attendant looked over Sean’s shoulder at the next customer. Sean looked at Rachel.
“Mate, that doughnut’s long gone. I have to go.”
“Mate,” she repeated the word in disgust.
“I’m late!”
She gave up fossicking for the sweet. He stopped outside the sliding doors and looked down at his foot again, pulling at his trouser leg to get a better angle of view. He had done a good enough effort cleaning the shoe, but his leg was sticky and red and the jam was not going anywhere.
“It’s not good, I have to get changed.”
He checked the time on his phone. She squeezed the last remaining dregs of Up n Go from its box and binned the drink.
“Can I have some change for the bus?”
He distractedly gave her the last of the money from the twenty. “Ok, I’ll see you later?”
“Yep, bye.”
She stuck out her lips and he kissed her. She turned away and slinked off down the street, sipping her Slurpy, walking slowly, in no hurry to get to where she was headed. He rushed across the street and back up to the apartment. He removed his shoes, changed into the cleanest pair of pants he could find, swapped over his accoutrements, double checked that he had everything he needed, put his shoes back on and ran downstairs. He was disappointed that she wasn’t on the street when exited the foyer and walked double time to Oxford Street, with fifteen minutes left before he ‘officially’ started work. He drew a blank as he thought about the name Dylan.



Extract from chapter 15. A strong woman/his name was not david.

So, hi again. I'm writing a book. Over the coming weeks and months, I'm hoping to post extracts from this book. Right now, the extracts are first and second and third drafts, if that. This is the most recent section that I have written. The story is about Rachel Neutron and Sean O'Dea. Regarding this small section, all you need to know for the purposes of context is that Rhonda is Rachel's mother. 


Please note, the following writing contains sexual content. Censor yourself accordingly. 

