Oct 05 2008
Maxi has got our creative juices flowing this week. He has set up a little project involving seven bloggers with seven different viewpoints. Each of us were challenged to continue the previous person’s story in a new voice. English Mum kicked it off, so you can start the trail there. Thriftcriminal followed her and H of Shitetalker, came next. Maxi had his chance then and passed the baton to me. It was an interesting piece for me to write and I’d love to read any comments you might have.
So, I’m picking up where Maxi left off…
I nervously drag myself towards him. On the outside I’m a wreck; I’m a pale, shaking pillar of anxiety, with a quivering voice and a head firmly buried in my chest. Inside, I’m different. I’m someone people should listen to, take heed of. If they knew what went on inside, they wouldn’t fuck with me.
But on the outside…
I nervously drag myself towards him and tap him lightly on the shoulder.
“Are you the manager?” I ask, knowing perfectly well he is. Why don’t I just grab him by the throat, kick him in his lardy stomach and then when he writhes on the floor, smash that wine bottle over his head? Why don’t I? He deserves it.
He is taking a decade to turn around. People are always doing this to me. They think my time isn’t important. It’s very fucking important. I’m an important man and I could have deadlines and meetings. He should move faster. He doesn’t know what I could do.
He finally turns fully and I take a shaky half step backwards. Why did I do that?
“Pardon?” he says.
He was just doing it to piss me off. He knew what I said. He knew what I asked. He was like all the others. Like my ex wife. Like my mother. Like my boss and my kids and the guy at the train station. They know what I said. Why do I always have to repeat myself?
I take a deep breath. I know what I’m going to say to him. I know what I’m going to do. I’ll clasp my hands onto his hair. I’ll drag him down to my level. I’ll shove a fork in his ear – then he’ll have reason to say ‘pardon’. Everything would be ‘pardon’. He’ll be ‘pardon’ on the phone and ‘pardon’ at home and ‘pardon’ with his customers. He’ll regret ever saying ‘pardon’ to me.
I try to speak, but my throat dries up. I clear it and meekly say, “Excuse me, are…are you the manager?”
Of course he’s the fucking manager. What a stupid question? My mind races back to that idiot cyclist earlier in the day who went through that red light. I should have pushed him over. I should have pushed him onto the road and smashed his head in with my shoes. I should have stuck my umbrella between his spokes and sent him flying through the air. His face would be mangled on the tarmac and his nose would crack open. The red blood would cover the road and he’d never run a red light again. I should have done that.
“Yes, how can I help you?” he says. Pretentious prick. Help me? He can’t help himself. He thinks he’s something special with his fancy restaurant and his stupid uniform and his tea towel on his arm and his name badge and his perfect hair. I want to tell him how dumb he looks. I want to knee him in his balls and make him cry on the floor. I’ll rip out his hair and I’ll take his name badge. I’ll burn his whole fucking restaurant down around him. He makes me so angry.
Even now he’s smiling and waiting for me to say something. What if I say nothing? What if I just stare at him? He’d be scared. He’d wonder what I was going to do. He’d be worried. He should be worried.
I knew what I wanted to say. I wrote it down before I left Mother’s house. I had a plan. Where did I put my notepad?
I fumble. I search my pockets. I look in my briefcase. It’s not there.
I can feel my heart rate increase. My palms are becoming sweaty and my vision is blurring. Where is my notepad? Where did I put it? I looked at the manager and he is still smiling at me.
I can’t breathe.
“Is everything ok?” he asks.
“NO! No, it’s not,” I shout at him. I don’t know where that came from.
I run. I turn to him and I say “sorry” and keep running. My chest hurts. I can’t breathe. I fall over a chair, making a loud thud as I hit the ground. I can feel people staring at me. I’m crying now. I’m crying loudly. I get up and run. I don’t stop running. I’m running and I don’t know where I’m going. I’m still crying and my leg hurts. Why does my leg hurt? I can’t breathe. I have to stop.
I look around. I’m on a street corner somewhere and people are looking at me. My head is pounding and I don’t know where I am. I think I’ve stopped crying, but I’m still gasping for air. I take a deep breath and I look around again. Where am I?
I know where I am. I recognise that shop. I’m not far from home. Which direction? That way. I’m walking now. My head. It hurts so much. Why is my leg sore?
I’m nearly home. I’m limping now. What happened?
I look down and I see my trousers are red. Why are they red? I’m bleeding. My leg is bleeding. What happened? I don’t remember anything.
I don’t know how I got here.
I’m nearly home. I know that. But I don’t know where I was. Why is my leg bleeding?
I remember leaving the house. I said goodbye to Mother and I went out. I remember her face. She looked worried. Why was she worried?
I remember leaving the house and walking down the street. It was the first time I had been out of the house for a very long time. Why did I leave the house?
I see my front door and I see Mother. She runs to me.
“Oh my God, what happened to you? Are you ok? How did you do this?”
I can’t answer. I’m silent.
“What happened?” she screamed.
Silence. Everything is blurring again. It’s very dark.
I’m in my room, in my bed. I try to move and I stand up. My head hurts and my leg hurts. Why does my leg hurt?
I hear a shout from downstairs: “Are you ok up there?”
“Yeah”, I reply.
“Pardon?” she says.
“I’m fine,” I reply, louder this time.
Why do people always say that to me? Don’t they know who I am?
I look out my window, down onto the street and I see another bastard’s face, with his smug grin and know-it-all eyes. I’m going to kill him. I have a plan. Where did I put my notepad?