Thin Ice

Red slits for eyes and cold, painful teeth and no place to sit down and be quiet. The whole island stinks of evil. The islanders check their reflections in any and all reflective surfaces. Check bellies, fringes, backsides. Cars swerve to miss them as they fiddle with gadgets and prod their dainty do’s. And the Earth’s crust thins around the island. The dark lord rubs his talons together and waits for the main course. The laugh is truly disturbing. Nauseating.

He finds old letters and remembers when they were going to be together forever. Well, she said that; he never believed it. And deep down he knew that all she wanted was a man to tell her everything was all right. And as long as he ticked certain boxes he’d do. And she wasn’t alone. There were many like her. And he knew it. When it ended, it was more of a relief than anything. He could be himself again. Become a saint, a drunkard, a dog, an angel. Live on his own terms and not feel guilty. Not be reminded day after day that, despite all efforts to make this life bearable, it really all stank to high heaven of shit.

It’s the first few lines that get’s ’em, he remembered someone saying to him. Once. Ah, well, drop a few morsels on the way through the maze then. Oh, what else? Tendon kebabs, served on ice; drenched in petrol; sprinkled with hundreds and thousands, glued to your favourite jeans, which are glued to your skin. Seventeen and drunk in the park. Fireworks fizzing and popping through the streets. You could blind someone if you’re not careful. The taste of sick and cider and ashtrays. Wood chips at my feet and fat chips in my belly. Then she showed me her tits. 

June, Singapore. The air sang from outer space; curry for breakfast, the sounds of the tropical storms. It wouldn’t have been as good without the dinosaur birds. A swarm of them would have run the city. But, the damn bird brains just begged for scraps. Their little, orange legs dusted with pollution. And I saw black spots of old chewing gum stuck to the pavements more than once, so it’s not true what they say.

Now back. Backwards? Forwards at great speed just to go backwards? The speed of light bettered. The sun is already up. My brain is one step ahead. It knew what the last word of this sentence was some six seconds before ‘I’ realised it.

She rolled over and played with the tassles on my boxing shorts. They were white before the fight. Now pinkened by a mix of blood. It’s hard to say who won. I watched her watching her freshly painted nails. I rolled the ice around my mouth. My teeth began to hurt along with everything else.Then she looked up at me and smiled then looked back at the shorts. “Lightening…” she read from them. Then she giggled, sprang up off the bed and walked out. I spat an ice cube at the door after she’d shut it.

She says she loves me but she doesn’t love me.


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