***


Rhonda had left Rachel a care package in the form of two green canvass bags filled with food and essential supplies, placed just inside the front door of her apartment. Rachel was taken aback when she entered the room and squatted down by the bags, next to her tiny bar fridge, and inspected the contents. She ignored the cans of tinned food, roll of kitchen paper, and tube of toothpaste. The packet of pizza bases she gave a dead look to as she made a farting sound with her mouth and threw the plastic bag over her shoulder.   There was a six-pack of Yakult and she cracked open one of the bottles and took a tiny sip.
He could see his grey business shirt in the corner of the room, on top of a large pile of crumbled clothes. From this he knew she had been home, after talking to Dave and before meeting him at the Gaslight Inn. How she had walked to her bed-sit and back again to Oxford Street in such a short time, he could not say. Across the floor were more clothes – he could spot the grey belt that he had bought her that came with the FCUK dress, now broken – ripped sheets of writing paper, a pink towel, her laptop, a Venetian blind from the window, a spilt vial of black paint, gooey and stuck to the ersatz wooden floor that was in fact linoleum, a half-empty can of Heinz baked beans and the “Hs & Hrs Sexxx Games” box of sex toys. The box was open. The cardboard was dusty and battered. The dildos and strap-on remained in their plastic tray, untouched. The cock pump looked faded and overused and grotty. He stood awkwardly in the room and made a slow scan along the walls. In her bookshelf there were several books. Selected spines read: “How to win friends and influence people” and, “The joy of the female orgasm”. Over the sink there was a wall-mounted cupboard and sitting on top was a small canvass. In dripping black paint, written over the fabric, it read:
“I might be a strong woman... but sometimes I'm weak for you.”
Next to the bed, on the floor, was another roll of kitchen paper. Sean looked at the roll and wondered whether that too was from Rhonda. Beside the roll were two shrivelled condoms, filled with dry yellow come.
Rachel plugged her mobile phone into its charger. She sighed and stepped over the collected mess and to her bed.
“Tell me what to wear?”
“What do you have?”
He dumbly looked at the mountain of clothes, too ignorant to know what she owned and not quite willing enough to dive in and search. He had the impression that she felt he was an authority on such matters.
She stripped off her clothes until she stood in her white, see-through, Calvin Klein French knickers. She lay in a foetal position on her single bed. The afternoon light shining in through the open window made her lustrous white skin look golden. Her nipples were pink and soft. The cars driving along on the highway outside made a roaring sound that floated into the room and pervaded their every thought. She stared at the wall. He sat on the edge of the bed, not willing to make physical contact with her.
“If I asked you to pick a word that described me, what would it be?”
“You want me to choose a word that describes you?”
“Yeah.”
“Kinetic.”
“Kinetic?”
“Yeah, you’re kinetic. It’s to do with energy and movement.”
They sat and lay there in the stillness of her room. The traffic noise roared unchecked through the balcony’s French window. It had been open when they arrived and he wondered if she ever closed it.
What about me?”
She stared at him and thought long and hard. “You remind me of… Rome.”
She hadn't expected him to ask her the same question back. She located her phone and made a call. Sean scratched his nose and affected his very best look of one trying not to listen.
“Hi Leena! How are you? Yeah, I’m still coming! What time are you going to be there?”
She looked at him. “Nine o’clock. Is that Ok?”
Sean shrugged and showed her his open palms.
“Ok, nine then. What should I wear? Oh, that’s good. I’ll see you tonight!”
It appeared as though Leena did exist and that they were going to a party this evening after all.
“What’s something you can trust?”
“What?”
“What’s a colour you can trust? That’s what I need to wear.”
He pretended to think. “I’m not too sure?”
“Green… green is a trustworthy colour.”
She rummaged around the rubbish and clothes and bags on the floor and found a magazine, long discontinued. On the front cover was a man dressed in a cream safari suit. A lush tropical rainforest was framed in backdrop behind him.
“Would you trust him?”
“I don’t know him.”
“No! Do you trust him, because of the green?”
“I cannot say.”
She groaned at him.
He untangled her long sleeved green shirt from the pile.
“You want to wear this?”
“Yeah!”
“Are you… sure?”
“What’s wrong with it?” she asked, the sound of hurt pride forming in her voice.
“Nothing! Just… don’t you want to wear something else?”
“Like what?” She groaned a second time.
“What about the dress I bought you?”
“You didn’t buy me that dress.”
“No, the dress we got at the Quay.”
“Oh yeah!”
She leapt off the bed and kicked aside the mountain of clothes, rummaging through a wild, assorted collection of vintage velvet jackets, designer t-shirts, non-descript singlets, items that surely were made for men, mismatched socks, belts and scarfs that belonged to clothes long lost, and the odd shoe, before finally finding her pink Elle MacPherson brassiere. The bra had loosened since she first bought it and was now a size too big for her. As she fitted the bra he disinterestedly viewed the clothes pile.
“Wow, what are these?”
A pair of hot pink Levis had caught his eye.
“I didn’t know they made jeans in this colour?”
The pants reminded him of when he was last in Perth.
“I was once walking in Fremantle with my friend. Fremantle is where I was living in Perth, it’s a city but more like a big suburb.”
She pulled on the straps of her brassiere.
“Anyway, I was walking around Fremantle with my friend, Natalie – ”
“Who’s Natalie?”
“Natalie. A friend of mine.”
She frowned at him. He ignored her.
“So, I had on a shirt that said Pig Destroyer.”
She turned back to the clothes.
“Nat has on these magenta jeans.”
He paused at the thought. He remembered how tight and skinny the jeans looked on her legs.
“And as we were walking, a random guy in the street stopped us and said to me: ‘I like your shirt!
