Friday, 26 February 2010

Working Class Heroes

She is sitting on her throne. Proud, arrogant queen, overseeing people bringing her stuff into the new place.

"It's a good day, isn't it." there is a weak reflection of smile on her face when she talks to one of the removal guys, who is sweating and looks angry. The sun is rising rapidly over the old walls of city of York as the job goes on and it's really a very good day in terms of weather, despite that it's winter.

"Not too bad," answers the guy bringing the box inside, and there is something similar to smile on his face also. Honestly he never really understood or enjoyed all this English weather talk. All he wants is to go home sooner, but there is still a lot of work to do. If something, he would be more interested in her Portuguese maid, but in the given circumstances he is not. He is just playing his role of the working animal, a mule, and she is playing her role of a maid and the woman on the throne is playing her role of the queen. Nobody seems to be very comfortable in their roles today and somehow they all seem to be too aware of the temporary character of their relationship, and too concerned each with their own problems to really enjoy playing any of the games they are supposed to.

“Careful, careful!” Her voice is trembling in the air like a crystal chandelier touched by the wind. She leans forward, her tired gaze becomes somewhat hawkish.

“It's alright!”

“OK.” She sighs. “It's OK.” She settles back in her throne. It's tiresome to deal with the commons and sometimes with people at all.

It's not a castle she is moving in, just a tiny flat in the recently build block of apartments. Boxes and boxes with candles, with scents and porcelain dolls. Not too much of them and not the most expensive ones. But what do they know and what do they care those guys from somewhere, from nowhere. What does anybody cares about me those days, she thinks to herself.

Removal guy is watching the delicate curves of the back pockets of blue jeans covering Portuguese girls buttocks and he imagines the flesh under them, then he looks at his own dirty hands and then he goes out to pick up another box. A daily routine. What the fuck I'm doing on this planet, he thinks in such moments. He sees other his colleagues smoking and takes a cigarette out of his pocket, lits it up and exhales a thick cloud of smoke in the cool winter air.

Women remain inside. There is great sadness in queens eyes. All this stuff it doesn't matter if it's cheap or real, porcelain or plastic. It's history, of her great lost kingdom. Memories of great hopes and expectations, titanic struggle and sad downfall.

OK let's go and have a lunch she says to her maid and switches on the engine of her throne. Her throne can do 20 miles per hour on good asphalt. It's a substitute for her legs since she was born.

Before they are gone girl brings them cups of warm tea and biscuits. She asks if they can finish the job as soon as possible, because she's got a train back to London at six o'clock in the evening. They say, yes sure, or they can give her a lift. No thanks, she answers, she'll be alright.

Just when they are gone, colleagues are keen to tell the guy the background of this job. The woman on the wheelchair, she was evicted from her nice house in London by the police and bailiffs, because council refused to pay for it anymore. She is completely broke, disabled and apparently mad because she wants to live far over her possibilities. She is crazy.

“Crazy bitch,” says one of the colleagues childishly with a smile in his wrinkled face of middle aged man. The guy frowns, but chooses not to answer anything. Apparently poverty and hard labor doesn't make people better he thinks. How does it comes that people who doesn't have much, very often are so arrogant and rude to others who have even less. Of course it's more of a joke, and “bitch” is just the expression, but it clearly bears the attitude. They rarely say “bitch” about the customer when they are working for rich people. Or if they say, they say it in a different tone.

The flat the woman is moving in is so small that all the stuff she is taking with her barely fits inside. The piles of cardboard boxes in the rooms are growing so rapidly that at the end of the day there is just a small corridor connecting her bed with a kitchen sink and a cooker left for the woman to move in her wheelchair. Portuguese girl is looking at the clock from time to time. Another couple of hours and she'll be free. She has spent last two years taking care of this woman. What next?

“I'll have a couple of weeks off, and then they'll find another job for me.” She explains to removal men. “There is plenty of people around who need care.”

“Do you like your job?”

“Well. They pay not bad. But sometimes you have to have the nerves to do it.”

“Who's gonna help her with all this stuff?”

“They'll send somebody else. The local council, I mean. It's not our jurisdiction anymore.”

“Don't you feel attached to her after such a long time?”

“Well,” she says. “It really doesn't matter. Can you guys please finish, so everybody can be at home before the midnight. It's ridiculously far from here to London.”

The guy brings in big open box with pictures and photos and one printed old page from a magazine which is framed and under the glass. He quickly runs through the text on the page. It features the life story of the woman. She was about to become a successful actress, or that's what they wrote in the magazine some 15 years ago. The first person with such a severe inborn disability who will do it to fame as an actress. There is a couple of photo of her together with supposedly important people. She looks happy, enthusiastic and proud. There is a lot of talk about her hard work and that sort of thing.

