Officially a couple, he liked it, being ordinary quite interesting. Holding hands with a woman, nothing to be afraid of. It’s a pity we never figure it out, love, the eternal journey forever seeking it, easier to find sexual chemistry. Love is too difficult for most folks, being there for someone other than yourself. Lots of people the world over equate sexual attraction with love, unless your in Bangkok or Amsterdam, on a night out, suppose it blanks out the other forms of love. The direct result of the sexualisation of children the world over, the death of innocence too. Pour me a jack daniels I’d rather not talk about it.
Hilarious stuff, imagine a happy priest, he stopped thinking preferring the enjoyment of being, as nothing in this world lasted including the walk he was on this morning. Dee stopped at one of those girly shops, not a sex club, clothing shop. At least it wasn’t a jewellers.
“ mind if I go in” she asked with a smile, dragging him after her.
Do I mind, he’d have gone into a hardware store and promised to put in an entire bathroom if she asked, and after. Cynicism doesn’t suit anyone. Meanwhile Dee made her way to a changing booth, a bunch of dresses hastily
arranged around her arm.
“only be a minute” she smiled as she disappeared behind the curtain rail.
He waited, and waited, all the time watching the goings on, something he hadn’t done before in a ladies shop.
A plump woman circled a display of short mini dresses. She can’t be serious he thought, wondering how she’d look in a skirt that hardly covered her bottom. He wanted to go over and tell that it wasn’t looks that mattered, it was heart that worked, nobody would believe him though, nobody of this generation. Looks fade like worn old fabric. Not everyone can afford plastic surgery. The fattish lady must have read his thoughts. She was now at the rail of long dresses, the type that come down to your ankles almost. Better idea, better still, a long white cotton dress with a black wrap around belt, classy.
“how do I look” smiled a reappearing Dee. Harry shook his head. Dee looked at him sourpussed.
“too grey” he replied.
Grey, used by too many priests. I work for god, the happy guy, invented love and all that happy stuff. Of all the colours used to denote a cleric, grey had to be the worst. At least black was black. I’m god your soul assistant, we have an array of colours to choose from. Green, blue, red, yellow, purple, white. Did you ever see a grey coloured rainbow, not unless it’s covered in volcanic ash or nuclear dust.
“that’s better, blue much more your colour” he smiled.
Dee swung around, the dress she had on a bit see through. Harry was becoming one of those men.
“another two to go” smiled Dee, who disappeared behind the curtain again a lot happier this time.
Harry wondered, one eye on the curtain that Dee hid behind. So much underwear on view, staggering. No room at the inn, less room in a thong, bit of a butt stretch there, see through stuff loads of it, it’s not as if your going to walk around in your knickers all day. unless you’re a trafficked sex slave with no options, not that the lads seem to care. Where’s God gone.
red does it every time. He didn’t have to say a word, his look told her all that she had to know.
“just one more, a minute I promise” as she disappeared behind the magic curtain. It was a magic curtain as everytime she re appeared, she looked different.
Belts hung on a rack against a wall, thin, gold coloured, fat, thick, blocky, jewel encrusted, what next he sighed getting tired. He’d been in there nearly half an hour.
Meanwhile Dee exited the changing room for the last time, two purchases in hand, blue and red coloured. He waited while she paid for her buys, then hand in hand exited the store bumping into Buzz. Harry’s first impulse was to let her hand go, but held on, not that Buzz noticed one bit.
“we’re having a poetry slam tomorrow night, you’ll have to come along”
he was handing out flyers.
“see you then” smiled harry, as buzz headed off.
He’d moved out of mrs slattery’s the previous week. Mid summer coming into june, the city was alive, colour and lots of young fine things caressed the paved streets. Coffee outside the norm, gigs aplenty, irish trad music beating out the door of public houses, arts festival to look forward to, lovers paradise for those with time, the city of galway.
“what are you cooking for dinner” she asked as they passed Tigh Neachtain, galway’s best known drinking house.
“eat out” he replied.
Hours later, he was still waiting for her, a bit tense. She was going to read a poem he’d wrote, he’d still have to listen along with all the others at Buzz’s place.
“come on” he said, urging her to prepare quicker.
“I’m rolling a number, where’s your patience” she shouted.
The makings of the joint were on her dressing table. Bag of grass, papers, some tobacco. She was trying to apply make up at the same time, making a mess of it too. she popped out to him, her new dress on, her face over done, too much foundation, making it look like beige cream, rather than a thin skin.
“you need to apply a little less I think”
she wasn’t impressed, looked at him boldly, her face frowning.
She disappeared again. This time she went into the bathroom, still talking to him, almost shouting.
“do you really think it’s too much” she asked, bent over, looking for something under the basin.
She looked at the bathroom door, no sign of him, no words. She shouted out to him again.
“I’m nearly ready, just a minute”
“take your time” he answered, getting used to women and their waiting tactics.
