Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Little Power

Alice was weird when we were young. She picked her nose and ate it and used to walk around school mumbling Titanic dialogue to herself.

Now I can see my love for her I know it must have been as blatant as a building behind me, but since she was so inhuman I doubt she even got why I was there. She had so much on her mind it was ridiculous.

We were at her home town and it was sunny. I was eating Malteasers on the grass; she was eating a mint ice-cream. I remember thinking, mint? Yuck! And yet some part of me was ridiculously drawn to the choice of it. I remember a mint green dab of it falling on her.

Planes were going overhead all the time because she lived near the airport. She kept looking up at them.

She looked down and said, ‘Pauly, you’re such a liar.’

She was smiling across at me in the sun. Then she licked the mint green ice-cream with her coral tongue.

I wanted to wave across the sky at her like a birdy.

I looked down at my lap, smiling, saying nothing.

She looked away, at a brick wall at the edge of the field.

We were sitting in the middle.

She looked back. ‘Are you and Fiona married yet?’ she asked.

‘No?’ I said.

‘Do you fancy her?’ she asked.

‘No?’ I said.

We waited and were thinking about things. She was sitting with her knees up, the grass chaff beneath her pink knickers.

I piped up. ‘How did you get that bruise on your leg?’ I asked.

I must’ve sounded like a baby.

‘Darren punched me when we were doing handstands.’ she said.

Darren, I remember thinking. I want to squeeze his head and really hurt him.

‘I like it.’ she said. ‘I like bruises.’ She was looking up at the planes again. ‘I love to have some of them.’

I looked at the bruise. It was yellowed and purplish.


Alice was throwing a tennis ball at me, later. Her game was throwing the ball, then handstand, then back on your feet to catch again.

She spasmed slightly after catching my throw. She had a nervous twitch.

‘Hey.’ she said. ‘Let’s go in there.’

She was pointing to the little power station with ‘danger of death’ written on the side.

The idea of it reminded me of the pylons at the Pelham Nature Reserve in Essex, the absolute death of them. I knew I was going to die.

‘Do you want to?’ she asked.

‘Yeah.’ I said.

I knew I had crossed a line in life and could already feel my body freezing from the current and dying and being on the news.

We walked across the field slowly.

As I walked alongside Alice I felt I might take her in for the last time – her hair and her arms; her eyes and her face. I won’t tell you the colour of these things because they are mine.

She put her trainer up against the mesh fence around the little power station and threaded her fingers into the holes. I saw her fingernails from afar, bitten away.

‘We have to go up together or I’m not doing it.’ she said.

I saw my window.

‘Okay.’ I said, putting my trainer up against the mesh fence.

We climbed slowly up to the top, both staring down at the grey generators, buzzing waspishly.

At the top we put our legs over inside and glanced at each other. Alice looked ridiculously excited.

As we climbed down I got a slight headache. I worried that it might be from the current, hanging in the air, filling us up.

We stood with our backs to the fence and moved around the edge on the gravel. Alice began to laugh. I thought about kissing her.

‘Oi!’ a voice shouted, ‘Oi! What the hell do you think you’re doing?’

I looked up, seeing Alice twitch out of the corner of my eye.

‘Get out of there! Jesus Christ!’

It was a man in a brown Barbour jacket.

‘My life!’

At this point we had begun to climb back up the fence. I looked over at Alice’s bottom. I really didn’t want it to catch on the generator and be electrocuted. I was almost in tears.

We didn’t look at each other as we put our legs over outside.

Andrew Goldspink

1 comment:

wonda kammer said...

ooooh no and what happened next?