Fishing in Beirut

February 6, 2010

Part 3: Blue, July – Sept 2002 (scene 6)

Filed under: Character : Frank, Part 3 : Blue — fishinginbeirut @ 08:39

Dev spat an olive stone.
“They’re addictive these things,” he spluttered. “This is my third jar today.”
Frank had made soup in his apartment, but he had no idea why, as the two of them sat there eating, sweating for God and country. It was siesta in Sevilla.
“So they made you sweep the parts you’d already swept?” said Dev. “Just to be doing something.”
“Yeah.”
“For fucks sake.”
Frank pushed away his soup bowl and wiped his brow.
“It wasn’t even dirty in the first place,” he muttered. “They don’t have any fucking guests.”
Dev sat up and rolled a joint. A big cone that could floor an elephant. He folded, rolled and licked, his tongue protruding from the left side of his mouth, like an eager child, engrossed in what he was doing.
They smoked in silence.
“When I was about six,” said Dev, “I got my first erection. This wasn’t in the gaff my parents have now, it wasn’t in Dublin. It was when I was a kid, in Navan. It was summer, really hot – not as hot as this obviously, but y’know, hot. I was in the garden, or we were in the garden I should say, cause it was me, Johnno, and PJ. Jesus, fuckin’ PJ. Last time I saw him he was on parole. Anyway, yeah, we were in the garden yeah, me Johnno and PJ, and y’know, summers day, I think we had ice-cream or something. I was six. Anyway, the next-door neighbour was out sunbathing, like, in her garden, and I mean, fuck, what a fuckin’ slapper. Lying there real kind of, I don’t know…there was only a little fence between the two gardens. I couldn’t see over, but I could see through. She was lying out there, covered only in a towel, and I mean, it was obvious to us, through the fence at six years old, that there was nothing underneath. I’d say she was about thirty. Anyway, she’s lying there, we’re watching, and the thing is, she knew we were watching, y’know? She knew. So…what does she do? She takes off the towel. This is Navan, 17, 18 years ago. And she knew we were watching, y’know? She takes off the towel, lies there, totally naked, and we were watching through the fence, and, I mean, we had never seen anything like that before. She was about thirty I’d say, and she wasn’t bad. But what a fuckin’ slapper, y’know? To get your thrills from doing that. And that was the first time. Just lying there, y’know..?”
Frank exhaled slowly. The air of a confession hung over this story, and Dev had seemed nervous in the telling. Frank glanced at him now, and he was smoking. He was leaning back again, silent. A scooter went by outside, a churning headwreck growl, and Frank’s knee flinched, in sudden shock from the sound.
Dev stood up and went to the window. He spat down below. Frank finished the smoke and stubbed it out, wiping tobacco entrails off the table with his left hand. They rained slowly toward the floor, a waterfall of matter, a tumbling little shower that the ground was calling home. He spied an ant and squashed it.
“Sometimes I don’t know about this fuckin’ place,” said Dev, his voice half muffled with his body leaning out. “It’s a bit of a shithole to be perfectly honest.”
He laughed then, easy and fine with himself, and Frank smiled also, because the man by the window was right.
“So leave,” he taunted gently, standing up to stretch, and he moved toward the window, where Dev was leaking spit.
“Leave for somewhere new.”
“I might,” said Dev, dribbling, laughing and foaming and mad, his body now suspended over a twisting cobbled street.
“I could leave and go to Holland, and never go back home, and draw and smoke and dance, just like nature intended.”
He spat down below, and laughed as he wiped his chin.

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