Monday, August 22, 2005

Firelooker

So fuck you.

I was born here, no-one knew I was here, my father died here, it's older than me, I'm always looking in the rose embers and it's my book of memories too. She knelt by the fire, watching it catch and blacken the afternoon but without any feeling of a blaze. A terrible book.

- He's certainly put his back into it. Us, we wanted to move on - well, you have to. They're always sending him off abroad, too. Well, I hope they appreciate him.

Len was walking round the kitchen while he polished his shoes. As he passed the doorway she felt a searching shadow of mint bathrobe cut across her. The coalite snapped in the grate, a supper of fuses burning over meadows and canal-banks running with Colin with Darren with Sonia, head down with his phone pressed to his eye like Sherlock Holmes, hounding them down.

- The walled garden was amazing. Rambler heaven! Right back up together. If only Dad was alive. Does it all on his own, no-one to help.

They're burning stubble, you're running down the cinder track, buildings either side, black hoardings funnelling into plate-hands - oh, you have to get away! "Hello, Moto." The geese clatter, so slowly wheeling, like the point of a long-sword - great lightnings. So many leathery books.

- And the kids adore him.

If I could just stand on my own two feet, just me and them, it would be all right I know it would. If there was even one chance don't you know I would have taken it. God knows it isn't as if I haven't tried. Even you. Can't you fucking see we've tried everything.

She started to drop words into the air as if no-one was listening.

- There's something I need to say to you. I know that he's your brother, I know you'll always love him...

In the fire the curtains went up and up. It was always Scaenus Primus, nothing ever started. Dance of the seventeen cigarettes. She watched her hand between her knees picking the crumbs of wood and coalite out of the felt, picking and smoothing, moving along. The die is in the past.

Finally he came to a halt and came in. He fell into the sofa with a sigh, his bathrobe gaping; he looked at her absently while his hand clawed about for the newspaper. He'd written some of the numbers in already.

- ...but I don't like him videoing the children.

His head wobbled, not getting it.

- Who...?

Oh yes you do. Oh yes, you do get it.

His mouth was completely open. Train-wreck.

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