She found it, took it out. Wrapped in a paper bag, she unscrewed the top, guzzled the best part of a full glass of vodka down her throat. Then another, just to be safe, in her mind that is.
“do you know that the races are on in july here” he said, reading an article from a local magazine.
“daddy has a horse” she shouted, back at work on the joint.
Daddy was also a wealthy man, a point that didn’t rest well with Harry. A church pension to live on along with a large bequest from a deceased relative, harry wasn’t poor, just comfortable. Since Dee and himself moved in together, all discipline over finance had been forgotten. It was live, and live more, as nothing lasts, not in its current shape anyway. Every flat tummy becomes a rolling mass over time, sorry. Harry let himself meander down wonder lane, no tomorrow, no yesterdays to worry about, being in love he wondered how long it would last. Were children the next step up the emotional ladder. What if you cant have children. Had you time to think of others, put the needs of life ahead of the ego. So many personal agreements are broken, doomed before they start, doomed through lack of real love, love of the self outscoring love of others, love on a jesus scale virtually extinct. Modern marriage, what have you got. I’m beautiful, like my car, I can afford to have my hair done every week, we’re going on holiday again, time to change the car, a villa in monte carlo would be nice, that watch I’m wearing ain’t cheap it’s chique, wish you had one don’t you, you only go on holiday cause you’ve no friends at home, that’ll shut them up. worth every moment he sighed, a little high from a previous smoke, Dee looked so unlike the Dee he first met. Dressed in a red silk dress, that clipped her knees, black hair tied back, nice legs.
“I’ve a number rolled” she said. Did we need it he thought about to light it up. he took a few pulls passed over to her. His nose was startled, he began to sneeze. Must be her perfume. He disappeared to the bathroom. He wasn’t used to allergies. Alcohol, must be the alcohol in the perfume, vague smell of strong white alcohol. He’d met a few of those over time, too many. Dee didn’t drink.
Wine wasn’t drinking, it was social time. The arrival of a taxi ended everything. She called out to him. hurry she shouted. Cheek of her, she who spent an hour getting ready telling him to hurry.
“we’re on the guest list” she said as they departed the cab. A que waited, ten in all. Harry and dee were beckoned in like celebrities. Some in the que gave him the ugliest of looks. Harry avoided eye contact, flowed in after her.
Buzz was at the stage area. Three listeners around him, readers assumed harry. Buzz waved, harry waved back. Familiarity is comforting. Dee made her way to the bar, harry sought table and chairs. She returned with their customary label, buzz had been shopping as this wine had been missing the last time they were in. the venue filled up. dee refilled their glasses. The bottle began to look sad. It was only ten, the show closed around twelve.
“I better get another before they start, are you nervous?”
harry was too numbed to be worried. He watched her. Worried, why worry. She made the bar man laugh. She made every one laugh. So confident in red, he didn’t like deeming her sexy. Classy was better, classy lasted. Sexy was as temporary as rain, like mood. She’d a tray with her this time. Two small glasses accompanied the bottle. Looked like a coffee bean or rabbit shit, had to be coffee bean. He asked her what it was.
“sambuca, a greek drink, you’ll love it. by the time you get on stage you’ll ..” he choked on it, sending the fiery hot liquid in her direction. She was quick.
A tissue was offered. A dribble of snot dangled from his lip. He’d enough time to clean it off, just as the lights went down.
“I thought you were reading” he sighed, ever so quietly, as buzz made his normal overture, explaining the procedure for the night. He whispered it again, Dee ignored him, her eyes fixed on the stage and buzz. What she asked as he tried to ask again as the first of the readers came on stage. Harry gave up trying and gelled in. he’d a few poems with him, stuff of a personal nature. When isn’t poetry personal, when it’s fraud, Lots of fraud around unfortunately. Second reader came on board, harry listened, glass near empty, dee remedied the matter. Second bottle looked like a waif, near empty. Drinking too fast, must slowdown, ease up. dee giggled along with most of the audience, the reader was funny. Third reader, short and sweet. A musical interlude, a piano player, nice touch.
“no, I think I’ve had enough” quipped harry, sweaty palmed, as Dee was about to drain the bottle into his glass.
he looked at her, what a comment to make. The red dress didn’t suit her any more. She enjoyed attention too much. Harry liked low low. First major hurdle in the relationship. Couldn’t blame her for being beautiful. Red dress pushed her too far up the richter scale, like she was heat seeking. He put it down to nervousness on his part. She chatted to the barman as usual, who didn’t flirt. Unsavoury feeling though, watching other men admire your, he stopped. She wasn’t his. Another bottle in her hand, he’d enough, why she bother.
“ready” smiled buzz, who arrived at his table. He couldn’t help notice harry’s stare. Dee was deep in company at the bar. Different man, who didn’t like red these days.