Friday, February 17, 2006

The Adventures of Bloated and Doomed

The Adventures of Bloated and Doomed
Hors d’oeuvre of the week: Battered mushrooms.
Chapter 1: Craving for Grease – A visit to the Diner

Woman in yellow jacket strolls past with a friend in a cream ski jacket.

Man in a jogging suit leans against the counter, waiting for his pizza, jiggling his leg impatiently. He catches me staring at him and moves out of view to avoid my gaze. Moves himself behind the frosted glass screen, finds it uncomfortable, reverts uneasily to his original post.

His pizza is boxed, the door swings shut.

It is smoky.

A boy strolls past on his way home from the gym. His jogging buttoms flap open around his ankles.

Robbie Willams sings about heartbreak.

The man behind the counter sneaks a mug of coffee, his eyes are tired. He is bald save a few tufts of hair behind the ears.

Jane looks out the window for inspiration. Red neon lights from the window reflect on her face as she squints into the night.

The tables are clean. The waitress scans for things that need wiping.

Coca cola, diet coke. Tango apple. Iron Bru, Diet Iron Bru. Schweppes Bitter Lemon. She leans into the fridge and pulls out a Dr. Pepper.

We have eaten almost all the veggie lasagne. A small cheesy blob remains next to onion rings and battered mushrooms. There are two pieces of pizza left. Anchovies snake through the cheese. Jane has picked off most of the black olives, leaving naked divots in the cheese.

We will order special hot chocolates and vanilla milkshakes.
I wonder if I ask nicely, they will put sprinkles on top of Jane’s milkshake?
I think of the combination of green and pink and yellow streaked through her whipped cream. I have an instant flashback to fireworks in a summer sky.

We are the only people in here under 55.
They all seem to having different sorts of conversations.
Normal conversations. Normal dinners. Normal lives.
They are afraid of black olives and anchovies.
Of most things that come in little jars with foreign writing.

The table shakes as we write. The menu to topples into the brown sauce.
I hide it on a nearby vacant table. Jane chastises me for not wiping it clean, so I do.
I am highly susceptible to guilt trips.

The menu is clean.

A bouncy song starts with bopping beats like a Phil Collins reggae number. Instantly the diner is filled with dry ice and with men in ruffled pink tops waggling maracas--hallelujiah!

Outside it is dark, but there are seeing-eye dogs.


The Adventures of Bloated and Doomed
Book titles of the week:
1. Talking to Brick Walls.
2. Everything and Nothing.
Chapter 2: Doomed goes on holiday in the toilet.

I’ll pack my toothbrush and hand sanitizer.
I’ll bring a nice simple dress for evening.
People come in dressed up then,
I’ll want to fit in.
I’ll bring some jewelry too—just a silver necklace,
Nothing too much.. this is the toilet, after all.

The patrons will dash in, clattering in stilettos,
bumping into walls as they pull up their trousers.

They will inadvertently set off the auto hand dryer when they lean
and wait for their friends to come out.

They will dive into their handbag to search for the mobile phone.
I will nod pleasantly as they reapply lipstick and dash out.

I’ll set up a chair in the corner behind the door
where I will sit and read romance novels,
the kind everyone reads on holiday.
We all need our guilty pleasures.

On the final night, I’ll light some tealights
and turn on music to celebrate a successful holiday.
Then I shall return to the kitchen where I normally dwell.


The Adventures of Bloated and Doomed
Cocktail of the week: Champagne, guava juice and Malibu rum.
Chapter 3: We are rock stars

We are rock stars.
We had one gig.
We were nervous, but it went ok.
So we made t-shirts for our fans to wear.
The paint isn’t dry yet.

We are drunk
It is our second gig.
We were going to practice, but we were nervous
and so went to buy more port instead.

We have great outfits
And a CD of our songs--
None of them quite finished,
all of them recorded in under five minutes.

There will be no live cat this time,
instead we will use an old typewriter.
Live cats must be bred for the tour.

Robin’s band is actually good
(the one’s we’re opening for)
Japanese indie kids spill out of the studio door..
We head into the tech room for a smoke.

We sit in a smoky haze while Tim opens wine bottles.
Me, I stomp back and forth, repeating like a savant,
‘When are we gonna rehearse?’

