Fishing in Beirut

April 5, 2010

Part 6: Things As They Are (scene 14)

Filed under: Character : Karen, Part 6: Things As They Are — fishinginbeirut @ 10:59

The ice on the ground was unpredictable. As he slipped and nearly fell, Michel cursed and grabbed a railing top, steadying. He was in Jardin du Luxembourg, having just been turned down for a part in a play. It wouldn’t have suited him anyway.
He’d arrived for the audition early, taken a quick snort and rehearsed, but he knew the lines were no good for him, the character impenetrable and cold. Nevertheless, he’d attempted it.
It was six months since he’d found any theatre work, and he wondered sometimes was he foolish to not audition for ads. Was it still selling out if you had to? Borrowing money from his parents was getting harder with each visit, his mother clucking and fretful, his father dismayed by his son. It might nearly be easier if he was angry with him.
Michel sat down, rubbing his hands and shivering. The expelled performance adrenalin had him horny. He could never think of Karen in this humour, feeling it a betrayal of her to do so. Instead he would settle for a magazine, or recall some skinflick once viewed.
There weren’t many people in the park, and those that there were weren’t idle. They were moving from one thing to another. He felt savagely depressed in that moment, cold and alone on a bench, while the world carried on unaware of him. He gripped at his hands and his elbows.
Only his bones made him move again. They were aching and stiff, and so he stood up and walked to relieve them. He left by the south exit, and crossed over Saint Michel. The cold was stinging his cheeks. He jumped on a bus that was heading back north, grateful to just sit and be carried. Some gangsta’s slouched on and didn’t pay.
The bus wound its way toward Bastille. It was arrested in traffic near the quai. Michel bit his fingernails and watched the people, crossing the road and scurrying along the path. What was that phrase from the English, a ratrun or something like this. He knew what was meant by it anyway.
When he got off it was growing dark. He walked from Bastille to Belleville, and on to Colonel – Fabien. He entered his apartment and sat down. He’d left a razor blade on the coffee table, and he stared at it in quiet loathing. It was making him look like a fool.
Washing his face in the sink he started crying, the low and useless bulb a witness to his tears. He saw himself as a ghoul or a sleazebag, a creature less than nothing, his weakness without end. He hit at his face with a dirty towel. His need, his lust, his unfulfilled ambition. He was a twenty nine year old loser.
He climbed into bed and then climbed out again. He stood there clenching his fists. It was freezing, he was just wearing his T-shirt, and he tensed up his body to inflict some more pain. His useless fucking body.
He spat on his own floor and once again was crying. He didn’t even have Karen now. Of course she’d left him forever, of course there was no way back. Who would want a fucking loser like him. He punched his own stomach, his chest. To even go to that audition was a mistake. He threw the blanket from the bed around himself. He went out to the coffee table, and used the razor blade to make lines.

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