Monday, 3 August 2015

Some other room

“We've been getting our revenge on the poor, bleeding the bastards and telling them lies. The truth is they'll believe anything, they'll take any shit, we just pile it on. You see politics isn't about systems or fairness or listening. It's about ruling and ruling your way. We're strong because we choose to be, we are relentless, we hear their voices but we block them out. Their words, ideas, hopes, ambitions (even if they had them) don't matter to us. They are fuel and fodder. They work, they provide, they get in the way and we oblige them a little and we control. We hold, we fold, we rip and tear and ultimately we prevail. It's as old as time, power is ours and no matter how you dress it up in media niceties and the illusions of  political righteousness, all power, exercised and run out is tyranny. Of course that's just an opinion I happen to hold and you'll not find it in any paper that I sign, no sir”.

“So I was sitting in my office, sipping port after lunch, listening to Django Reinhardt and thumbing through an art catalogue. I was looking for some pieces for the surgery and I looked up and for I moment stopped and just reflected on the room, my place in it, my surroundings, the view from the window, the warmth and the music and the good way I felt right then, right inside myself.  I'd experienced some success and now it was about two thirty on a Thursday afternoon. Tomorrow I was seeing some friends and at the weekend I was planning to head into the country, we have a place. I thought on these things, what I'd do, what I'd say, perhaps I'd write something, perhaps I'd get drunk. I'd see my wife, we'd sleep together and talk about the children and family business, I'd drive around the grounds for a white, maybe shoot something. It would be a weekend like the hundreds before and slowly it would be eclipsed by the up and coming week, returning to the city, some work, play and all the other things. This room, I'd be here, port, music, coffee, visitors, clients and the great and the good...the weekend would fly from me and I'd return to this pleasant but relentless treadmill.”

“Of course I'm one of the elite, I'm not a small person or a middle person. I'm independent and largely aloof. When I look down onto the street and watch those crowds and observe the traffic patterns I'm aware of my disconnection. They, that is nothing to me unless and in some abstract way they are a form of income for me or a way that I can exercise some change by my top-down influence. I like to keep the window closed. My fellow humans offer little in the way of comfort, not them. OK there sex and narcotics, food and alcohol and all the titillation that sleaze and commonality might provide. Occasionally I'll dip in but to be honest my appetites are less fierce less edgy. My peers often confuse and sicken me with their base behaviours, their lack of control you might say. I'll have none of that, I know my limits. Weekends are where I reach them. Here in the city it's meaningless. Their problem is they've allowed themselves to be overcome and ruled by boredom. That fetish that says that time must be filled by something, that state that requires sustaining and pushing forward and it's an endless and futile treadmill. I have tried it and I have been burned. Now I maintain a safe distance in every sense. Of course I talk and laugh, we share pleasantries and I hold firm with my veneer of approval. It's what they need poor darlings. Not for me though, here in my head in the afternoon, with my port and music and comfort and so close to an election for fuck sake.”

“Well I must have dozed off, my reading lamp was very hot when I woke and outside the light was fading. Quite a pleasant time really and I was glad not to have been disturbed by any of nonesuch or tittle-tattle. But I was a little stiff, cranky even, my mechanicals slowly wearing out. I finished the port and allowed the warmth to grip me, make me a little dizzy like a first cigarette, just holding the edge and staying upright. I liked this feeling. I looked at the note on my desk “don't bother to call” it said. I grinned and reminded myself, that was what she always said. “Leave me alone and I'll see you later...maybe much later.” That's what thirty odd years of marriage and money does. She does other things and we meet up on those weekends and crumple together like old dogs or pigs or farmyard beasts and then we go our separate ways in expensive vehicles with dark windows. It's a life I suppose and we're free from scandal at the moment, in that tense place as blank and unblinking as a hurricane’s eye.”

“I reached down and put my hand into the black leather holdall on the floor. A nice, deep and dark stylish bag it was, it had been a birthday present but I couldn't recall the year. There in the side pocket and wrapped in a white cloth was the automatic pistol. I'd been carrying it around for a while, diligently avoiding security devices and unwanted encounters. Having it there close by did give a feeling of power, or empowerment. If someone I disliked came in here I could just shoot the bastard, in the foot perhaps and claim that it had been a terrible accident. I could see the headlines now. Somebody really offensive? Well I'd just take them out, straight between the eyes, down they'd go and there would be a bloody mess on the carpet and a bloody enquiry. I laughed. I knew who deserved it too, I had my little list saved up for rainy days. Anyway I held the pistol and checked the magazine; seven rounds thank you very much. I wondered what I'd do if one had been missing. The gun had contained those seven bullets for some time. Perhaps it wouldn't work. Perhaps these bullets have a shelf life or a defect?”

“About then I moved on from port to whisky, I was walking around the room and I was aware that whoever had been in the outer office would be gone by now and that security by the door were probably and most likely otherwise occupied. Nobody else would appear now. I liked that feeling. I put the gun in my inside pocket and poured three fingers of the golden malt into my favourite glass. I returned to the chair and slowly sipped. Each mouthful was a warm and burning pleasure. Albeit I could never quite picture the peat bogs, waterfalls and endless wind swished fields that the advertisers and promotors spoke about. All those blasted heaths and moss covered stones, the air and birds flying endlessly, more bloody time passing in some irritating way as fastidious experts wait on their whisky being born. Christ. My imagination was no good for that sort of thing. I focused on the hit and the blurry fog that came across my senses like weak heroin about to register and so numb the soul in all it's precious and broken places.”

“I has experimented with vegetarianism once, like sex with a condom I thought, lacking some final psychological pleasure and ultimately a let down. I'd never put those two illustrations together and I wasn't sure they worked. My vegetarian episode didn't, I stuck at it for a few weeks, maybe some girl friend was behind. I broke my fast with a rare steak, a fried egg, mustard and red wine I recalled. She left me shortly afterwards but I didn't care. That was all a long time ago and misfiled in my bank of misfiled memories. Sometimes I didn't know what to think. Tell that to anyone else, any younger person and they'll think you're quite mad. How can you not know what to think? Well you can when you get to be me but of course that won't happen to you within this somewhat psychically limited universe we're currently plodding through. More whisky. In my head I was starting to dribble, dribble those cracked and dangerous thoughts you get when you don't know what to think. Like a wave of replacement relatives for all the sensible ones now lost. A wave of crazy ideas and de-constructional notions that lead nowhere other than to a drop. A cliff edge, a ledge and numb nirvana.”

“If I was typing this as a document I should be saving it by now. Checking the spelling and grammar and polishing it. I hate those devices. God. People staring into little black envelopes or circuitry and plastic where their thoughts and wobbly photographs are held. Transmitting all the power of their  conscious mind into a black hole of hopeless and drone like banality and sending it across the word accompanied by a hash tag. What happened to ordinary telephones that rang in the room that you happened to be in instead of in your pocket when you're taking a crap? I pulled out the gun and put down the whisky. My fingers bent around the trigger. I felt strong and so did the gun. It was as if we were testing each other but neither of us spoke up of acknowledged the battle if there was one. There was a flash and a bang that seemed to happen right there, deep inside my head. No pain to speak of just a lurching sense of pure embarrassment, beads of sweat somewhere. Christ almighty, what have I done now?”

“ I woke up in a room, bright with light. Warm and buzzing. Like being inside a hive. I quickly decided that I was dead and you know there was no need to panic. I was sitting on a couch looking all around at blank walls and my ordinary clothes were still on me, no blood, no shock, no mess.  The place seemed very clean. There it is; death. One minute you're in one room, split seconds later you're in another, but don't take my word for it.”

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