Thursday, 14 July 2011

Why you came

00:00:00 Posted by Damp incendiary device , , , , , 5 comments
You arrive at a party. It's only a small gathering but you've spent some time over your attire and you smell at least 10% less sweaty than earlier. Your hair is a little less shabby and you practiced your smile in the bathroom before you left home. You've made an effort. The party is at the house of an acquaintance. They greet you at the door. Your £3.99 bottle of wine disappears to the kitchen and you are shoved unceremoniously into the living room which smells of vinegar and cheese flavouring.

As the newcomer to the room, all eyes turn towards you. You recognise 4 human beings who all appear eager to talk to you, having reached the limits of tolerance with each other. On the small sofa directly to your left is Bonnie. She is terribly nice but tends towards the trite and although her utterances are packaged very neatly, you are frequently left with the impression that they lacked actual content.

Standing by the mantelpiece with an empty glass is Barrie. He, you remember, has a knack for throwing obscure references into the conversation and passages from books which you haven't read. Once he starts talking he doesn't know when to stop and the last time you conversed a small amount of drool escaped your mouth.

Huddled beneath a massive yukka plant is Bella. Wow, she's kookie. Isn't she though? Isn't she just so mad? She must be, she tells you so every time she opens her mouth. You'd better believe her. It'd be good if you started the conversation by reminding her how crazy she is, that way she might go easy on you.

But wait. There's Buddy. Slumped in the corner, tears streaming down his pearly cheeks. Aww. Poor Buddy. Look at the pain in his eyes. Life's too much for this fella. Don't you just want to sit next to him and let him tell you how incredibly tortuous it is to exist from day to day? No?

You consider backing away, cutting your losses. Nobody would blame you. The door is right behind you.

Too late. Bonnie has taken your hand and has pulled you down beside her. Was your sigh as loud as you imagined? Bonnie has begun to divulge her observations to you, softly, quietly. Before your mind begins to wander you are caught by a flirty snippet of rhyme, a saucy metaphor. She proceeds through a series of robust plosive verbs and you are ensnared. There's a nugget of disgust cradled in a web of tight, careful sounds. She's exploring new territory, stabbing at precious, large-eyed values and wringing the blood from shy concepts with a greed that's as unavoidable as streakers, attractive as arrogance. Bonnie's face contorts as life spills from her eyes and her mouth and she laps up your reaction to feed her channel of sound so that you are as much a part of this as she. Without you, this wouldn't be happening. A little of her, a little of you and the meeting. That's why you came. That's why you continue to go to parties.


vicky ellis said...

1am post from Stratford and after cider. That's dedication.

Ashley R Lister said...

OK. This is getting embarrassing. I could see myself in Ste's post yesterday. Today I'm sure that I'm Bella...

Great post,


Lisa Gilbride said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lisa Gilbride said...

Actually, most people know better than to kidnap my wine. That's not a gift, it's my saviour.

Great read!

Lindsay said...

Great stuff, loved it. xx