Tuesday, 31 May 2011
Thursday, 26 May 2011
"What have I done to deserve these?"
These in particular? A whole confection of sins for which I seek your absolution
"Mmm, these are good. I do love a good fondant"
Fond rather than fondant. Or fondle even. Melt me please. Melt my soft centre once again
"Umm, I love the way the two tastes and textures constantly swirl around the old tastebuds"
Like we used to do round one another
"No, don't tell me, let me work it out"
So you're prepared to work that out, but not the mystery ingredients in our marriage? You'll never guess it in a thousand years. Stake your life on it
"Okay, definitely something nutty there. Slightly bitter, would I be right in saying almonds?"
My almond eyes were one of the things you fell deeply in love with. You used to say you could stare into them forever, but I've twigged you were looking at the homunculus reflection of yourself
"And what's that subtle sweet undertaste? Vying hard not to be overwhelmed by the bitterness"
Not the taste of my skin that's for sure
"It's on the tip of my tongue. Peaches? Could that be it?"
My peachy complexion. Only darkening at cheeks, chin and nipples at your touch. When we made love
"Thanks love. These are divine. Are they Belgian?"
Yeah, I'm Lady Godiva and I am undressed for you
"Where did you buy them?"
The naive, the innocent, the unwary buy lies, but these choccies have taken in something equally toxic
"Another box of chocolates? I'll be piling on the calories!"
Your body has fully held its shape from our courtship days. Mine however, having produced our own soft centres with hard heads, has lost its chewy elasticity. I have become your vanilla wife. You have become saturated with me, yet I have not nearly had my fill of you
"No, thanks. I didn't mean to sound ungrateful. Just, what's the occasion?"
Whatever you select it to be. Three months since you last made me a cup of tea, having boiled the kettle for your own coffee. Nine months since you put the children to bed or read them a story. Fifteen months since you last filled my hollow centre with your nozzle. I've got as many anniversaries as it's going to take boxes of chocolates to make you come round to appreciating
"Are they the same as the last lot? They were so very moreish"
More, more, always wanting more. Whore, whore, whore, always wanting whore
"Yummy, thanks. Gotta be careful, last time I must have really pigged out cos I found some melted chocolate fused with my sock. Ruined it was, had to chuck the pair away"
Life's truffle hunter that you are, that would have been down to me. Need to be more careful with the darning needles then. After I've finished injecting my homemade fondant fancy inside, I have to ensure I've removed every last trace
"Wow, these have got a real bitter kick on them? Did you change the recipe?"
Last time you retired to bed and I watched you in your sleep. In the twilight, your skin had a pink tinge to it, like a salmon. But that was the extent of it. I realised you needed a bigger dose. I had originally considered using arsenic. I know it accretes in the hair and fingernails. It must also be excreted through the body's fluids. I did wonder if we chanced make love again, whether you would be reinjecting the arsenic back into me. So we could succumb together. A fanciful notion of course, since you'd never unpack that flesh drill of yours and bore deep into me. So I plumped for potassium cyanide. Did you know butterfly collectors use it to kill their prey in such a way so as to preserve their beauty? So the needle pinning them to the cork doesn't despoil them
"Ooh, I feel a bit light headed. Suddenly my breathing seems very... rapid?
Yes, my research reported that to be a symptom. But it's actually only the perception of your breath quickening. See the delight with this venom, is that it embodies a certain piquancy
"I'm chilled to the bone. I can't feel-"
The cold-blooded reptile. Again a mere sensation, but an apt one. Dentists are always saying too much chocolate is bad for your teeth. That's why they have to drill and fill. Just desserts.
It was for charity. A good cause. The best.
The award winning author had donated his renown to raise money and I had snaffled up the chance to be immortalised by him in print. Cost me a pretty penny, but everyone, including the charity was a winner right?
Though it had all been pretty tense in the auction. I tried to keep my powder dry, but my excitement had got the better of me and I'd declared my hand early. Turned into who could piss highest up the wall contest. All in the name of literature. And charity of course.
After the auction I met the great man himself. He was inordinately charming and witty as you'd expect, but I was a tad disappointed that he didn't seem to be taking me in head to foot with those intelligent dancing eyes of his. Sizing me up, getting a sense of my physical being for my character. But hey, he was the creative genius not me. I was just giving, lending him my name. He would do what he would with it.
But it was established that I would appear in a sex scene in his new novel. Nothing wrong with that at all. Way better than being a nameless stiff bumped off by a serial killer. A quick, disposable death does nothing for one's chances of immortality. Besides, we're talking about a man of letters here. He didn't write tawdry thrillers. He was an artist.