He doesn't have much time to read the article and he is checking with one eye if the woman sees him reading it. It's not clear. She probably does. But she is not giving away any signals about it. There is just sadness and resignation on her face and her gaze is wandering around the room randomly stopping at the objects and people. She is lost and it's like she is not there really.

The guy is going outside to pick up the next piece of her stuff. His mobile phone is ringing and he says: “Yeah.. yeah.. yeah.. can we do it tomorrow? I'll be at home rather late tonight. Yeah.. the weather is fine.. yeah.. everything else is fine also.. no.. nothing is wrong... Just a bit nervous. I don't know why. It happens, you know... No I'm definitely not going out tonight.. OK, I have to finish my job.. it's depressing. The job I mean... Yeah like always. Well it's a bit more depressing today... Yeah I need money I know. Yeah that's why I'm working... Listen, I really need to finish my job, I can't talk anymore. I'll call you tomorrow. OK? See you.” He takes another cigarette from his pocket and sits down by the van. It's a 20th cigarette today he counts throwing out the empty packet.

“We need to stop by the shop on our way back. OK?” He says to his colleagues.

He buys a can of beer and another pack of cigarettes. He sits in the cabin of the van next to the driver and watches the empty English landscape passing by as they advance towards home. He drinks the beer and smokes and thinks about the disabled woman they left in her new flat surrounded just by a huge pile of cardboard boxes full of mostly useless stuff.

Some dreams come true and some not, he thinks.

Then he tries not to think about her anymore. He finishes his beer and tries to sleep instead.

Cuddled by the warmth of the cabin, soft vibrations and monotonous buzz of the engine he nearly falls asleep, but is waken up by a sudden rush of blood to his penis. It grow bigger and bigger and it's a little bit painful and completely meaningless and mechanical as there is nothing in his thoughts. Absolutely nothing.

Just that awkward empty unwanted feeling in his trousers.

Leading nowhere.

As the life itself.

And the buzz of the engine.

And the vast empty fields on both sides of the motorway.

And his empty gaze wandering around in this landscape, trying to find something to stick to.

There is still miles and miles of the road ahead.

He takes another cigarette to kill some more time.

(PS. All characters and places in this story are purely fictional. Any similarities between them and real individuals are purely coincidental.)

Saturday, 20 February 2010

Photo Album

In this photo I'm staying on the big gray stone on the shore of Atlantic ocean

I'm staying exactly in the middle of a gigantic footprint of dinosaur

Left here 70 million years ago

This photo was taken by you

Remember you made about 15 photos with me on that stone

Because you said that you liked the shine in my eyes

When I talked about how dinosaurs was more like birds than lizards

How they lived in flocks, made nests and sung songs to each other

Cared for their children and vanished from the earth just when the flowers appeared

Because flowers were probably toxic to them

Yeah, you said, you never know whats under the surface of beauty


Here, next picture is you

You lay on the sofa with your eyes half closed

Your hands in the air making invisible circles and stars

You smile and my kiss is still under your nose

That was that evening in winter. The one when we took so many pictures of each other

Just out of nothing to do; and we laughed a lot; and we asked

What if the earthquake comes and buries us under this building today

Can memory cards petrify?

Can petrified memory cards be read after 70 million years?

And then you said, Hey let's make a baby tonight

He may last long enough and we don't know what else to do with our lives anyway

Your hands in the air making invisible cobwebs of love


And here is a picture with me again

It's blurred, it's taken on tube by one of my mates

Haven't changed that much or am I?

I don't know how you do? Just hope you alright.

I certainly am.

Still digging, still left-wing, still all is the same

Fighting my demons and sometimes having a fun

Just stopped for a moment to drop you a line

To say

You know

I'm still keeping you on my memory card


Who knows maybe somebody'll find it

After 70 million years

Friday, 12 February 2010


I met her on one of those mad Friday evenings in club, we had some mutual friends and we finished that evening in her place. The whole company, six or seven people. Who can remember now. We drunk as much as we could and fell asleep wherever it was possible in her tiny flat. We really didn't cared about those things back then. Next evening I came to her alone and brought a couple of bottles of wine with me. I was already quiet drunk. She wasn't expecting me, but she didn't mind either. She let me in.

“Yesterday,” she said, “you were wasted. But so was I.”

“Yeah,” I said. “Yeah.”

“Anyway I'm glad that you came. I really didn't know what to do this evening.” She moved across the room inviting me inside, and in her movements was something of a tired cat, if you can guess what I mean. Or maybe it's better to say that she moved like a fit, sporty girl who had a hung over. And I just said:

“Yeah.” And maybe one more time: “Yeah.”

