Fishing in Beirut

March 7, 2010

Part 5: Natural Light, Oct 2001 – Jan 2002 (scene 3)

Filed under: Character : Johnny, Part 5 : Natural Light — fishinginbeirut @ 11:13

Johnny was loathe to admit it. He wanted her. He wanted her and he couldn’t have her, and it growled in his body like an unfed dog. He scowled in their general direction.
She was lounging on the piazza with her legs draped over his. Some day-glo, hairgel, hip boy. Her shoes had been kicked or slipped off. Johnny watched them, this random unknown couple, lounging. He hurt from craving, looking at her there, and wanting her right now. He didn’t even know who she was.
She had a blue top and black dress, and was blond. Her shoes were pretty and white. The dude had some chain round his neck – a whitey down in the ‘hood of his head. He was propped up on one elbow.
“Sacrifice!” roared Johnny, picking up the guitar and forming an E. “Sacrifice tonight yeah.”
The autumn sun caught his watchstrap, as he flicked it rhythmically fast. He loved this Parisian autumn. In a matter of months it would be too cold here, and he would abandon the October light was the best though.

“Sacrifice, for what we have’s not what we need yeah,
Sacrifice, oh no!”

The police idled by. They studied him carefully, feigning ignorance and lack of recognition. One of their radios barked. Deciding against hassling him, they passed on, and he stopped playing and lit a smoke.
“Sacrifice, you fucking pigs,” he muttered.
That girl was still down there. Her legs were long and tanned. He blew a smoke ring, and accepted what could not be. Still, now he had that feeling, and he’d have to find another.
His smoke ventured out into the world; drifting, fading. His phone received a text. A brown and crumpled leaf attached to his boot, and then skitted onward again. The autumn and the dying. Johnny felt like a stranger here, just for a moment, before he stopped and remembered. This was home now. This place and no other.
He checked the text and deleted it. That client was a client no more. Whenever he felt suspicious, he dropped them without hesitation, cause get in trouble here and there was nowhere else to go.
He stood up and stretched his calf muscles. The right one had developed a cramp. Kicking at the air in slow motion, he saw the couple get up and move off. She was not so pretty after all. Her face held a sluttish plainness, and a dissatisfied lipcurl crank. Her eyes were the beads of a magpie.
Johnny spat on the ground, and worked stiffness from his limbs. He swivelled his arms and his shoulders. Blood pumped to the cardiovascular rhythms, and he felt warm, looser. Maybe today was a good one.
He sat back down and sang for an hour, barely ending one song and beginning another. People stopped before leaving. His hands and his voice were at one then, projecting a deepness withheld. This was the soul without censors. A tiny child ran up and put a coin on his knee, and as she did so she gave a tiny sneeze. He smiled in spite of himself.
“Bless you little girl,” he said, and she laughed and didn’t know why. Her mother beckoned her toward her.


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