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Sunday, 12 February 2012





Marriage Proposals
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[Part 9]

Though he had been watching the bored and dour lift and fall of the woman, loitering there, her purse set on the newspaper stand and cigarette like an almond to and from her lips, he had been thinking that all he really needed to know was that the movie was not something he could lay eyes on, that was all, it needed to seem far away, feeble, needed to just seem some recluse shut in behind moulded windows who nobody wanted to go bothering with, either way, why would that make him feel better he didn’t bother to come up with, it just made the matter less intrusive.

He thought about all manner of things, the woman’s dress and then walking and glanced in a shop that sold all sorts of paper but any kind he wanted was too expensive or you had to talk to some preening little weirdo to get an order placed special for it, he remembered the feel of that box of pulp paper he had once stolen from a storeroom at some office building, wound up typing two plays on it and didn’t know what to do with the only twenty or something sheets were left, wound up they got lost at some point, this apartment to that, or else they were just under someplace for all he knew, mixed in with every other piece of rubbish imaginable.

He just wanted to see the box, the case, whatever, see it, know that it was just something that amounted to a stain from dribble to a shirt collar.

He was shivering and noted he could get more liquor, because that would have to happen eventually, all of this time wasted, and he walked afraid to turn around because of this lunch break or that going on all around him, felt like a wart every time he waited a crosswalk out, these humps in their work clothes all stepping in the street before the walk sign even lit because they knew the pattern of the traffic lights and he always waited, looking at boots, at skirts, at stockings, at shoes, cuffs and briefcases and slung bags and the tapping kick of one umbrella closed, plaid like the shade inside a lampshade the bulb dead, the strap pinching shut a pink looked like burnt paper still readable.

But somewhere outside of the entrance to a general building, rooms and rooms and rooms and rooms in sheets above him, smoking, looking across as the little Blockbuster Video he got nervous at the thought of approaching it, queasy, like some coward, he decided to finish off the taste left of the bourbon in the flask, to remind himself there was blood that drove his bones and that, either way, why should he be concerned with what some minimum wage nobody hasn’t ever done one thing amounting to anything thinks of him.

Strolled the shelves and pretended like he wanted something, mostly to wait for his feet to feel warmer, the cold of them balls of pins, soaked paper dried, sucked on and squeezed tight.

“I was wondering, I didn’t see it on the shelf, I might have been in the wrong section, do you have Driller Killer, a movie, it’s sort of old?”

The guy was a plump didn’t bother with tucking in his shirt, nametag dangling from a strap over the round of his neck smeared into his chest top, some sort of facial hair but amounting to it looked he had wiped his face with his hand dirtied by wet grass and then stifled a sneeze, rubbed his eyes and all of it.

“Drill what?”
Driller Killer.”

Some typing, he read the nametag and snorted when he saw the fiend was assistant store manager.

“Driller Killer?”
“Yeah. You might not have it, a lot of places don’t.”
“No, not in stock, it’s listed, but not in stock.”

A twist of bile rose to his throat bottom with a gurgle and he let a flat breath “Listed?”

“We have a general database, basically anything that exists is listed, so, the film exist, another store might have it, but Online is your best bet.”

And blah blah that he didn’t care that much, just popped in his head, and asked for ‘Jean De Florette’ just to have something to say, but it was too much to get the moron to spell it right, he said he would just check and where was the Foreign section.

He already knew that the movie existed and he reminded himself that he seemed to have to keep reminding himself of this all day long and that he should give it up for awhile, until he was not letting any insect in his thoughts get at his brains, that really he was still emptying rot from his lungs from last night, Driller Killer would work just fine and either way he still could see how it would be exceptional, the scenes clicking black to light, left to right, an overall feeling he wanted to evoke of like someone trying and trying and trying to fight off sleep but all they managed to do was blink harder, bite down their eyes, take longer to open them, see less, nothing but strings like old cracks in everything everywhere and light bled down dark on top of everything, such a lost lost feeling of being pointless and belittled, art and violence would do nothing for it, nothing would do anything for anything, art, violence, never mind, passion, nothing but eventual collapse, sleep or some unknown quantity.

This was clap clap clap like steady enthusiasm and so he bought himself a good tight bottle of bourbon about the size of his inside coat pocket made taut, some brand he didn’t know and it tasted like warm ash and melting clay, good, chocolate full of bit fingernails, it slid down into the throat.

He thought something about the clerk who’d sold it to him, the soft wear of her shirt didn’t seem artificial, the shift to her hair and how her face looked bent, beautiful, like it didn’t know it wasn’t looking up when it wasn’t, he thought she must haunt every man she ever touched until they disintegrated and that she wouldn’t care to know it if she did.



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