Author Topic: pick up  (Read 832 times)

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pick up
« on: Dec 30, 2015, 10:22:11 PM »
He bought himself a home gym
A bike
Charities benefitted from his generosity
His desperate attempts to fix himself

      He bought music, books
   He bought
      He bought
            Many things that once gave him something

                                 It was hard
                                    to tell
what that something was now
   as he was by

Whatever it was, he would not know, for he neither listened to the CDs nor the music he downloaded, nor did he read the many award winning novels, crossing genres, that he had picked up


He went for a walk one day
                           a ten minute walk
It felt like there were nails in his shoes
                  He could not enjoy the sights, the        sounds   sounds sounds                                sounds

It felt like there was fog in his eyes

               It exhausted him
         He fell into bed and drew the duvet over his head

Offline outoforder

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Re: pick up
« Reply #1 on: Jan 12, 2016, 10:05:38 PM »
He was an angry-smack his head off the wall kind of boy. He had many reasons to be angry though he never thought too deeply on his own anger. Paul merely believed the world was an almighty, quaking fuck-up. Sometimes, he wished the earth beneath him would just crack open and swallow every trace of humanity down with him. He was confused too. Angry at the world for its pathetic intolerance, he was also angry at himself for being gay, though he would have been loath to admit this, on the rare occasion that he recognised this.
   His anger was for the most part turned inward, and he was in fact a lovely sort of boy. He had wit, a unique style of dress and manner. Brendan, much as he adored the boy, did not understand him he felt. It was much harder to watch the person he had such immense feelings for being spat upon or derided for something as innate as sexuality, than it would be to be the spat upon. Brendan was a skinny boy and bluntly, liked girls stuff. He could spend hours with his girlfriends, shopping, planning nights out. Paul had no choice but to take a tough stance with the detractors, however Brendan may disapprove of his bloodied and raw knuckles.
   Brendan was beginning to grate upon his nerves though. Paul could accept his help in dealing with society’s disapproval and attack, for he reciprocated the help, but with words, however, he was starting to take the place of his absentee father, ‘Lay off the drugs, man.’ Who did he think he was suggesting that he didn’t shower frequently enough?
   He was looking forward to the rave. There was nothing quite like that buzz; senses overload. He would of course, score the drugs for the others, except Hilary, who always refused. A sick part of him wanted to see her stoned, but he justified this sickness with the rationalisation that he wished to see everybody stoned. The world would be a much better place if everyone were to pop a few Es and lay off on the drama of dispute, hate and war. Love, Peace, Unity, Respect. Amen.

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Re: pick up
« Reply #2 on: Jan 14, 2016, 10:45:43 PM »
He felt as though his arms were wings; he danced with them outstretched; if there were a breeze, he might just lift off. The world was bright; Paul loved everybody and everybody loved him. His eyes were in the sky. It was a perfect sky, surreal barely there wisps of white cloud, black birds in the distance that were most certainly the common crow, but today they held magic, flights of fancy, a distant dream, drifting on a breeze to patterns only they understood. The brightness of the day lifted his mood; he was riding on a sunbeam, sound waves chasing his thoughts. He glanced up onto the stage and caught Larry’s eye. Larry beckoned him to the decks.
   Paul didn’t know what to do with this technology; which buttons to push or press. His bedroom could never have prepared him for this.
   ‘Don’t worry about it,’ shouted Larry in his ear. ‘Just ride it boy; I got a sequence running.’
   Paul glanced out into the crowd. Seven p.m. and the field was filled with young ravers. Before the night was out there would be no room to dance without knocking bodies.
   He decided to do just what he did in his bedroom. Pumping his legs, one hand outstretched, he placed his other hand next to the controls as though he was indeed in control of the racing mix that Larry had put together. He threw his hands in the air at a crescendo and jumped to another part of the decks where again he pretend-turned the controls. The crowd was really thumping to this sequence. Their focus was him. Their hands were in the air in praise of him. He determined there and then to invest in some decks. The next rave, he would not have them worship at a false God; they would worship at him, The God of all DJs.
   He gazed into the crowd; they mirrored his movements. He swayed left, then right, hands to heaven; the crowd swung left, then right, hands to heaven. Larry must have already come a hundred times in his pants, he thought. He laughed, hugged Larry and left the stage; the music was his; he was the true God of this rave, here in Shanrath, this evening and this night.   
   He’d forgotten about Brendan.
   He noted a smirk on a face.
   Too many eyes were averted.

