Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Howard Keating and Peter Roark

The morning came and went like rainwater off a mallard’s back, the rainsoaked sky furrowed with big white sheep’s clouds, harbingers of restless nights and troubled dreams. The man in the hat stopped for a cola at Rennes’ Texaco just off the beaten road not far from the centre of town. The gas attendant, a morose boy with uneven teeth held the door ajar, inviting the man in the hat to enter, which he did, entering to the left of the boy, the boy’s moroseness mingling with the smell of gasoline and spilt oil. ‘…over there…’ said the boy pointing. ‘…where what…? asked the man in the hat, his brow tightening. ‘…cola, we got’s bottles in the back but on account of the door being busted I can’t get at ‘em…’. ‘…oh…’ said the man in the hat, ‘…thank you, I’ll take a tinned one then please…’. The morose boy sidled up to the ice chest and retrieved a lukewarm tin of cola, and handing it to the man in the hat said ‘…that’ll be 25 cents, cheaper on account of there’s no refund on tins…’.

Howard Keating and Peter Roark own Rennes’ Texaco, Keating having inherited the business from his great-granddad Jessop Keating, whoremonger. Wanting nothing to do with the business, as both Keating and Roark have better things to occupy they’re time with, they employ a morose uneven toothed boy to manage the day to day operations. The man in the hat, unaware of the boy’s diffuse nature, buys the tin of cola and roughhouses it out the spring-loaded door, the uneven toothed boy waving morosely goodbye. Whoremongering aside it was a fine day, a day to throw prudence to the wind. She has a pockmarked face, Highland dirks running across the bridge of her nose and into the splint of her chin, tea-coloured teeth broken off at the gumline, pustule lips and a crooked smile that defies physiological description.

He kissed her hard on the lips, his eyes pressed tight into the ceiling of his skull. Her breath summoning up harsh beatings and falls from high places. He found a longsheet of foolscap on which was penned, in a neat unordered hand, the following, ‘Wen ewe thinc aboout it, using a horsis hede, a decapitated hede, shorn frum its pulpit an strung up in a toolshed whair it ripens and ages immaterialle, ewe’d thinc thair wuz sumthing unfitting aboout it all: all this trawma; all this behedeing an decapitashun. An tha fisharmen with his streng and tyine; harnassing up tha horsis hede inordar to throw in inta tha brown streem an sniggle fer eels’.

2 comments:

Joanne said...

Good one! Not a cahoot in sight and oh such wonderful pictures!

John W. MacDonald said...

reading ayn?

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"Poetry is the short-circuiting of meaning between words, the impetuous regeneration of primordial myth". Bruno Schulz

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