Groggy, annoyed, caressed by a feverish dream of buses and unpeddable bikes Lloyd awoke into the brow scrunching noise of municipal chainsaws attacking the trees, the foliage, his fragility. Dear Jesus didn’t they know it was only AM, an hour left, but still only AM time. Grunchingly he got up, unfurling the duvet with an automatons flourish. It was damp from the dream terror sweats and the scrumpled sheet beneath had decorated one side of his body with its folds, with the unkempt lay of the lad, red and unnaturally white. As for the dream, well.
The dream was remembered something like this: Struggling with a bike, its peddles or Lloyd’s legs don’t seem to work. Struggling with a bike, underpants, holey boxers, raggedy and worn outside jeans. Struggling to hide the underwear beneath black shirt. A host of amblers, not normally there, impede and obstruct. A bus travels off in the wrong direction, dramatically and with tension, with that preternatural fear. A system of everything through coloured block charts seems possible. Squirming under Lloyds makeshift spear, prong, sharpened metal prod, a papier-mache beast. Need to kill it. It is like a leatherback turtle. Ugly. Threatened. Aliens are cut into slices, inside they are like tomato innards, like larva lamps, like seeds looking for somewhere to plant. Lloyd receives an award, a certificate, the Gille De Rais embellishment on paper. It is worthless, not accepted. Graham Chapmen holds a meeting in an old entangled colonial pile, surrounded by jungle. Lloyd is on the bank of the river before the house, but cannot make his legs move, cannot climb the bank. An abundance of pith helmets.
Lloyd emerges into the scream of mechanical teeth and tree jism.
The bus comes now Lloyd thought, now when the snickers wrapper, tumbling, blown fitfully, passes the third kerb interstice from the edge of the bus stop. The branded discard scuttled pass the third stone and the gap that ended it. Pattered onwards, probably to bleach and interminably rot in the tangles of brambles, the flower beds of the park, the gutters of the street, the front gardens of probability. Oh not then, then, thunk Lloyd, when then, when the schoolgirl, almost home after school, enters her house and shuts the first of two doors. The desired houses of Scotland seemed to share that trait with American homes, homes hot and in the south from what he had seen on TV, and with painted, pouting, panting alcoholic women, Elizabeth Taylors in sweatpants pink. The schoolgirl had shut the door, but the bus had yet to arrive, to turn the corner onto the old Newhaven Rd. Impatient Lloyd lit a Windsor Blue, and yes it came round the corner, the freshly lit cigarette had tempted it into a materialisation. Lloyd stubbed out a good length of potential tar on the side of the bin, held out his arm, assembled into a collaboration with the bus driver to arrange delivery of the folding ingress, readied his change.
>>Purple enough for ya?<< A passenger in front motioned to their companion, pointing into a catalogue he couldn’t make out or what was purple. He settled in, into the high seat, not the rear seat, but the one that allowed him to view everyone on the bus, bar those behind, and more importantly to lustre after the foot claddings of females as they paid for their tickets, walked the aisle, or climbed the steps to the upper deck. Boots of every kind are his favourite.
Lloyd plugged in his not an ipod player, plugged it into his ears, and consciously hid the aberrant not an ipod player in his jacket. He listened and watched. (Traditional speech marks will indicate music / lyrics. You have been scorned.)
“Soon, soon, soon, these unborn things, sweat hanging like best perfume on lithe frames. Soon, soon, soon, they would wear skull shaped under garments, femurs for sleeves, the teeth of jackels in their ears. Soon, soon, soon…”
A drunk gesticulates into the bus, at the driver, at a bus stop were he was carelessly crossing, at a generalness of everything, his toothless absence, his lack of most teeth naked, enlarged outside the windscreen.
“I could murder my another, smother my another, in an off seas bank account, pecking manicure, pecking at bowling greens, seething in tumult, breathing in asphalt, coughing reflectively, gob into the sink…”
Nice pair of boots boards his train of thought, his examination of the tarmac, (note to self, had to correct my to his, get out of Lloyd you writer!) they, the boots ascend the stairs, travel away to a world of noisy children on the back seat, feet drumming, skipping into beats, unnerving reverie, disconnecting its soporiferous sensations in the reflections of the windows of Chicken Shack. Windows and shop sunk away from the street, basement level, reflecting the legs and feet of those waiting at the bus stop.
“Shoes and litter, you are my glitter, the somnabulence I skip to, in provincial gleam, go, go, go, Spartacus dream league, go, go, go, the ether sign painters union, go, go…”
Two youths scrambled with posturing onto the bus and sat in front of Lloyd, one seemed animated, telling a story enthusiastically, with big hand motions and gestures. Lloyd heard the odd word here and there, increasingly words like spunk and excrement began to puncture his daydream stasis, which he started to delaminated, unpeel, so that he could focus on the story. Now he had something besides the faint static of his broken not an ipod player to bear down upon.
The story unravelled from this point: …and then they spunked in her near death ears, slapping spent bellends against her gauche ear-ring burdened lobes. A still born child slabbered out of her at this point, feet first, its legs death twitching, doing a tap dance in the plentiful viscera deposited upon the slab, the fine Italian marble, its edges dripping red in that cold slapping way on the stone beneath.
Shit! I hope this is The Aristocrats joke thoughticuled Lloyd.
Then the Priest came in, he’d just finished lubing the larynxes of the choir boys, and was outraged at the noise the Satanists had been making next door in the Saturnary and shot them all. And I robbed their corpses for glory loot…
A series of clouds emerged from Lloyds mind, gradually increasing in size, until in the final cloud read the thought: Ahh he’s recounting his exploits in the Pubic Racist mod for GTA IV.
Lloyd removed himself back into static, into the reassurance of sultry sibilance. His Morningside stop was approaching and he arranged himself to depart, rang the bell, got up, swayed from vertical hand-bars to chrome seat grips as he idled towards his exit.
It was dreak, grey, blustery. The bus had been a warm bath of humanity for forty minutes. He hunched into his clothes and headed off to see V**** at the library opposite Waitrose. (Though given recent history of this supermarket site it may well have changed ownership when you come to check the veracity of my tract… tract, tee hee.)
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