Swylce

Musings and Writing of GG Alexander

Archive for July 2015

Solarpunk Noir 2

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First thing I did once home was sit at my table. Well, almost. First thing I did, really, was take a swig out the bottle of absinthe I’d bought on the walk home. Then I found it much easier to sit on my pillow, at my dusty candle table, light up the candles and incense and prepare my mind for some pain. I may have had a second swig.

Events seen and unforeseen. It couldn’t be helped. I breathed, exhaled, searched for the third eye within me, and opened her sand-cracked lids. I asked for Jess.

She responded like she’d been waiting all this time.
Jess, fourteen, drunk, wearing hot pants.
Jess, sixteen, in the bathroom at school.
‘It’s not a big deal, is it?’
‘I don’t think so.’
‘It wasn’t even that good. I just wanted it out the way, y’know? I know he-‘
One line broke into the memory vision:
‘ -holding on to an impossible-‘
I pushed it away.
Jess, sixteen again. The faint look of fear when I glanced at her, glanced back having looked away having told her I like women. A slip of revulsion crossing over her lips.
‘Oh. Okay.’
‘-I’d have to be blind not to realise-‘
I threw the memory aside. Future, not me, not memories, give me some real vision, I begged.
She didn’t take the hint. She ran with the theme she’d latched to.
Nineteen.
‘Why are you being such a wuss about this? You always back down when you should be sticking up for me, for yourself-‘
‘You really think that style suits you?’ sneers thirteen-year-old Jess.
‘You knew it was never going to happen,’ comes that insidious whisper again.Enough, show me what I need to know!
I saw us graduate. Jess smiling. We threw our degrees in the air.

Sneaky bitch, that eye of mine. Lulled. False security. I couldn’t escape the full vision when it slammed on me again:
Last time I saw her. Three years ago. We were having coffee. Jess told me she was moving away.
‘This is…sudden,’ I said, too shocked to hide the hurt in my voice.
‘I didn’t expect it. But I don’t think I’ll be coming back.’
‘What’re you going to-‘
‘I didn’t want to leave without clearing some things between us.’
‘There’s nothing to clear.’
She raised her eyebrows. She’d threaded them too thin again. She always did that. She was drinking a caramel latte and wearing her best red sweater and she only had mascara on, no eyeliner. I didn’t need the vision to tell me these things. They were burned in me.
‘You’re holding on to an impossible dream,’ she said. Maybe she meant it to be so quiet I couldn’t hear over the cafe background chatter? No. No, she knew her voice would carry. And that wouldn’t have been like her. She was never a coward.
‘Rai-‘
She called me Rai. Don’t ask the reason. I’ll never tell.
‘Rai,’ she said. ‘I’m a straight woman. I’ll never feel for you the way you feel for me. And I’m going to be walking some…different paths, I think. We need to have a clean break. Be apart from each other.’
‘That’s pretty fucking presumptuous,’ I said. ‘You think coz I’m gay and your best friend that I’m in love with you?’
‘I’d have to be blind not to realise.’
‘You’re talking shit,’ I said. ‘Are you trying to piss me off to make this easier? Burn all the bridges behind you, as well as every one in front, like you usually do?’
She smirked.
I called her out on being her fuck-up self, and she smirked.
‘I burn what I burn. We’re done, I think. We’re not good for each other.’
‘You tell me that after the amount of times I held your hair back for you.’
‘And after the amount of times I stood up for you, friends I made for you. Look at us,’ she chuckled, shaking her head. ‘We’re no good. And I don’t need this baggage. I don’t need my past, half my life following me around, waiting for the day I get drunk enough to kiss her.’
I blushed, furiously, like a teenager.
‘So you didn’t forget.’
She shrugged.
‘I want what I want at the time. If you’d had the balls to admit it’d happened, maybe I’d have admitted to remembering.’
No good for each other.
‘But you knew it was never going to happen. You’re a coward, and you always have been. And I don’t have time for cowards and love-sick puppies anymore. I’m done with you.’
She took a last swig of her coffee and stood up. I wanted to cry, beg her not to go, tell her I’d do anything. I wanted to scream at her, call her a bitch in front of everyone in the cafe, tell her I’d be better off without all the pain she’d given me in the past ten, twelve years.
I said nothing as she left.

I pulled out of the vision.
Sniffed.
Swigged the absinthe.
Coughed.
‘Fuck you, eye,’ I said.
Another swig.
I closed my eyes. Breathed. The incense was going to run out soon.

Not Jess, then. But something. Give me something to do with it, some hint of my next job, what Meredith said-
Like a bolt, the eye opened and I saw her: Meredith. Smiling. Wriggling out of her dress and jumping onto her bed.
This, this is better, I thought.
Black-haired butch was with her. Chain-link tattoo around her umber bicep. Started to kiss each other, hungrily. I had a sudden sneaking worry that Meredith might prefer the manly type – the big, protective type.
Still, it’s better –
Mid-thought, suddenly Meredith was at the dressing table the next morning, rolling lip balm over those round, plump lips.
(Dammit! Why skip over the good part?)
Her beau jumped from the bed, looking at her phone in disbelief.
‘No,’ she said, ‘no no no no-‘
Meredith turned.
‘What’s up?’
‘No – I have to – I have to go, right now -‘
‘Immi, what is it?’
‘An-Gen,’ the butch said. When she looked up, tears were in her eyes. ‘It’s – it’s gone. James tried to call, I missed it, he just texted me, he says they broke in in the night, trashed the prototypes, stole the money, bricked the computers – it’s gone, it’s – it’s all gone!’
Immi burst into tears. Meredith comforted her.

They, I asked, show me who “they” are.
Eye showed me a man. Blonde hair, cropped at the sides, not young but not over forty. Standing in front of a classroom. Teaching philosophy.
‘Nasty, brutish, and short-‘
‘The world is full of impossible dreams, isn’t it?’
The voice was loud, real, in my mind. It interrupted the vision, but it was not my eye, not mine, not from me.
A whoosh, a smack, the vision was pulled from under me, and my eye jolted shut as my others burst open.
My pillow, my table, incense burned out.
Breathed, exhaled, rubbed my brows.
It was her.
I knew her presence like I knew my own teeth.
And yet, she had kicked me out of my own eye.
She had found me – and kicked me out.
I exhaled again.
Took another swig.
Then reached in my pocket and found Meredith’s card.

Written by G.J.

21/07/2015 at 9:55 pm

Posted in Uncategorized