J pretends she cannot hear, nipping at the bottle with pursed purple lips.
By the arch of her neck,
I know we will not practice.


The Adventures of Bloated and Doomed
Drama of the week: Towering Inferno
Chapter 4: Doomed moves into the penthouse

She tips her nose over the edge of the rooftop terrace,
Balances knives on the door ledges,
waxes the steps of the spiral staircase.

Marcin comes home and shows her how to unhook the safety ledges on the windows
and the best places for howling at ambulances.

In the streets below, cranes, speeding buses, crooks and rats.


The Adventures of Bloated and Doomed
Chapter 5: Kissing fools

They kissed fools.
Loads of them.
Sometimes just for sport.
to sweeten their tea.
as foodd for their fishnet. ..

Sometimes they clutch their head in the morning...
wondering where are their underwear?

They tried not to let cowboys steal their hearts
or lose their underwear.
Occasionally they got attached.
Held hands and went on sunny bicycle dates.
Broke up and wept.

The I Ching was called in for advice.
He recommended Tiffany vases with incense
and marijuana cigarettes
to burn away the heartbreak.


The Adventures of Bloated and Doomed
Chapter 6: To be a fly on the wall...

B: Word. I have cookies and wine.
D: Lucky. I have yogurt and babies.

D: Rap music is all about sex
B: Poetry is about pot
D: Kundera is all about what happens after you leave the room.

B: Smoking can seriously damage the sperm.
D: Warning! Your computer might be at risk

D: You turn into your parents the day you start paying the bills.
B: Who is Bill?


The Adventures of Bloated and Doomed
Chapter 7: Some festivals

They have lost their car.
One of the guitars is still in there.
It is a square car like all the others,
with no distinguishing flags from a distance.

They swear they parked it near a white van and
they vaguely remember peeing on a black Smart car…
They swear they have a good sense of direction,
and maybe it was closer to the main road after all?

In the techno tent is her hero, a gay man from Detroit.
Making sneaky electro-cow sounds.
Bass strangles the heartbeats,
Doomed dances dilirious
in the front row.

She has never really considered the concept of chakras.
Yet she knows, at this moment,
hers are throbbing.

Later they will find the car stuck in a muddy parking field.
They will shrug and walk away sunburnt, bewildered, squelching.
Day-glo poems tacked to their asses.
The festival has left them deaf and dumb.
And coffee in hand, grinning.


The Adventures of Bloated and Doomed

Chapter 8: Some kittens
Party trick of the week:Disjointed hips for special licking

One of the kittens likes to eat hair.
Bloated’s hair specifically.
He crawls up to her neck and sleeps like a naughty scarf.

The kittens are trusting of the girls.
They sneak slurps of their vodka orange
and chase the strings of their crochet experiments.

The dumb one falls asleep on her chest,
head tipped back like a socialite during a facial.

The kittens climb the banana tree in the kitchen when no one is home.
The girls return to cracked branches and a patter of soily pawprints leading to the windowsill
where aloof banana-scented kittens peer furiously into the distance.


The Adventures of Bloated and DOomed
Chapter 9:What the world needs (this week).

Cookies and wine, yoghurt and babies.
Flemish lessons.
Disclaimers on knitting patterns.
Maxi airline carry on companies (for bowling teams).
Bow-armed baby mannequins.
Sexual peaks.
Elbow length gloves for kittens.
A Society for Missing Cordless Phones (SMCP).
Dinnerware and petware with poems.
Bile kitchenware – dishwasher-safe vom on the table!
A mugs full of sweet black bean cheese.
Tail warmers in fair isle Nordic knits WITH POM POMS!
A cock in my ear (or I can’t hear).
Funerals for dogs killed by Forest fireworks.
A pet dead like in a spaghetti western, lying in the dusty road with feet pointed skyward (spittle in the corner of his mouth).
Time—never enough time!
Roommates with rescue pods around the necks trained to bring Tunnock’s Tea Cakes home from the store.
A new style of knitting with stringed instruments.
Guitar covers with poetry.
Raincoats for bikes
Poetry on bike seats.
Poetry on toilet seats.
Poetry on dining chairs.
Lots of monkey butlers to help us make all these things.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

The Queen came by for drinks...