Meursault

Storm.

The wild winds sharp fingers claw at the dully tiled roofs. A thatch house would be preferable, as there would be no piercing sounds. The only reminder of current storm would be the physical wound of the next day – damp bald patches exposing the covering below – bedraggled thatch on the grass. Unfortunately, the suburban setting does not dictate such rural niceties – roof tile, cinderblock, clay brick, asphalt and concrete are the suffocating norm.

The questions asked about the immediate consequences of this storm, due to the surrounding demographic atmosphere, are resultantly rather unwholesome – Will the ‘power’ go out? Will the ‘transmission’ be disrupted? Will the ‘connection’ drop? Will I have ‘service’? Questions asked as if ‘connection’ and ‘service’ where some wondrous wanderers who have unceasingly trudged the earth since time immemorial – another mindless addition to the aggregate of ‘this’ inauthentic life.

Another reason to stubbornly read on…

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Meursault

Observations

I straddle a chair, and cast an eye over its form. Four poorly manufactured legs stretching down to no real feet just dull wooden ends. The chairs leather has been worn out from the excited motions of sports fans, and the anxious pickings of those who wait for someone who may never arrive. My seat faces the bar, the lone tender looks bemused, his clientele are muttering, shouting, screaming, dying. No, no, they’re not dying, at least not visibly, perhaps internally. I order a drink barely considering my choice, it seems irrelevant, the coolness will envelop most of the taste. The money chinks into the register without me realising I’ve handed it over. After a few poorly executed sips I turn and survey the room. Daylight is fading, the lights are yet to come on, perhaps they’ll never come on. An elderly duo play pool in the corner, their game is rather still, they’re drawling into each other’s ears. The tables’ cloth is worn, and marked by constellations of chalk stain. The cushions looked warped, slightly hunched like the spines of the participants. This scene makes me nauseous. I turn away, another glug of liquid, followed by a breath or two.

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And so it went...

Spontaneous prose

So I sat there, and okay I was by myself but I was enjoying myself and that’s more than what most can say when they’re not by themselves, and I realised this fact at the time too which made me enjoy myself even more.

I sat and looked out to the low roofed dark room filled with loud and energetic conversation – everyone is joined with drinks and the accompaniment of this oh so sweet band playing in the background. I think it was the band which made everything seem so much better as they were obviously the focus point of the room – meaning everyone was focusing upon them and they were the happiest guys I saw throughout that whole month. They just loved what they did with a passion which had to be infectious and if it wasn’t infectious then I want to know what they put in the water at this place; probably alcohol actually.

People were sat, standing, dancing and diving, but what was consistent among them all was that they were bouncing a little wherever they were – to the music of course – and they all were just smiling as they spoke and that’s so rare! Who genuinely feels happy in these places these days anymore? These places just don’t seem to do it, and don’t seem to work because of that, but this band did work and that’s what’s so important I think because they were able to put love into their music so as we heard it we were literally being given love straight to us. That’s probably why we loved them so much, just as much as ourselves and the people who listen to us at that time. Conversations just seemed to have a beat and they were beating away in fine harmonisation and synchronisation and man the room just had so much love and elation!

Man, I was alone but that made me so much more at ease as it left me to freely look over each and every little group chat with appreciation, because I had no one else, and appreciated the fact that they didn’t mind me being there in the background raising a glass and smiling if they looked over, and they would do likewise and we’d all nod and then carry on with our lives all the better from the human experience.

Take this guy with rough black hair; actually just so happy to sit in front of the band with a drink on the table.

I look further over and there’s this blond in a pretty dress which has hearts in uniform replication all over it and this just makes me feel as though she needs someone to replace all of those cotton stitched hearts with one real beating heart that would love her and their love would be going to the beat of their hearts and the beat of this music – idealism is wonderful. She probably has someone though, someone who’s given her all of these hearts on her dress and she probably adds them as often as they’re given – which is probably lots and hence the uniform pattern.

Or maybe I’m wrong, and what’s right is staring me straight in the face, which is that I could be that guy? Although I’ve had some drinks and I feel I could just be my own kind of guy and making myself the greatest guy on the planet at that, so I should be cautious to not annoy her in a incorrectly assumed opinion of myself.

But I go over.

“Hey,” Damn she’s prettier than I originally thought and she’s now smiling the cutest and most welcoming smile I’ve seen, which is ironic because it’s scared the hell out of me and I trip up on my words, “going, how it is?” I say, cool as ice and she has no idea I’m drunk or nervous.

But the gal plays it hard, “Good. You?” I realise I have to up my game and match her tempo, tempo! Music, and, what’s more, dancing.

“Wanna dance?” That was the moment that for the first time in my life I was able to switch on and sober up at the call of my will, look her right in the eye and with a surety I’d never felt before I was able to ask someone a question which was so well asked it may as well have been a gentle command which couldn’t be ignored or denied.

She leaned back in her chair, smiled a curiously enticing smile which I thought was her thinking over how I’d just changed into the person who was now in control of the situation she was moments ago in control of – she was stumped but impressed.

“Sure. You know how?” I like this girl.

“It kind of just happens, my dancing that is, so gotta hope it happens right.”

“Well let’s hope, but if not, I’ll look after ya. Come on.” She’s won, but I win because I did well for someone like me.

“Yes ma’am.”

She might have led me on to the dance floor, but I still got her there.

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