She’s in my bed and I’m sat in the metal chair, industrial looking thing, cheap and uncomfortable as hell. The seat is still cold so I find a way to warm up; it’s either her or this so I pack it up tightly, light it up and inhale with dull pleasure.
I exhale. “You should leave,” I tell her.
“It’s still early,” she says.
“Ready to get caught?”
“Not really,” she yawns.
“Telling you to go, does this mean I’m a shit?”
“Yeah, it means you’re a shit.”
“You should go before time can mess this up.”
“You’re blaming time for your crap?”
“I blame time for it all.”
She can’t see it, how time can get inside my gut and churn away. Time can force me to analyse her, analyse us. I can hear it now, come on, this won’t hurt Denny, just let me tidy up your life, I’m doing it for you. Fuck off time.
“Let me stay here forever, Denny,” she laughs, one of those nasal laughs, satisfying but borderline neurotic.
“Stay for careless mornings and dirty evenings?” I ask.
“Be fun wouldn’t it?”
“Should I go?” she asks.
“Is it worth staying?”
She doesn’t say anything. She’s lost interest already.
Now the questions appear: what are you doing, Denny boy? Have you got a plan? What about Andy? You little shit.
I won’t let them tame me. I won’t allow myself to fall into that trap: the filthy claw of shame.
She’s too detached for Andy. He’s not chasing her enough, busy trading her for something he wants more: wealth and class, the usual suspects, shit she doesn’t care about.
That’s the lesson I’ve learned about Andy’s girl: If I want more of her, I need to want everything else less.
Andy has a game-plan. It’s all right when you have a game-plan but it’s not all right when you have nothing. It doesn’t consume me though, the nothingness, I don’t obsess over it.
Not like Andy, he needs to know it’s all secure: the future. That it’s waiting for him, and his girl, if he’s lucky. If I’m not.
I don’t let myself think about it. I have a sequence, an algorithm, for when shit spins out of control. When I lose myself. I don’t worry because the sequence will be there to put me back together. Help me understand my head. Keep it sane.
The trouble only comes when I’m with her, she’s messing with it. She’s got her own algorithm and it’s starting to run deeper, roam deeper, through my veins, between the stretches of muscle, over the meat of the organs.
And I’m not ready. Not ready for it all.
“Oy, Denny,” stop hogging the joint.
She’s interested again. I turn back, toward her, to remind myself of her face.
She’s pale, almost blends in with the white of the room. The look on her is endearing, shows me what I don’t want to know. She’s no longer just Andy’s girl.
I pass her the roll-up. “This your breakfast?”
“No shame in that.” She winks, takes a blow and holds out her bony hand to pass it back.
She shrugs. “If it’s my germs you’re afraid of, it’s too late.” She lays back on to the duvet, disappearing into herself.
“Yeah. Too late.”