Monday, December 28, 2009



He really shouldn’t have uttered those words again! It was Thursday for God’s sake. Steak and onions day! Now he lies there dead, next to the fridge…a beached whale…a proud-looking Newbridge carving knife wedged into a steak-gorged belly like a flag of surrender. "Hey didn’t I do well!"…if knives could talk…"and you thought getting a set of us for your fiftieth was a sad joke in bad taste. Not sexy! Women… just can’t fathom them!" Why did someone draw you like this? Purple- blotched legs, hairless, joined to a confusion of penis and testicles bandaged in bri-nylon, knobbly blue underpants. Flabby, flaky folds of creased blackhead-ridden neck escapes from a blue and white striped Van Heusen. What a grotesque last sketch of you!

Interesting men… or should I say men, who think they are interesting, need not concern themselves with irritating things like romance or sexual foreplay. Forget the flowers, candle-lit dinners, Armani suits and armpits. A shower! Don’t be ridiculous…they’re for wimps. Funny, I think, I never caught you outside Tesco conducting a survey on the subject. Did you ever ask me or any other woman for that matter what does ‘it’ for her, or indeed, her opinions about anything.

Oh…and once a woman is over forty-five, bundle her into the ‘M’ Box, throw away the key, letting her out again at sixty. All her dreams of exploring herself and the world will have stopped scaring the shit out of you by then. You can complain how your wife no longer understands you…just lies on her back thinking of the fatherland, enabling you to screw, without guilt, the girl from under the tree at Spar. Smelling like a septic tank you will belch and fart your inevitable path to nothingness, without any protestations from her indoors. She’ll be too busy with the grandchildren. Dreams of adventures lying… rotting in the ‘M’ Box compost heap.

Lighting a cigarette, making coffee, sadness seeps in through a crack. Why…after all these years?

You fuck your secretary as you always do on a Thursday, after eating your carefully-triangularized cheese and onion sandwiches. Grunting, groaning ..she continues to pleasure you orally. Unexpectedly, she finds herself wiping away semen from her chin, whilst trying not to heave, drowning in the stench of onions and rancid armpits. ‘Eh up, its Thursday, Steak and Onions tonight… no-one cooks a bit of steak like the wife!’ he snorts. .

My used to love my name!

Zipping up your trousers and reaching for another cheese and onion sandwich, you stuff into a cavern, that my tongue once explored with an aching, helpless desire.

Secretary pulls up her sexy, black Thursday pantees. Didn’t even get a chance to fake it today! Twenty years of faking it. A woman knows these things … silly cow! Thinks she loves you. Perhaps she does! Just once, she thinks, an explosion of pleasure… a trembling… crying softly…fulfilled in your arms. Pantees re-positioned, she wonders why you never ask whether she enjoyed it, how many brothers and sisters she has, when her birthday is…so he can send flowers. Biting her lip, grieving for lost Thursday orgasms, a defiant tear appears, Secretary asks ‘Do you love me George…even a little bit?’ Poor pathetic bastard, George! Never was comfortable with that four-letter word. He is choking at this point, pulling at shirt-collar with nicotined, trifle-sponge fingers. ‘Now look ‘ere, I laid my cards on’t table from word go. A bit of slap and tickle of a Thursday lunch-time and nowt else!’ splutters whale.

I should feel angry! Am I pathetic? Why didn't I just leave him... after the accident.

A stream of crimson trickles along the grout between Thursday-scrubbed terracotta floor tiles, redirecting my gaze to the heap… ‘turkey in plastic’ lookalike, George. It’s not even that I hate you!

But...that question! "Why did I let go of his hand?" you ask it, again...over and over...again! I see only the ugliness... yours...mine... and that of the world beyond! I want the hearth of us to be fuelled again with beauty! I want things to be the way they were...the way we were... the three of us!

‘Tim…TIM…TIMMY…STOP!!!’ My screams wake me…same nightmare again. He sees you, his daddy across the street and wrenches his hand from my curled grip. Hit by a red van, he is hurtled upwards like an empty paper bag. I am frozen…can’t get to him. He's twitching there...a leaf sneezing...then nothing. Breeze stops. Life stops. My son... my only child.

You have never forgiven me! You can't forgive me! It wasn't my fault I tell you!

Tears wash clean floor, as key opens front door. You walk in, stop at kitchen table. ‘Look at me…look at me!’ I scream, not out loud. You touch my arm, ‘Don’t give me cheese and onion sandwiches ofa Thursday anymore! Gone right off 'em... twenty years...! Perhaps a bit of corned beef next Thursday, just for a change!’ Puts kettle on.


Maureen Walsh 2009 ©

I wrote most of this story almost four years ago. Not totally sure where it came from, but I think it is a tale of the sadness and tragedy of non-communication, but more importantly... HOPE. It is only a first draft, with much to be done on characterization, connection technique etc., but I'm thinking it might work better in a 'play' format.


MaryRK said...

It would be interesting to deconstruct these characters by exploring this piece in Theatre format Maureen. The visual images define the woman as stationary person without hope while the male is defined as a phallocentric alien. It would be interesting to explore and expand her attempt at evolving the female character's sense of self you are developing in the narrative as it is. It is such a sensory stimulating piece, there seem to be so many routes you could take to incorporate and combine the physical, emotional, sensory and visual elements. Multimedia meets live theatre Smelly Vision :-) don't forget all the sounds that could inhabit this world you are creating.

Maureen Walsh said...

Hey Mary! My head is buzzing with ideas... while it has been suggested to me that it is filmic material, short story, etc... my instinct tells me to explore this in a theatrical context with a minimal set (pillars of sandwiches...tiles!)and perhaps influences of Antonin Arnaud and Howard Barker.The soundscape (and the unadulterated 'silence' at times) will undoubtedly be one of the main characters of the piece

Transylvanian Miss said...

Hello lovely!

Just read this and my but I am impressed! I really enjoyed it and it has so much potential.

I can see what you mean by the theatre format but honestly I really enjoyed it as a short story. It would work so well as both.

The female character as a whole does need to be delved into a little deeper. The reader is given a very clear picture and insight into the man but the woman still remains a little elusive in the readers mind.

Also the nice little knife twist at the end with the child is brilliant but in terms of pacing I think it comes a little late. Perhaps some not obvious hints but just something to clue the reader in to the tragedy a little earlier might be beneficial and would also help develop the female character...

I genuinely really enjoyed it, I can't wait to see where you go with it!