Fishing in Beirut

April 30, 2010

Part 8: Te Quiero (scene 5)

Filed under: Character : Karen, Part 8 : Te Quiero — fishinginbeirut @ 07:45

Michel climbed off the whore, her eyes like a fish. She was Nigerian and clearly repulsed by him. He hoisted up his trousers, his belt clicking off his zip. The walk back out to the street was the part he was dreading.
It was still bright, half-four in the afternoon, a weak sun on rue Saint Denis and the music from clothes shops. Tinny techno with no heart or soul. He scurried around a corner and nearly hit a loitering homey. “Quoi,” said the boy, open mouthed.
Michel excused himself, walking on. He felt he really needed a toilet quick. That old nervous bowel-loosening, catching him short on rue des Lombards. He ducked into a tourist restaurant and hurried to the throne.
He emerged and was right beside Beaubourg, but didn’t want to see Johnny. His stomach was dancing, all churning, and his heart beat fast. He had a sudden urge to retch, but no matter surfaced. He just did it there on the street, the muscle action sore.
Soon afterwards he did get sick, under Pont des Arts, urine in the air. A homeless man’s dog sniffed against him and disappeared. Michel read some chalk on the wall saying Defense de pisser.
He leaned upon a wood beam, his body shaking and his eyes unclear. The smell of the place caught in the throat like acid. His cocaine use had increased dramatically. Karen was gone, and she’d been his reason to be.
He stumbled down along the quai side. His pulse was jumping in his wrist like a jackhammer surge. It was odd to be outside in such physical discomfort, the feelings in his body more appropriate to staying in bed. For the tiniest second he desperately wanted his mother.
He sat on the ground. It was dark; heavy clouds, the water beginning to move violently, like before a storm. It had risen, he was sure of that, and he watched and listened to the current roll. The river was menacing in the darkness, no tourist boats, nothing. The coldness of the ground made him want to get up but he did not.
“I hate Michel,” he said. “I hate fucking Michel.”
A roar of traffic from the Right Bank Expressway drowned him out.
He stayed for some time, reluctantly standing eventually. He took the Metro home and fell into bed. It was true perhaps that he wasn’t handling things well, true what Johnny had said. He needed someone in his life or his life didn’t happen.


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