He pointed at an imaginary version of himself. He pointed at an imaginary Natalie.
“Then he looked at her and went: ‘And I love your pants!
She blinked once.
“You should wear these!”
She re-entered the conversation as it now involved herself. “Really?”
“Yeah, they will go with your hair.”
“Really?”
“Yeah, really.”
“With the green shirt?”
“I don’t know about green and pink matching.”
He inspected the disturbed clothes mountain for something that would suit.
“What about this?”
She held up a black and white striped, long sleeve top.
“Yeah, that could work.”
He sat on the edge of the bed. She inspected the jeans suspiciously, stepped into each leg in turn and zipped up the fly. She pulled the top over her head.
“Is this cultured?”
He smiled. “You look like a raver! All you need now are some white sneakers.”
“Should I wear this? Or a dress?”
She wore the FCUK dress over her raver ensemble.
He gave her a proper appraisal, feeling more comfortable in his role as fashion advisor.
“The dress is good… but I like the raver look.”
“Is it cultured?”
“You wear that dress all the time. Why not try something different?”
She pulled savagely on the hem, irritated that she didn’t have a mirror. She tore open the butcher paper that contained the alpaca scarf and slung the scarf around her neck. The ends hung low down by her knees. She looked at him, searching for a response. He didn’t reply, deep in thought. 
She sighed and flopped back down on the bed, staring into the corners of the ceiling. She absent-mindedly removed the scarf.
He looked over his shoulder at the disturbed clothes mountain.
“I’m going to masturbate.”
“Ok then.”
“Is that ok? I never get to be home by myself.”
“Like you said, it’s your home.”
She stuck her right hand down the front of her jeans and started to rub furiously. They exchanged stares. She didn’t blink. She could feel her pussy getting wet. Perched on the corner of the bed, her tiny bed-sit felt like a cage to him. As she orgasmed she threw her head against her pillow and moaned loudly with her eyes squeezed shut. He idly considered if it was real or fake. He guessed the latter. He smirked at her. He located his mobile and switched open the lens. He pushed record.
“I’m going to film you!”
“Are you really shooting?”
“No.”
He framed the camera so that the image was of her head and body and hand down her pants.
“Go for it, come on.”
An inquisitive look came over her face. He smiled at her and waited for her to begin.
“I want to see your face though, I don’t want to see your hand.”
She looked at him and broke into a methodical rub. He narrated the film.
“This young lady has a terrible itch in her crotch. There is nothing sexual in this activity. Rest assured dear viewer! There is nothing sexual in this activity. This is a medical procedure.”
She grinned and laughed along with him. He didn’t smile. The task at hand took over her attention and she shut her eyes.
“Keep going, keep going.”
Her mouth formed into a soundless moan. She sleepily blinked her eyes.
“You done?”
She nodded, her hand at pause and still down her pants. “Yeah.”
“You sure? That was quicker than the last time.”
She grinned. He kept the camera pointed at her. She pulled a face, convinced that the red light meant that the mobile was filming video, and annoyed because she really wanted to wank.
“That was purely a medical technique…”
She raised her free arm so that her hand blocked the picture of her face. He moved the camera left, then right, her hand following his every move, him doing so as to turn it into a game.
“There was nothing sexual involved.”
She wrapped her arm around her head, hiding her face with the crook of her elbow. She started furiously rubbing inside the front of her jeans. Knowing that she couldn’t see, he held the camera over her hips and filmed her masturbation in close-up. He could hear the friction of her right hand as it rubbed against the denim, along with the sound of her bracelets rattling together. He filmed the open French door and framed her in a hidden, pink crotch, two-shot.  She suddenly dropped her arm and frowned at him, before hiding her face again.
“It’s off! I’m not filming. I’m just playing with it.”
She continued to wank. He admired her flat, white stomach, from what he could see of it as her dress rode up. She started to moan. Her left arm dropped and she felt for her left breast, finding and squeezing it hard. Her bracelets caught against the love hearts necklace. Her mouth dropped open. Her eyes squeezed tight. She sucked in several deep gasps as her hand came to a complete stop.
Rachel removed her hand from her jeans and looked at him, waiting to see his reaction.
“Like I said, dear viewer, that was purely a medical procedure.”
She frowned and broke out into a smile. She sat up and took off the dress as she coughed abruptly. She had forgotten about the long sleeved top she was wearing underneath and removed that too accidentally. He went silent as he stared at her in her pink jeans and pink bra. He didn’t want to stare and, against his better instincts, Sean returned his attention back to the condoms on the floor.
“Ok, are we going to go?”
She fiddled with the entangled dress and top, trying to decide which handbag would match what she was wearing.
Sean tried not to step on anything on the floor. She stood over the kitchen sink that was half-filled with stagnant water and dishes long since clean. She squeezed some toothpaste onto her toothbrush and slowly and surely brushed all of five front teeth, making sure not to brush more than four times for each. He looked out the window at nothing in particular. He was full of loathing for her box of a room. She opened up the cupboard under the sink. The two shelves were entirely devoted to packets upon packets of prescription drugs. She proceeded to gobble three anti-histamines, one after the other without delay. She considered the packet and popped two more pills. She knew this would place her in good stead for meeting Leena. She crouched on the floor and tied the laces on a pair of white sneakers.
“We should get coffee.”
“Don’t forget my grey shirt, you’re not keeping that.”
She wiped her mouth on a pink towel and reached for him, wanting him to help her up.