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Re: pick up
« Reply #3 on: Jan 19, 2016, 06:28:06 PM »
Once we sang together.
Summer rain: In the woods beyond the hills. The memory was sharp now.
   The trees were heavy with leaf and growth, becoming laden with incessant drops of rain, the size of a clown’s fake tears.  The air itself was laden, streams of drops. Everything seemed greener.  Everything seemed earthward.  It sounded like orchestral trance, rushing through the filter of crown, melodic in the air, hitting of branch and leaf, plodding against the earth.
   In t-shirts and shorts, we were wet through. Paul shone, his skin a gleam and his hair shining and slapped to his head. Thunder rattled the atmosphere, lightning struck to ground like pulsar beams.
   I think it was in the hush before the storm that we sang. That hush, anticipation, where the air becomes still, the birds cease to sing, no scurrying animal in bush or fern. I don’t think that’s my imagination. Or was it in the release, when the rain had ceased and the birds reappeared in the drenched landscape. We were wet through. I remember that. Water dripped down our faces as we sang.
   At first, we made noises, animal calls. Then we tried some operatic duets, both going for soprano. Then somehow, we settled on ‘Perfect Day’ and actually sang, relaxing on the rock on which we sat.
   That was a perfect day.
   We were so young. God, we were young. The summer stretched ahead of us, holidays from school. We thought it would never end. We’d helped the farmer earlier in the day, loading hay stacks onto lorries. I had marks on my hands from where the ropes about the rectangular stacks dug into my skin. The farmer brought us to the farm and gave us lunch followed by ice-cream and a fiver each. It was his eccentric brother that owned the other half of the farm who we in later years became involved with either harassing or being harassed by (he didn’t like us on his land; we threw stones at his house).
   Paul bought cream for my hands out of his fiver and massaged it into my skin that evening. We lay on the grass in the park and listened to music off a CD stereo.  It was seventies music (Paul’s favourite) even though neither of us could particularly recall such a decade, but for odd instances. I recall a green Frisbee and one of them plastic half hats to keep the sun off my face, yellow. Paul recalled a garden with grass and butterflies (his parents had rented privately before they got the flat).

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Re: She Wasn't Even My Type
« Reply #4 on: Feb 11, 2016, 10:05:41 PM »
She wasn't even my type

A character I met flitting though an ordinary day put me in mind of a song. Not a complimentary song. Drowning in her own glory, she challenged me without provocation. She didn’t glance me up and down, more like bold analysis. I say analysis because it was hard to know what her intent was, the direct foot to head and back again.  Don’t fuck with me, maybe.
   I wasn’t fucking anybody at the time nor was I exactly aglow. Any edge had dissipated into drudgery. I let it go.
   I kept going back for more. She served me my coffee with a glare. The most unfriendly waitress I had ever noticed. With her figure hugging blouses and daring legs. I must have glanced her up and down, at some point.
   The music was woeful, depressing early Coldplay and the like. The other customers were very quiet, fiddling on laptops and reading books. I never liked libraries. This place had the aura of such a place, a fussy kind of hush.
   Her eyes were round and blue, piercing and not like the cliché. Hot.
   I was leaving. She was leaving. She forced the issue of who would go through the door first. It was to be her.
   I kept coming back for more. She served me my coffee with a glare. Her red blouse was the only light in the place. Dare ya, dare ya, dare ya.
   She ran the place like a mistress. A strict mistress so sick of her commands that she got stricter and stricter.
   I kept coming back for more. She served me my coffee with a glare. Our fingers touched and something shot through my nerves, not like the cliché. Dare ya, dare ya, dare ya.

