Monday, 31 October 2011

#3: Colin Rumbles

The best thing about driving a bus? The excitement. Never knowing who’s going to get on where, what routes you’re going to get assigned, what shifts you’ll get. Plus the sitting. In my condition, being able to work sitting down all day is important. I’m also a big fan of my protective Perspex window. Makes you feel nice and safe that does. Enclosed. You’d be amazed how many people want to spit on a bus driver.

But, ok... I’ll let you into a secret. It’s not really any of that. Are you ready? It’s keeping the stuff people leave behind. That really can be anything. Toys, shoes, hardly touched sandwiches... Mum says that’s what’s up with my skin, wearing other people’s clothes that I find. She reckons I should burn them, or at least wash them. But that would spoil it I think, washing them. That would make them too much like really mine. It far more fun just wearing a coat or a jumper and smelling the person it used to belong to. That’s what’s exciting, the smell of their loss. Knowing I’m wearing something that belongs to someone else. Especially in public! I mean, what if they saw me? Can you imagine? Who knows, maybe one day someone might even come up and say something to me about something I’m wearing! They might recognise it and come up to me and say something like, “Hey! That’s my snood!” and then they’d chase me. Chase me for ages. Into the woods maybe. But they’d never find me because I know places. Places to hide. Yeah, maybe something like that might happen one day. That would be amazing.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

#2: Dravsko Pavic

She looked at me one day and just said, “I am tired of your face.” When I woke up later, she was gone. And for that reason I would say to you never fall in love with a travelling entertainer, even one who tells you that her travelling days are over.
I have made for many years my living with my face, a face of death. Freak, Frankenstein, zombie; I have been called many things. But a man can truly die and still find himself walking.

It is difficult to describe the sensuality, the femininity of a woman’s beard unless you have encountered such a lady. In my time, I have met many such women, in the circus, in fairgrounds and theme parks much like the one I work in today. But none had the fire, the muliebrity of Rukhsana. Those eyes! Those lips! And that beard! That downy, soft beard like a bed of wild, tangelo bracken. I am close to tears just to think of her.

We married. I knew it was a mistake. How can one marry fire? Put a ring on the finger of passion itself? But I had to have her. I could accept nothing less. With my ghoulish face and work in the theme park’s “Spook Central Death Train”, we had more than enough to get by. And then, as often happens, atrophy. I began to wonder if all this was enough, if Rukhsana was enough. Maybe. Maybe if I could see her without the beard? I pressed. I pressed and cajoled. I drove a wedge between us with my dreary disquiet. In the end I did what all weak men do and killed the thing I cherished most.

So that was it. “I am tired of your face.” And now I raise little Gary alone. It is my burden, my privilege. Thank goodness for his moustache. Otherwise we would not be able to afford the Sky+.

Monday, 24 October 2011

#1: Tim & Sandra Figgess

Mothwicke is a great place to work and to live! There can’t be many places anywhere that would accept me what with my wolf hand. And not only accept me, embrace me! And elect me to the Council. Yes, it’s Councillor Tim Figgess if you don’t mind. This is my wife Sandra. You’ll have to forgive her. She not herself right now. Not since well, everything with her sister.

We met at work, naturally enough. Like people do. We work at Giggle Mouse Castle, like everyone does. Everyone in this town owes so much to that crazy mouse! Did you know Giggle Mouse Castle is the world’s largest theme park that happens to be sinking?
We’ve had a good marriage, Sandra and I. I mean sex isn’t everything. And the kids we’d hoped for never happened. Maybe that’s for the best. Who wants a dad with a wolf hand? But it’s been good. Companionship. Underrated I’d say. Sex isn’t everything.

I mean naturally, Sandra isn’t really in the mood for that kind of thing at the moment. Who would be with your sister disappeared? Right now, at this moment, no one knows what happened to Rachel. And that can take its toll on someone. So of course the last thing Sandra wants is me pawing her like some lust filled animal!

But as so often happens, something quite…well, profound I suppose… comes out of the tragedy. I suppose I’m not the only man who has found his wife less and less attractive over the years. There’s something so sad about watching the woman you love wither like hoary grapes. Sad and disgusting. Even before, you know, we were having difficulties because, well, because things just weren’t as tight and as firm as they used to be shall we say. I don’t blame her exactly; I mean I know it’s not her fault. The last time we tried, you know, we did it in front of the big mirror in the bedroom. I remember when we used to do that years ago, before it all turned to porridge. Well I’m going through the motions frankly. Out of politeness. I mean this woman makes me a sandwich to take to work every morning, it’s the least I can do isn’t it? Anyway, there I am, struggling to “be a man” if you will, just flapping in the breeze, and all of a sudden I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror. Suddenly there’s a spark. Just for an instant, I see the way the light from the bedroom lamp hits me and I’m all sharp lines and dense sensuous shadow. No longer a lingering spent sack of regret, a ghost at the sexual feast. I file it away for later and crack on. Grit my teeth and get through it. Later when she’s asleep, I try it all again, only solo. It’s like a switch flips in my head. I spend hours diligently exploring myself in ways that would make a Cardinal blush.  Afterwards I feel complete. Complete, refreshed and clean. Clean in a way I though I’d never feel again. It’s just so important to take some time out to be good to yourself. What? No she can’t hear us. She’s on a lot of medication.