Monday, November 1, 2010

anonymous posts fixed

Anonymous posting has been enabled. Go wild. I'm not the IT support, I'm the writer.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Here's something that happened last evening.

What happened last night. First draft. Don't say I didn't warn you.

30/10/2010


Sean had always enjoyed walking, particularly in the evening. One could walk into Leederville, go down Oxford Street, and come back around Lake Monger, as the sun set over the water and the ducks and swans settled down to sleep along the shore. It was but a short distance from the lake, through the suburbs and back to his apartment.
He lived next to Herdsman Parade. Herdsman parade: busy street, cars come around the corner, fast, you don’t know they are there until just before they are. Maybe for a pedestrian you can anticipate the movement of the traffic, and skip over the road, between the cars. But if you’ve got a slower turning circle, the wait for a place can be torturous. In the mornings and around knock-off time, sections of the parade would become grid locked, such was the flow of vehicles.
He always forgot about the dog behind the fence. As it barked, he jumped and flashed eye daggers at the black poodle. He waited at the road.
At the Laundromat, in front of the apartment complex, three middle-aged Sri Lankans stood by their car and waited for their washing to dry.
At what must have been the driveway entrance to the apartment block he lived at, he could see a man crossing the road with a pram. The man was very fat, with a sizeable beer gut, and he pushed the perambulator at a slow pace. From down the driveway appeared a dog and it ran after the man. Sean watched with vague interest as he waited. The fat man made it to the medium strip and the dog chased after him. The dog was brown and fluffy and small, with a drooping hanging tail. A car turned the corner and bore down on the animal. The dog chose to outrun the car and the front bumper missed it by mere inches. The fat man looked over his shoulder as he pushed the pram onto the pavement with little strength. The dog bounced after him and ran along the front gardens, sniffing at the flowers and grass. Its tail was firmly between its legs. The man looked at the dog with some concern. Sean felt like asking the man if he looked after his baby as much as he did the dog. The Sri Lankans watched the proceeding as indifferent outsiders.

He was listening to music and he saw the woman in white before hearing her speak. She wore no shoes, had a green, poorly inked tattoo on her shoulder. She wore a boob tube and motioned to Sean with her hands, measuring something not more than two feet tall.
He smiled and removed his headphones and earnestly waited for her to speak. Her forehead was a picture of stress. Her speech was dull and clipped.
“Have you seen a little dog?”
“What colour?”
“Brown and white.”
Sean nodded. “I have actually! I just saw him.”
“Really?! Where!”
He stopped walking and pointed in the direction of Herdsman Parade.
“Where!”
“I’ll show you.”
The woman in white followed Sean at a hurry. They turned around the clothesline area, on the path that led back to the main street.
 “Is he more brown than white?”
“Yeah.”
“I thought he was with this man with a pram.”
“Wha – ”
“He was nearly hit by a car!”
“Oh my god!” she cried in a high shriek.
The woman in white ran in front of him. He saw the flower tattoo on her ankle and the faded bruises that ran up her naked legs. They had a direct line of sight to the road. He pointed.
“I saw him right over there… is that the dog?”
The fluffy brown dog was on the opposite side of the Parade.
“Oh there he is!” she said with relief.
“Wait. Don’t call out his name?”
The woman stopped and turned at Sean, confused. “What?”
“Cross the road and get him.”
“What?”
“He was nearly hit by a car. If you call out his name he’ll run to you and cross the road again.”
The woman in white dully regarded him. She didn’t seem to be quite with it.
She turned back to the road and screamed at the dog.
“Georgie!”