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Re: pick up
« Reply #5 on: Mar 15, 2016, 09:36:38 PM »
We had ran through the town of Shanrath, more a village out of control, a good two kilometres, and slowed to a walk every few hundred metres, a trot every few hundred metres, along the straight to the city, fields to our left and right, mist rising yet from the river a field over to the left like the drink and hash effect seeping from our skins. We were fuelled on adrenaline now. The road was deserted yet. I couldn’t think clearly. My heart was broken; I felt rotten to the core. The pavement was bumpy beneath our feet. Shirley tripped and smashed her nose off the pavement. Blood trickled from her left nostril. I stared at the blood, rooted to the spot. She took a tissue from her pocket and wiped, then stuffed it into her nostril. ‘Come,’ she said, tugging at my arm. I glanced behind me, causing her to look back too. We ran once more. The County Hall, the tallest building in the county, at fourteen floors according to Robert, and sitting at the end of the straight and the beginning of the city, didn’t seem to be getting any closer.
   My eyes kept straying to the mist. The sun was at that point, set to rise and a hint of rising light heralding its dawn, sparking coldly on the mist. It seemed ethereal. How often had I admired such a thing, lost my thoughts in the fuzzy drops dancing to a damp tune, a slow dance, a very slow twirl, one with the air, one with the river, neither here nor there, so that I didn’t have to think of anything else. Magic, the mist was magic, like those hills, like the leaves of the trees, sinuous beech branches spiralling away, away, into air, the thistle, the butterfly. I felt incredibly sad for a beat.
   The sound of a car in the distance behind us ratcheted up the pulse of my fear again. We climbed into the sporadic hedgerow to our left and hid. The car passed. A woman was driving. We came back onto the pavement and ran as we could. Sweat was getting in my eyes. It made me think of tears. I was sure I cried when I was younger, like anybody else, but I had no memory of it.
   Finally, we approached the County Hall on our right and were entering the city. I sat down abruptly on the pavement. Where were we going? We had no money between us.
   ‘What are you doing,’ said Shirley.
   ‘There’s nowhere we can go. Unless we can sneak onto a train and then what?’ I threw my head into my hands – the money I had stashed in the ground beneath the mill. Shirley reached into her pocket and withdrew a brown leather wallet, withdrew a bank card and held it up between her fingers. ‘My mother gave it to me yesterday to pay a bill for her.’
   We continued through the city boundary, past the university, towards the city centre, town. Though we had no further words on the matter, it was clear we were heading for the train station and the capital via town for a bank machine to withdraw money. Shirley must know I had siblings, three sisters, two younger than me, one a mere tot. Did she wonder like I did if they were safe? I slumped on the pavement again. ‘I can’t, my sisters...’
   ‘It’s not safe to go back. Has father any reason to...hurt them?’ I gazed at her. The tot was probably the heritage of his rotten sperm pounding my mother’s egg. I stood up and stood staring back along the road we had come, trying to tunnel back through time to Shanrath, the flat. I had been so scared, so horrified, but was this any justification for not checking the bedroom where us Murrays, me, Samantha (three years older than me at twenty), Laura (seven years old) and Peggy (eighteen  months old), slept. Oh fuck, were they even alive?
   I looked toward Shanrath, I looked toward the rail station. Had I any choice? I continued walking. Shirley followed. We found a bank machine in the city centre and Shirley withdrew the maximum, five hundred poundsd. We passed two individual homeless men in doorways and a woman huddled into something that resembled a sleeping bag called out for help. ‘Are you okay?’ said Shirley, bending down to peer into her eyes.
   ‘No, I don’t know where I am.’
   I grabbed Shirley’s arm. She glared at me, but didn’t seem to be able to match my physical strength and I pulled her along. ‘You can stay and help her if you like?’ I spat. I suddenly wondered why Shirley was with me. Surely that wasn’t the wisest decision on her part. Her father knew nothing of us yet, our discovery of my mother’s blood. He would know of some entanglement if she came to Dublin with me. ‘Actually, just give me the money and fuck off back to your parents.’
   ‘You’re going to need me,’ she said sharply. ‘And for the record if you were me, would you go back?’
   I dropped her arm. We stood staring at each other.
   I began to walk furiously. Shirley trotted along a beat behind me.
   I probably would need her; I would need somebody. I wasn’t sure I felt anything for her predicament. She was a Hope after all.

The journey to the capital on the train was stressful. We sat facing each other, a plastic table between us and the weight of my mother’s blood, our night of physical intimacy that wasn’t quite washed away by our now forced intimacy, perhaps the strangest intimacy anybody was ever likely to experience. I had no choice but to talk to her eventually. My thoughts were flitting around my head like butterflies with razor edged wings.
   ‘How am I going to find out about my sisters? The only person I would trust is Robert but he’s lost his way. Fucked on coke and drink.’
   ‘You don’t have to tell him where we – you – are calling from. We’ll find a payphone, keep moving.’
   ‘What about money, they’ll block that card or use it to trace us.’
   ‘I don’t think my mother will. She’ll think about it. I know how she thinks. For one she’s quite the opposite of my father and over generous. She’ll reckon it better that I have the money than disappear with no means to support myself. It’s her card alone; I don’t think my father even knows about it.’
   I found this hard to believe. It didn’t quite tally with my impression of Mrs Hope. Generous to us Murray children alright, but I had always thought her motivation condescending rather than genuine. A duty, a deal between her, us and the God in the sky overlooking the church she was sacristan to. A benevolence serving to concrete her reputation in the community as upstanding, holy and charitable, and to mask the duplicity of her husband, his outward show of upstanding and hard-working, a businessman, but an honourable one over his corrupt and indefensible business strategies. I couldn’t see her in any way standing up to Mr Hope or going against his wishes, even if there was no way of him finding out. I decided, though didn’t say, that we would ditch the bank card at the earliest possible opportunity.
   ‘This is a nightmare. This is a fucking nightmare.’
Shirley rose and sat down beside me.  ‘I agree.’

I must have fallen asleep. I woke with my head resting heavily on Shirley’s shoulder. We were pulling into a station. Shirley informed me that it was the capital. I wanted to go back to sleep and stay there, never to quite reach that capital.