Thursday, April 19, 2007

A Little Something

It was at the supermarket that I first met Jon. He was my manager. Squat body with bandy legs and chest hair that seemed to grow to his chin. No front teeth. Lost them to a lamppost that jumped him late one night. Bloodied his nose. He let me look at the small white shards of tooth that poked from his swollen gums. I remember his meaty hands on my shoulders as he tilted his head back away from me; if I hadn’t known him I might have thought he’d done it so I didn’t have to smell the stale cigarettes and last night’s beer on his breath.
Afterwards he’d given me a dressing down for wearing black shoes with my brown uniform. He made sure I knew the difference between being friend and boss.

On Saturday nights, once the supermarket had closed, we all piled to the pub, a shallow building looming over the graves in the local cemetery, it’s yellow lights throwing a malevolent glow across the tombstone-lined paths. On occasions someone – usually Jon – would run ahead and hide, jump out with banshee shouts to scare us. Once, he confessed to me, pressing up uncomfortably against me at the bar, that he’d made a girl piss her pants once doing that trick. I excused myself and took my drink over to the flashing lights of the fruit machine, my free hand tapping the shrapnel in my trouser pocket.
Even though I wasn’t legally allowed to drink by two or so years, someone always slipped a double shot of vodka into my cola. Often it was Jon buying the drinks, his gappy mouth and damaged gums grimacing as he called my name.
On Sundays I’d have to sleep late to get rid of the dull ache in my head. Jon would like to ask how debilitated I’d been on Sundays. It’s not as if I had to get to church, it was something I could handle.
Jon told me it was part of growing up. Like losing your teeth.

Sunday, April 15, 2007


But I will be back.

What follows is an intense period of activity involving a short holiday and a house move. Yes, a house move.

I should be back online sometime in early May. I will try to update then.

In the meantime, either pick a link or look back on some earlier work.

purplesimon out...