The word ‘ebb’ itself feels eroded. Like my once opulent patience or my once abundant temper. Like my hairline. Ebbing. Ever further. Like my days remaining. Like friendships that stood as great cliffs, now feeding oceans. Ever decaying. The innocuous, innocent ebb evolving into the black hole of all things.
“I won’t be a minute”, he said, slamming the front door.
By 11pm she’d called the police, having exhausted all possibilities. They searched. Nothing.
His credit card untouched for the next four years before expiring.
They’d been so happy, she thought, but she’d never escape those (now) ambiguous last words.
She never thought she’d understand the notes; cried for months before trying. He’d bequeathed the apartment, funds, (even land), but 21 notes (handwrapped) remained unexplained. He’d loved her, she knew that. But here came emptiness. Years passed before she heard Vera Lynn sing the inimitable. And those notes rang out.
Alice is practically everywhere; a sex shop in Soho, a Camden brasserie. Easily the most hypnotizing woman I’ve ever seen. She invites me to her Docklands apartment. Haven’t lost my charms.
Then it all makes sense. A bald man opens her front door, holding a pistol to my smiling head.
I recall the glaze in her eyes afterwards, but her name eludes me. Tired, I hadn’t fucked her; just killed her. Death lacking intimacy hadn’t excited me at all. Right then I realised that she’d killed me instead. I was a beast and a savage; the ‘man’ inside was dead.
Dorotheé teaches French on the veranda.
“Je m’appelle Andrew. Vous avez les belles yeux.”
She laughs at me. When she eventually agrees to date, we frequent the best restaurants de Lyon. She falls for me, of course.
Devoted, pretty eyes look remarkable on a severed head.
Nobody laughs at me.
Such skin. I look and want to touch. Ana brings cocktails to my room. I vow not to kill Ana.
A bald man acts suspiciously. Paranoia says to quit Sicily if I’m to avoid prison. But Ana, saintly Ana.
Driving through Italy is difficult with a body in the trunk.
She wrote her number on the cubicle. I took her to Psycho. We clicked.
Met my folks. Verdict: Different. We eloped.
Loved Florence but Rome uninspiring. Settled in Sicily. Without friends she got bored. She would’ve killed me if I’d not got there first.
I knew we were kindred spirits.
The lava crept closer at 14 foot per hour. They insisted we evacuate our beloved homes. In 4 days they would be ash. I lie in bed non-compliant, unrepentant. 3 days, 2 days, one. I waver, I wonder. No one tells me to leave. Tells me to live.
“Essentially trying to hone what might be 100,000 word novels into 50 word epigrams, trying different genres, playing with form , conceit, experimenting with…are we connecting here?…you seem to have glazed over somewhat.”
“I’m afraid, if you haven’t found a genuine job within a fortnight we’re suspending your benefits.”