Fishing in Beirut

February 27, 2010

Part 4: Causality (scene 9)

Filed under: Character : Johnny, Part 4 : Causality — fishinginbeirut @ 11:36

His reference point was the last one. When he thought about a take, he could only remember the last one. The girl right there beneath him. He turned over, propping himself up on his elbow. He was lying on the bed, fully clothed.
Before he left his mother had called him over. He’d been frightened, in a rush. She had whispered in his ear. Some things never grant an ending, they just gradually fall away. These men have given you one. This country is not yours now, and you are truly free. He had slunk out the back door.
Johnny tugged on the hair at the back of his head. His breath prevented silence. He lay still, scrunching up his face and closing his eyes. You are truly free.
They kicked him from Dakar for reasons he had buried. He wound his way to Paris. Jean, Johnny, whatever. He was lying on the bed, propped up on his elbow. His reference point was the last one.
He hated memory with all his heart. Girls, places, feelings. He strove constantly to forget, to deny, to wrestle the past right out of his head. He had learned the hard way how this only made things worse. In the course of an average day, remembrances would surface, and the more he pushed them back, the more they buried in. It was so clichéd it was farcical.
He had not returned to the place of his birth for over three years. He had reached a wounded acceptance this would last forever. Would become ten years, twenty, death. He sat up on the bed, those kids down below, playing football.
He drank water. He wanted to drink water today. He tuned his shit guitar. The strings strained and loosened, pleading with him to be confined to the bin. He couldn’t be bothered getting new ones. He started a song but abandoned it halfway through. He threw the thing on the bed.
He thought about calling someone, but he would be called sooner or later. Maybe he’d go to Beaubourg. Michel would probably turn up for an English lesson. He had not seemed to notice that Johnny was losing heart. He’d taken to arriving with print-outs off the net, rolling reams of grammar he was all hyped up to learn. Johnny had no idea what a ‘question tag’ might be.
The guitar fell off the bed. It banged below unmusically, like a cat chewing on a banjo. He eyed it with disdain. He picked it up and tuned it again, squeaking round the pegs till they finally did his bidding. Somebody shouted something outside, and although he didn’t hear what, he knew it was for him. He flung the key out the window, so whoever it was could come up.
A slovenly character appeared momentarily, claiming he’d managed to dig up money from somewhere. Johnny stared at him hostilely, as he emptied notes and coins onto the bed. How much was there he wanted to know.
The cokehead shuffled, sniffling and mumbling while his fingers clicked a rhythm. You can lose a bank job from that poison, and end up in a hostel with no arse left in your jeans. Johnny gave him his money’s worth, and ushered him out the door.
He played a song and played another, loosening up slightly. He stretched and cracked his knuckles. High beyond the rooftops, the clouds unleashed their load, and dirty heavy raindrops hit the turning world. Johnny was glad he’d stayed in today, because soakings are not welcome, and money must be made. He lit a cigarette.


Leave a Comment »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at

%d bloggers like this: