Archive for old friends
‘There wasn’t even a note to tell me where he was going and why. We had been watching vids and then the rugby and at five he asked me if I was hungry. He didn’t want to go out. He said he was feeling tired but put in an order for chicken and fries. It was a shitty night and the football crowd were everywhere, slowing things up. The traffic was like mud and I oozed home. He wasn’t there. He sometimes did this and I didn’t think anything of it. Our relationship had cooled and he had other women. I wasn’t concerned. I put the chicken in the oven on a low heat but ate the chips. Nine, and he still hadn’t come home. I started to feel worried. Outside there were people everywhere. I drove the car to the clubs that we used to visit when we had lived together two years ago. Before he had left me for my best friend who was flatting with us. With her boyfriend. We were both decieved. But I always took him back. Just no sex anymore. He wasn’t at any of the clubs and no one had seen him. In fact, they were surprised to find out he was in town. Most thought he was somewhere in Australia. Or killed by freedom fighters in New Guinea. It was all news to me. The last I had heard from him before he turned up on my doorstep two weeks ago was a phonecall from Timaru saying he didn’t have enough money for the rest of the cabfare from Christchurch and could I either come and get him or send up some money. When he said two hundred I smelt a rat so I drove up and picked up this ragged bundle from the railway station. Shivering in the cold. The memories got me mad as hell and after a couple of hours I went back home and angrily parked the car in the drive. The garage is right next door to my bedroom and if I put the car in there I can smell the car smells for the rest of the night. I tried sleeping but the afternoon and the evening kept running through my head and every little sound made me jump so I ended getting little sleep. I must have dozed off because I jerked awake and the clock said 4.56 and I was so wide-awake I got up and made coffee. There wasn’t much I could do until after eight so I just sat, huddled over the heater if you can huddle over an oil heater. I thought of our happier times together but it was hard to filter out the images of seeing his bare ass going up and down on my best friend or him arriving home with bags of CD’s and clothes when he had borrowed fifty off me because he said he was skint. My best friend had told me to get rid of him. That he was a liar, a thief and a criminal and that he was only using me. Lydia was still my friend but that comment has changed the way I saw her. It changed something in me too. Made me a little harder but I couldn’t throw him out. We had a history and I had been bought up to believe that history is important.
Around eight I started out again. It was all a bit aimless really because I had no idea where he might be or with who. I just drove. I remember stopping for a while at a park that overlooked the city and just sitting there and feeling sorry for myself. And getting mad. Then sad. .
I got home about eleven. I was really building up an anger now. This time I wouldn’t give in. Tomorrow, or as soon as he could back on his feet, he was out of here. I thought he might have crept home while I was out looking for him and worrying about his useless skin. I thought he was probably sleeping so my plan was to drive the car into the garage and give it a good rev and scare the shit out of him. I was so angry. No more running around after you boyo. I used the remote to open the garage door. He was swinging from the crossbeam, a deep stain across his trousers. His tongue, swollen, arms at attention. I touched him. He was so so cold.’
I am so, so sorry. I hadn’t actually thought that I would kill myself. I was just playing around and I thought you would come back from getting the food and come into the garage to put the car away and you would be frightened. I know I am always doing things like this but trying to live up to your expectations is so hard and I just seem to fuck it up all the time. Forgive me.
I heard a noise in the kitchen and opened the door. She was sitting at the table with cold grey shapes sticking every which way. Mum had stabbed herself with every kitchen knife she could lay her hands on
You knew that eventually I would do it. This wasn’t the first time and you knew the pain that I suffered. The first stab hurt but after that it was just like jabbing yourself with a really big needle. I was/am no use to you and you are better off without me. Make me proud.
We forced the door open. He was hanging from the coat hanger by his pyjama belt.
The voices, the voices. They told me to do it. Screaming at me, night after night. Eyeless corpses, teeming with insect life, touching me Making me smell their foetid breath. Telling me to join them.
She was propped at a grotesque angle to the wall. Grey and red matter dripped down the white surface, harsh in the fluorescent light.
The doctors told me that I had about three months to live. They had known some patients who lived six but given my age and my other medical conditions I was not a good prospect. I couldn’t face the weeks of chemotherapy, my hair falling out, throwing up even more than I have been. I had the gun since that burglar. It was your fathers from the war. In time you will see its for the best. I am just sorry that it had to be you who found me. I thought it would be one of the nurses. Try to forget the now and think what I was like before Jesus decided he wanted me.
Rope, gas, tree, knife, syringe, razor, bath, kitchen, garage, tight, gasp, slip, lost, gone, forgive me, remember, jump, foetid, putrefied, taken. End.