“How did it go?” Asked Paula.
“How did what go?” I do that sometimes, I don’t know why, just pretend not to understand what a question relates to. Maybe I do know why. I think it goes back to secondary school when I had a fight with a girl. The girl had said something. I thought she was making fun of me about the picnics me and my mate had after school in The Elephant Park. We’d buy a box of mince pies and a pint of milk each and go and eat and drink them in the Elephant park. The Elephant Park is a play park with a large fibre-glass elephant shaped slide. Must have been in the winter because of mince pies. Anyhow, she’d said something while smiling and I’d heard picnics and didn’t much like her grin and so I’d gone off on one, defending our right to have picnics. The more I went on the more she laughed and the girl she was with was also laughing, with a face filled with wonderment which made me angrier. Turns out the girl hadn’t mentioned picnics at all. She didn’t even know we had them, until I went mental, so I looked mental and now I never assume I understand what somebody is talking about, just in case. Having said that Paula was definitely asking me about my date with Kate.
That was her name. The name of the depressed woman who was rubbish at running despite fraudulently wearing all the latest gear, the one who shacked up in the office. Kate. She’s a pretty successful artist now. Locally, of course, she hasn’t gone national yet but who’s to say that won’t happen?
“Your big date!” Said Paula.
“Oh, it was good.” I wavered the word good to show what I meant was that it was merely okay and not great.
“Chu do it?” Asked Enrique, showering me with a fine shower of crumbs from the three sausage roll ends he’d crammed into his mouth. He dabbed his mouth with a serviette. “Di’ chu?” He pressed, showering me again. He again dabbed his mouth. I wiped the crumbs from my sleeve while looking at Enrique with maximum disdain. His eyes flicked to my hand wiping, then back to my face. His eyebrows went up and down. Enrique’s getting fat.
“Of course,” I said. I didn’t.
Enrique made a grumbling sound, his face delighted, he looked at Paula and to me. His eyes were wide open and I thought he’d begun to convulse. His eyes bulged and his mouth opened like a fish, three or four times, but before I could check if he was okay he’d swallowed the lump of sausage meat which had temporarily blocked his windpipe and without waiting to catch his breath he wheezed, “das my boy!” He tapped me on the arm while nodding, he dabbed his mouth and picked up another end of sausage roll and popped it into his mouth. “In her ass?” Enrique asked and sprayed crumbs. He then dabbed his mouth with the serviette.
“What are you doing?” I asked. “You’re doing that all wrong, don’t dab your mouth after you’ve gobbed food everywhere. Hold it over your mouth.” I stepped away from Enrique.
“Oooh-ho-ho! He do it in de ass! He animal!” Enrique was shouting this at Paula for some reason even though she was standing right there, just on the other side of the counter. I shook my head at Paula to show her that that hadn’t happened, I’m not a monster and that Enrique was an idiot. Enrique was lying about me.
“We watched a film,” I told her.
“Which one?” She asked like there were only three.
“Some thing about Palestine.” I complained. I’d wanted to watch Avengers Assemble but didn’t say. “It was rubbish.”
“The Wrong Trousers?” Asked Paula. At the time I think I nodded because I didn’t understand what the fuck she was on about. Now I’m thinking she confused Palestine for plasticine. I can’t prove it though.
The film was boring but worse was that Kate’s TV was pretty small – that wound me up. If you’re going to get a television then get a massive one, don’t be a dick and get a small one. That’s what I think. I know for some people television isn’t that important – or so they claim – but then if you don’t want one then don’t get one, you know?
‘Oh, no, I don’t watch telly, don’t have time, my life is too busy and interesting’ – you hear people saying that sometimes. Bragging like their life is so fucking fun-packed they don’t need it. I suspect they’re the same liars as the ones who say they don’t like to eat sweet things but eat sweet things. So if you were going to have a telly then have a big one. They’re no more expensive than a small one. Often smaller ones are more expensive. I don’t like the theatre but if I went to one I’d go to a fucking big one. Paula says she doesn’t like sweet things but I’ve seen her demolish three Snickers in one go.
“You going out with her again?” Asked Paula.
“Aw yeah, he go again!” Said Enrique. Enrique then started miming having sex with a woman bending over in front of him. It was quite hypnotic. Enrique seemed to move like a dancer’s ribbon.
“I don’t know, she’s weird,” I said pulling my eyes off Enrique. When I’d been completely bored of the film I’d tried to get fresh with Kate but she was engrossed and biting the fingernail of her little finger and so I’d gone for a wee. I hadn’t been able to find the light but my night-vision eyes were working okay, I thought, and I could see the toilet just about but then Kate was waking me up. She was furious. I didn’t even know where I was. I saw the credits in their funny wiggly writing on the TV and realised the film must have finished.
“She a freak?” Asked Enrique still pumping away.
Now, what was she angry about? Let me focus, hmm, seems like I got a little bit of piss on the bathroom floor of her new flat and she wants me to leave. Okay, maybe a tiny splash. That could have happened but I think saying I pissed all over the floor might be a bit of an exaggeration, what a nutter.
“She was dirty, but artist dirty, not good dirty. Honestly I think I prefer Carol,” I said. She hadn’t been either kind of dirty. Just mad. Remembering the previous night had made me reflective and solemn like a gravestone accidentally painted with luminous paint that should have been used in a road tunnel. Enrique was still doing his sex act. He face was all boggle-eyed and his tongue was lolling out of the corner of his mouth and looking at him I burst out laughing. I didn’t want to, I hate laughing at Enrique when he’s funny but his face was funny. Paula laughed too. “You’re getting fat,” I told him and after one last hard thrust he laughed.