She had a tattoo of a violet on her bicep. I’m not entirely sure about this, because she lived in one of the terrace houses on Violet Street. I’m probably making up this detail courtesy of the fact.
For some reason I’m imagining that her name was also Violet, but it could have been Victoria, or more likely, Candice or Candy.
I’m positive the tattoo was a flower. I met her outside the Hyde Park Hotel.
I was at the Hyde Park with Evan. Bec, his girlfriend, was working at the Moon cafe, so Evan was at a loose end. I could play pool and he couldn’t play pool, and he wanted me to teach him how to play pool. So we were playing pool. A game cost forty cents. It was a cheap night out.
Evan shared a story with me. Perhaps he did so earlier that evening, or perhaps in another time when we were together. In his story, Evan and Bec have a big night out at the Amplifier bar. He finds fifty dollars on the ground and proceeds to make himself falling down drunk. He can't find Bec. He rings Bec to see where she has gone. She is having sex with some other guy. Her words to him: “I’m being a prostitute!” She doesn't turn up at their house until three days after.
I asked him then, or when he told me this, when that had happened.
“Two weeks ago.”
“That’s horrible!” I said, while my thoughts returned to us making out.
So at the Hyde Park, whilst we played pool, Evan discovered that the other guy was in the Hotel’s back room with us, amongst the patrons and pool tables. It was an unusual coincidence.
The other guy was with a friend. They asked us if we wished to engage in a game of doubles. No recognition sparked in their eyes. We agreed to the game.
Evan was a very bad player. But I had to make him feel better. I wasn’t letting no girlfriend fucker get the better of my dear Evan. I played the meanest game I could. I shucked and jived and snookered and rope-a-doped. This is no easy thing to do in doubles pool. I was in Evan’s ear constantly and coached him incessantly and when I felt it I played for audacious doubles and triples and went for the improbable run-out. Evan potted a couple of balls too. Through our combined efforts we beat the other guy and his friend by five balls. I told Evan, that the next time this guy tries to fuck Bec, he will remember losing to you, the boyfriend, and his dick will be rendered flaccid instantly.
We finally went outside. Evan’s friend Brad was there. Brad was talking to a woman with a violet tattoo on her bicep. They were negotiating going back to her house for a drink. She only lived two streets away. Evan and I said hello. They continued negotiating. I said I wouldn’t mind a drink. Evan was ambivalent.
So we walked with her back to her house. Brad didn’t come with us. Violet was very drunk. She couldn’t get over the fact that, wow, she was taking two gorgeous boys back home with her. Evan was rolling his eyes at me, or maybe I getting that feeling from the overall vibe.
At the house Violet made us some tea. The radio was playing through the speakers of her home entertainment system. We sat out back, at the kitchen table. She had three little dogs and they were running around, barking, standing on their back legs, and trying to jump on my lap. I kept pushing them away, “What’s the deal with these fuckers?”
Violet told us that we had to subscribe to the station because the station was running a Radiothon. I told her that I thought RTR started its pledge drive next week. But no, it’s Sunshine FM on the radio.
“They’re doing their Radiothon this week. You should subscribe.”
“They’re a Christian radio, right?” inquired super-sleuth Evan.
“Yeah – you should subscribe.”
The sound quality of the TV speakers wasn’t great. Sunshine FM was ringing static. The kettle had boiled and she poured the water. There was no milk and the tea was pretty hot.
Her phone rang. Violet didn’t answer. Violet called the phone a fuckwit.
“I hate him! He’s a fuckwit. He’s called me five times tonight.”
It’s her ex-. Isn’t it always? The topic of conversation took a change.
“Have you heard of the saying ‘playing games’? That’s what that fuckwit does.”
We assured her that we were familiar. The dogs had calmed down and disappeared to wherever they went.
“Where did you meet him?” asked the ever-inquisitive Evan.
“I met him at the Hyde Park – just like how I met you!”
“You didn’t meet us at the hotel. That was Brad.”
There was a moment where she stood there, doing nothing. I’m thinking that she was swaying.
“I hate him. He’s a fuckwit! He’s called me five times tonight.”
On cue, there was a knock at the screen-door. The dogs reappeared and ran around the kitchen, jumping on my lap. I didn't shoo them. Evan and myself were silent.
“Who’s that?” Violet asked no one. She staggered to the door. The dogs scampered after her.
I heard talking but I couldn’t make out what was being said. Evan walked around the kitchen and looked out the window into the backyard. I blew in my cup and wished he would make a little less noise.
Violet came back into the kitchen to inform us, "Here's here. I hate him. What a fuckwit!" before disappearing out front again.
Evan sat down at the dining table and we exchanged a thoughtful glance.
More sounds came from the front door but it certainly wasn't people talking. I was very still. A few minutes passed and Violet returned and asked us where the fuckwit had gone. We didn't understand and asked her to repeat the question.
"Where has he gone? I can't find him. I've looked everywhere. He went into my bedroom and has disappeared. What a fuckwit!"
She stopped her rant, lament, confusion in general, and waited for us to talk. She continued when we didn't.
"Have you heard the saying playing games? That's what that fuckwit does."
She slowly turned and looked through the hallway into the front of the house.
As she did so I told her, I told her it wasn't possible for him to disappear like that, maybe he knocked and left. She wasn't convinced and thought out loud.
"No, no, if he left, the door wouldn't be locked. Oh no! He's got a key!?"
She staggered down the hallway. Evan illuminated that he saw a dark shape walk into one of the rooms, as he had a view of the front door.
Violet was only gone a moment.
"I found him! He's sleeping behind the bed! That fuckwit."
Evan and I were skulling our respective cups of tea. Evan asked the question that none of us wanted to hear:
“Is he violent?”
“Yeah, he is, but I can deal with his violence.”
She exited the room. I was going to be bashed now, all because I wanted to soothe my thirst with a cup of camomile tea. I fumbled for my phone and held it at arm's length. I pretended to read.
"Evan!" I shouted. "Bec! Bec sent me a SMS. She's waiting for us outside the Hyde Park."
Violet leant against the arch of the hallway.
"Oh, you guys had better go."
At the screen door we made our goodbyes. Violet told us it was, "Nice, meeting you." We said yep, yuh, yuh. I craned my neck to look into her bedroom but I didn’t try very hard. I thought I could see someone's arm. And then we were out in the street. The door shut and was locked from the inside.
After a few steps, we started to run. We ran faster and faster, seeing who was the quickest, who could run the furthest, and we didn't look where we were going and laughed and laughed and laughed.
And now, when I'm on the bus, and the route goes by the row of terrace houses on Violet Street, I think about that.