“Yeah.” She mocked me? Or didn't she? “Want coffee or something?” She asked.

"Thanks, I'll stick with the wine."

We sat on the sofa to drink that cheap wine that I brought with me and talked. She was quiet serious girl. She had a job and her own flat and was about to study also, and all this at her age of 18. I was 19 back then, still lived with my parents and didn't even had a serious thought about leaving them. I didn't wanted to study either. I was just a punk and quiet happy with it. She had voluptuous breasts and quiet big roman nose and blue eyes, she had sex appeal and old black and white TV in the corner of the room, she had cockroaches in her kitchen (like everybody did in my country back then) and she had high expectations about the future. Not like me. I mean, in a way I had some expectations also, but they were very vague. At some point of our conversation just when the first bottle was finished I tried to persuade her to give up the job and forget about future. She hit back furiously. She was so serious about these issues.

That really pissed me off. Well, yeah of course I was talking nonsense, but that's what I always did, and if she couldn't accept it, at least as a joke, as it actually was intended, I really didn't have much else to say. She didn't wanted to talk about philosophy or art either. Or if she talked, she was talking crap. I'd better go home, I thought, but there was still plenty of wine to drink. Maybe we was just too different

“I was the champion in debates at school,” she told me proudly.

“Ah, yeah?” I frowned.

“It's quiet useful.”


“I can easily beat you in discussion.”

“I really doubt it.”

That was when the second bottle of wine was half empty. We both fell silent. It was quiet hostile silence for a brief moment. I was about to start one of my usual nonsense topics again just to make her angry, but I didn't. She seemed to have lost any interest in me at all. She took off the pullover she was wearing before and put on another one, crappier. It seemed like a gesture to let me know that it's time to go home. However we still had half a bottle and I told to myself, that I won't go before it is finished. She was really annoying me and she did it on the purpose but that's what I was doing to her also. We smoked cigarettes. She turned on her black and white TV and switched off the lights. The picture on the ancient screen was so crappy, that it was hard to recognize anything even in darkness, though it was still possible to get some information.

Not that we really cared. Because of the lights turned off or something but the mood has changed. The thing that we felt, and somehow I knew that we both felt it, was something like warm tiny invisible worms of anticipation of love and pleasure crawling around the room, gathering between us, pulling us together, eating our bodies, parasitizing on our fierce teenage sexual drive making us sick and happy at the same time.

It still took us about 40 minutes of almost complete silence, four cigarettes each, the last half bottle of wine and the whole crappy movie to end on the TV till I finally approached her and we made joyful and drunk love.

Next morning came with the usual headache and dry mouth. I stepped out of the bed and staggered to kitchen. I drunk some water straight from the tap. It tasted wonderful. I lit a cigarette and watched a small flock of cockroaches grazing on the kitchen table, I watched kids throwing snowballs in the yard. So that's the life, I thought. It's ironical, isn't it. To fall in love with a girl so full of shit bourgeois values.

FUTURE IS DOOMED. I wrote with a marker pen on the glass of her kitchen window and then I went back to bed.

Later that day I cleaned my masterpiece. Because she started to cry, she called me stupid punk, egoist, not caring about her and all that sort of crappy things. And then we went to the shop together to buy some food and wine.

Saturday, 6 February 2010

first memories

They are sitting around the table in a small kitchen in a summer house in lovely summer town by the river, eating pancakes with jam and drinking tea so sweet as the childhood itself.

The night is approaching their house from outside, with all sorts of spirits and witches wandering in the woods, but the boy feels comfortable and safe inside.

In their shining ship that is floating through the darkness bearing on board the last remnants of civilization, the sole purpose of why the universe was created. That means him.

Broken rays of light scattered in his teacup. Ten thousand pieces of memories of today that is about to remain in the past forever. Very soon. Just when the supper is over.

There is a mosquito net on the window and hordes of six legged beasts are trying to brake their way through it.

Armies of zombies blinded by light and instinct.

Insects as we know them are just the ending phase of the actual animal. That's when they are grown up ready to reproduce and die.

“Another day had passed,” sighs the man behind the table. His dark eyes are shining and devoid of any expression. And by the emptiness of his phrase and his voice the boy instantly recognizes the ending phase of an insect in him.

It looks like his black thick mustache is growing longer and longer, becoming a pair of antennae. Trembling, getting dizzy in fumes of sweet smell of strawberry jam.

It's sad and terrifying for the boy to understand that this man beloved so much is dead already.

He wanders: “if this will happen to me also?” but he says nothing.

Boy remembers this evening until the end of his days. Not exactly the whole evening. Just the phrase and the moment when the mustache starts growing.

One of those ten thousand pieces of memories of the days as a caterpillar