Sean didn’t know whether to call out “stop!” or “no!” or “don’t move!” The dog looked at her and ran, frantic. Time slowed down. It jumped over the curb and crossed the first lane. The medium strip was under its paws for only a moment but it could have been a lifetime. The next lane would have taken four or five steps for a person, maybe twice as many for a small, fluffy, brown and white dog, more brown than white, lost and scared and looking for its owner, and the apartment buildings on either side made a perfect frame for them to see the dog touch the curb with its front paw as the green car came into view, hit its brakes, skid and roll over the animal. The car, maybe it was the tires, made a loud pop and crunch and the dog screamed as the vehicle dragged it out of view.
Now it was the woman’s turn to scream.
“OH MY GOD!”
She sunk to her knees and screamed again.
Sean raised his hands to his head, his jaw slack, not knowing where to look or what to say or do.
“RYAN!”
Three or four neighbours from the other side of the street exited their houses and spilled onto the front lawns. They milled together and pointed at something that he could not see. Sean knew that he would next have to see the little, brown and red body. Or worse: a half-dead dog, squashed and crying and about to die.
“RYAN!”
From around the corner the dog ran into view, its tail firmly between its back legs. Sean stopped dead and pointed, lost for words, amazed, now confused. The woman turned at what he pointed at. The dog, whimpering and shaking and frantic, ran around them in a figure of eight. She meekly grabbed for it but the animal would not let her catch it. She looked up at Sean and he dumbly stared back at her. She found the words first.
“Can you help?”
“No, no, you should grab him.”
The dog ran around Sean, whimpering and crying the whole time. He reached down and touched its coat, trying to pat it in an attempt to calm the frightened animal. The dog eluded his grasp.
“Please, help me!”
He slowly walked after the dog – its bum couldn’t be any closer to the ground if it tried – and it switch-backed and ran around him, his fingers inches from grabbing its collar. The dog ran for the woman, still on her knees, and on the second pass she grabbed it around its back legs. It stopped running and she patted and stroked it. Its eyes were wide and wet, and it shook violently. There was no blood or marks on its body. The woman screamed for someone.
“RYAN!”
At the sound of her scream, the dog tried to bolt but she held it too tight for it to escape. In the distance a teenager walked toward Sean and the woman in white. She screamed again at the boy.
“RYAN!”
From inside one of the apartment complexes came a woman in an all-black summer dress. She wore no shoes.
“Are you ok? Do you want me to call someone?”
The woman shook her head.
“Do you want me to call someone, babe?”
“No, thank you,” her trembling voice replied.
“Are you sure?”
Sean answered her, his voice an attempt at calm.
“No, the dog seems to be ok.”
He looked toward the road.
“I’m more worried about the motorist now.”
He made his way to the sight of the accident. He didn’t want to see if the dog was really unmarked. The woman in black nervously scratched her face, a butterfly tattoo in the crook of her thumb and index finger, and looked at the woman in white, not sure what was going on.

Only three people remained on the front lawns. They were all shell-shocked. Sean walked slowly. As he came to Herdsman Parade he looked up and down the street. He couldn’t find the car in question anywhere. One of the neighbours walked back into their house. An Italian woman and an older Asian man – he reminded Sean of a film projectionist he once knew, who was born in Burma – remained. They stared at each other.
“A car just hit a dog! Where’s the car? Is the car ok?”
The Burmese man picked up a piece of plastic from off the bitumen. 
“This broke off, I think that’s what hit it.”
“Is that the bumper?”
“Yeah, it looks like the moulding. I think that’s what hit it.”
“Looks like it.”
Sean looked down the road but still couldn’t see the car. There were more pieces of plastic.
“What happened to the dog?” asked the woman.
“The dog’s ok. I told her… I told the owner where the dog was, and I told her not to shout his name, but she did, and the dog was hit by the car!”
The Burmese man laughed.
“But the dog looks fine.”
“Oh no,” disagreed the woman. “No, he won’t be.”
“Well, he just ran over to us, right after, and seemed alright?”
Sean and the Italian woman looked at each for a moment.
“What type of dog was it?”
“He looked like a cock spaniel crossed with something.”
“Oh!” She shut her eyes tight and looked away, as she thought about the dog being run over.
“He really seems to be ok.”
The Burmese man laughed again. Sean shrugged his shoulders in amazement. The man grinned and went back inside his house. The woman stood on the curb staring away into the distance. He waited for a lull in traffic and crossed the road.
In front of the Laundromat, the Sri Lankans watched Sean, their faces passive, and blank, trying to find some meaning in what had happened. He pulled on his headphones and whistled along as Warren Zevon told him about two outlaws named Frank and Jesse James.