Sunday, 27 March 2011

Voyage VI – Ciconiine?

I keep on thinking about Andrea. There’s something, I don’t know, strange about her, not quite right somehow. There’s something... I want to say ‘flakey’, insubstantial, lightweight, about her, considering the life she’s led. She doesn’t seem to know much about the world for such a supposed ‘high flyer’. I’m not sure what to make of her. She maintains that she just hated all the politics – just stayed away from it as much as she could. They were always going on about ‘realpolitik’ when all she could see was kids with their hands blown off and mothers who couldn’t afford to buy a fifty-pee rehydration pack for the baby. Ok I can see that.
I do like her though.
Oh for God’s sake. Here we go again. You’d think all this hormonal crap would stop when you get old and die but no. Apparently not. Bollocks bollocks bollocks.
I’m getting that feeling again, that itchy giggly feeling under the ribs I used to get when I was younger. I remember it coming on when the weather warmed up and the hedgerows were filled with buzzing and people sat outside with their drinks and the girls started to wear their little tops again, and I had that widespread wonderful feeling that at any moment, anywhere, it could happen. There might be a party, or an exhibition, or, I don’t know, just a chance encounter. It could happen any time. And I looked pretty sexy then, even if I say so myself – ‘chiselled and swarthy’ as they say. And I wasn’t skint. I had a place to stay with a bit of privacy and a shower. I couldn’t wait.
And then it got cold again. Then the money was all gone or something else happened...
Anyway she’s way out of my league.

I do have some idea when someone fancies me. I’m not completely naïve. I can tell Fiona is interested in me for example, and she’s nice enough – short black scruffy bob, a rather narrow, avian sort of face. ‘Aquiline’ I think is the word (I wonder what the term for ‘heron-like’ would be? It’s closer.)
She motions for me to sit next to her, and I do because it’s the only free seat, but once there I try to be as un-arousing as possible. I think she thinks I’m playing hard to get. Or maybe she’s just desperate, which would be typical. This happened to me a few times in life, mostly at the festies. Some overweight radical feminist with spikey red hair, biker jacket and purple Doc Martins would take a shine to me, and I didn’t like to be rude, so, to cut a long story short, that’s how I lost my virginity. It’s not that nobody ever fancied me exactly. It’s just that I suspected they were kind of desperate too. But I’m being unfair. They were good people generally – funny and warm, and I enjoyed their company, but not like that. So Fiona is into me. She can smell sexual frustration, but it’s not for her. I look at her again. Would I, if it came to it? No. I saw her without her jacket on the other day and she looked like one of those Mexican Day of the Dead figures. Frankly I’d rather she was obese.
Cathy isn’t bad looking, in a mumsy way, but she’s always so sad. She’s always thinking about the family she left behind and she blames herself – it was just a stupid car accident she says – she was on her mobile, going around a roundabout, and... She’s inconsolable, although we do keep trying.
Bryony is interesting, but terribly young and she had a horrible death that might have involved sexual assault so we don’t pry. She’s oddly cheerful for all that and makes us laugh with the things she comes out with. She used to be ‘One of those Goths’ she says, ‘so actually being dead is quite fun, by comparison.’ She’s the one I’d go for given the choice, despite the strange black hair. Goths are supposed to be quite good in bed, or so I hear. All that bondage gear I guess – piercings and tattoos.
Oh listen to me. Look at where I am. The afterlife is so not the place to get laid. Get a grip man.


  1. "Lead" should be "led".

    "Ciconine" should be "ciconiine" according to the OED, but few readers will have much idea of the reference.

    I look forward to finding out which if any of the ladies will benefit carnally from the chiselled and swarthy hunk Gabriel. The ciconiine Fiona would be fun, but I must remember this is not an interactive novel, and I shall have to enjoy whatever gets offered (much like Gabriel?)

  2. Seems to me the afterlife is a good place to get laid. I imagine one could escape most of the consequences!

  3. Thank you so much for the corrections Vincent. I'll get onto that this evening.
    Ciconine (or ciconiine) I'm particularly chuffed about because it was a made-up word originally. I only discovered when I posted this entry that it actually exists.
    How erudite am I?

  4. You have corrected one but not the other. Never mind, I like Gabriel's obsession with not getting any. It's retrospectively cathartic. I'll append more to your latest.

  5. Oops...
    It gets confusing. I have to correct both the ms. and the blog entries. Sometimes I do one and not the other.
    Yes - the 'not getting any' thread is based on a couple of guys I knew in my twenties who simply failed utterly to be anything other than 'good friends' with women. I believe both are now happily married but at the time it was crippling for them - almost literally. I had a pretty barren patch through my late teens/early twenties so I can definitely sympathise.


A life backwards

It's in the nature of blogs of course that you come across the latest postings first (or you find yourself in the middle.) Normally it doesn't matter but if you want to read my novel in order, the first installment is as you'd expect, the oldest posting.
Thanks for your patience.