Then the great waiting period ensued. While the man composed his opus. I was dying to know how he was getting on, but I would have to wait for publication day like everyone else. No sneak previews. No proof copies. Idly I checked my e-mail daily, just to see if he'd contacted me wanting to raise a question of detail with me. But of course he never did. He was a professional and any plot or character lacuna, could be magicked away just through the prodigious power of his imagination.
Yet during the interminable hiatus my own imagination set to work. Of course I tried to picture all sorts of sexy scenarios the fictional me might be indulging in. But that threw up the occasional anxiety. What if it the sexual act was unutterably perverse? What would my work colleagues think? What would my mother think? I would be in for some merciless teasing. By my work mates that is, not my mother, she would just be appalled. Yet it was likely to be entirely manageable, after all it was just fiction and I would still be a character in an award winning writer's work and they wouldn't.
Worse perhaps would be if my character suffered from performance anxiety on the printed page. That would entail a more unflagging ribbing and might be harder to salvage any prestige. But the illustrious writer wouldn't do that to me surely? I had given the money to a good cause, a cause we both shared in and one neither of us would want to sully. There could be no doubting of anyone's motives.
My life and my reputation in his hands. I had ceded them so recklessly.
So my unbounded imagination continued to run wild. What if he was struggling with the pressure of his deadline? I was a contractual obligation, or a moral one anyway. Yet what if this book too was a contractual obligation with a publisher he was desperate to escape from? That he would just deliver up the most cursory of novels, then fly the coop and disown it as his parting shot? Consigning me to obscurity and a treatment within his pages that was little superior to a tabloid newspaper's salacious kiss and tell. The ones when you examined them, actually said nothing at all and only insinuated lewd acts because they were careful to avoid being sued for libel. I had to pull myself together. I had to banish all the nightmarish scenarios and trust to his professionalism.
Time to reassert the glorying in the scenarios I might actually be playing a part in. The sexy scenarios. I wondered about my female partner. Not to put too fine a point on it, I fantasised about her. Then I worried about the practicalities of doing just that. Here were my fantasies, only they were being conjured by somebody else's imagination. That made them more akin to his turn ons not mine. His fantasies involving me. I felt dirty. I tried to reason that there was nothing but dispassionate exercising of craft involved on his part.
Then I became troubled by the notion of paying for the privilege and pleasure of such fantasising. How close was that to an unorthodox (to say the least) form of prostitution? Without even a real flesh and blood body for my pains. Had I just paid a Charity to commission some personal pornography for me? I was beginning to regret the whole endeavour however nobly intended.
But then the day arrived. Notification of the publication date on the publisher's website. All my original enthusiasms were rekindled at a stroke. I scrutinised the thumbnail of the book's cover for a clue, but of course there was no reason to expect that it gave any indication as to my depiction within the pages (page? maybe I would be only granted a single paragraph). Expectation built.
At least the critical noises coming out about the book dispelled my crazy notions of contract filler and the like. The writing appeared up to his usual splendiferous standards.
Except in one respect. The annual Bad Sex in Literature awards had nominated the book for its lone sex scene. I couldn't understand it. I went out and bought his previous novel. Read it cover to cover. It was true. As good a writer as he was of the human condition, he couldn't write about sex for shit.
He could survive it by being a great artist. Me, I'm a laughing stock.
All in a good cause.
Etymology from www.dictionary.com
1125–75; Middle English charite < Old French < Latin cāritāt- (stem of cāritās ),
Saturday, 21 May 2011
Thursday, 19 May 2011
Saturday, 14 May 2011
Friday, 13 May 2011
The credit card statement had been folded inside its envelope in such a way as his name and the opening part of each line of his address, including the house number, had been sliced off. They nestled behind the manilla frame cradling the transparent window. Hats off to the postman, or woman, for ensuring delivery. He or she didn't seem to have torn back the manilla in order to unshutter the full window. But he himself did so just then, so as to reveal his full name and address and ensure all was in order. It was indeed his bill.
He removed the statement and could see that it had been folded out of kilter. The edges of the pages didn't sit flush with one another, but formed small terraced strata. He idly wondered whether a machine or a human being was responsible for the folding and enveloping. He looked at the total due for the month, (paid automatically by direct debit so as to avoid incurring interest). That's odd he thought to himself.
For the total was about three times his normal monthly spend. He unfolded the statement and smoothed it flat with his hand. His eye alighted to scan the spending summary. He looked at the amounts and totted them up in his head. The arithmetic was correct. Each category, Entertainment, Household, Food And Drink, Hotels, Motoring, Other Retailers and Cash Advances, were above his carefully budgeted amounts. He never usually had anything but a zero in Hotels and for Motoring, He didn't own a car, nor did he travel anywhere. His carbon footprint was very small, though not from any ideological commitment. He had a sinking feeling. He had been cloned. Stolen. Thieved from. Defrauded.
He marched over to his jacket hanging on the peg on the back of the front door. He fumbled for his wallet from the inside pocket, but the credit card was comfortably nestled there. So the card itself hadn't been stolen, but seemingly his identity had been. He returned to the statement to peruse the detail of the individual transaction lines themselves.
The earliest listed items were recognisably his. His mobile phone account. His weekly trip to the supermarket of a Saturday. His monthly train season ticket. The £2 donation he made to sponsor an animal in the zoo, whose photo lovingly adorned a frame on his bedside table. The renewal of his annual membership to the Ramblers Association, even though he hadn't been on a country walk for some considerable time.
But then from here it all went a bit skew whiff. The first alien entry was for a restaurant and not a cheap one either, unless it was for a medium sized party of diners. He went over to his desk and looked up the restaurant on the internet. It was a seafood restaurant and he never touched seafood. He didn't trust its hygiene, coming from the polluted sea and a seabed rippling with bacteria. And yes, calling up a sample menu he could see that this was indeed a most expensive eaterie.
Though it was hard to be certain, one thing was for sure, it wasn't a single person dining out on their own. But he himself could never imagine sitting alone in a restaurant, which is why the category for dining was always followed by a zero. But not today. He gauged that the meal must have been for two people. He tried to conceive who the two could have been. The most likely was a lothario trying to impress a woman. But could he be so self-possessed as to do this with a forged credit card? He wondered if they'd had oysters.
The next item was petrol. Since the Motoring total had been quite high, he skipped down the list and found several other petrol entries. This man, or woman - no he felt that it was almost certainly a man - evidently drove a lot. He did wonder if the car was for business trips, which might then amend his supposition about the expensive meal. Maybe that was a business entertaining (which was taxable). Dipping into a finger bowl to clean off the shellfish flesh, prior to shaking hands on a deal.
He returned to the petrol stops. Each in a different location. He wrote down the names of the towns and began to plot them on a map he had of the whole country on the wall of his study. Never the same location twice. Perhaps he was a travelling salesman. He was intrigued to know whether the man would double back on any of these places within the next month. What was he saying? He had to nip this in the bud now.
Another item on the list caught his eye. Some establishment called "The Flagstaff", which after a quick mental calculation rated under Other Retailer. This category had been particularly inflated, so he returned to the internet and discovered it was a pole dancing establishment. Whatever one of those was. He delved further and became acquainted with the nature of such a venue. Ah, that explained the cash withdrawal on the same night then. The location of the enterprise also matched to one of the garage towns. As did other garage towns to "Club Wraparound" and "Perpendicular" and "Wet Gravity".
He really should... He looked at the stated credit limit. The total of the bill was two-thirds of the way to the maximum, but he figured that was not too bad a value. Not for the purchasing of vicarious pleasures. the chance to let his own imagination run amok. Maybe tomorrow he would contact the credit card company and ask them to lower the limit to what he was prepared to invest in his new proxy identity. And he would buy some pins for his wall map to keep track of his progress.
He was rather taken with his new self.
Many thanks to ian firth @mashie1964 for info on credit card summary categories
Thursday, 5 May 2011
Tuesday, 3 May 2011
"So you are either with them or you are against them. Thus states the primordial credo of the thick-set men with non-surgical scars. Handed down to us priestesses with porcelain skin and fine features, to tend the everlasting flame. Dimly aware that our Prometheus had nicked and then ring-fenced it with us human shields in the first place. But Jesus, we weren’t vestal virgins, we knew why we had been chosen. I mean they weren’t going to fuck women with hips as wide as those of their mothers now were they? No, and for our part we knew that our temple was erected upon the gains of pillage, tythe, tribute and forfeiture. Tipped to the wink by the sudden swelling of numbers in our houses, of men slightly too large for their clothes. The tumescence of their cars parked in the drive. The phone ringing off the hook. All that would clue us in. But we were shrouded from the ways of their world once they left our midst. Aware of where the riches were emanating, but not the details. Whose spoils became our bejewelling. We perceived what our high priests of crime did for a living, yet we couldn’t pen a job description".
From " A,B&E"