Monday, 25 October 2010

Papercut. Chapter 11.


Stick men.

“So is this what you still draw, kid, stick men?” I grin as I open my mouth, my tongue to one side, not in a suggestive way. I’m not into small kids. Boys or girls. Neither do I eat them for breakfast, wondering why Shrek never did it. Romeo seems fascinated by the fact that he is creped out. But who wouldn’t blame him? I dazed off several times already. Good thing, dyed kid here is nervous. Oh, nerves will drive you insane or to me, in his case.

The red headed kid shakes his head, his cheeks the same tone as his hair. I close my mouth, feeling my smile die as fast as it was born. Oh, well, I would have liked to see him draw me an army of cookie armed stickmen. Then he could draw me a stickman tank so that my stickmen could ride it. I could get him a fancy bar of chocolate. Some long posh bar which most likely his kitchen cupboards are filled with.

So, fail.

“No, no, uncle Rom-”

“F-” Hold your tongue, you idiot. “Kid, kid, I’m no uncle. Just call me Roman.” The end stretched out. I never liked his name, but I need it to avoid confusion and tried to look normal. I smile at him, digging my hands into the pockets of my jeans. I see a loose stitch and poke until I feel the fabric form a small hole sucking my sanity inside for it to fall onto the floor. By the looks of it the kid knows the good ol’ four letter word and his cheeks express his uneasiness, as if he is about to get electrocuted, as if I am sticking my finger into his mouth, the plug.

“Ok, ok, Roman. I’m not that lame. (The kid flushes.) It’s just that I can’t seem to get the ears or hair right, so I drew dad.” No ears? No hair? Go dad! Now chop the rest off so it would bleed, as we’d hang the corpus as a piñata. Only it would be empty inside. I tilt my head up, concentrating on memories taken by my other half. The blurry snapshots with hearts drawn all over, as he walks around in a pompous way, crying about his lack of sanity, only a chunk left to be eaten and now rotten, as I bite his forearm, laughing and quoting things he never read, as I’d arrange them in piles, growing up. Me and the books. Welcome to school. A sane one, where I am the teacher.

Yes, bald, baldy bald.

“So, show me kid.” Give me a challenge. I feel eager to see posh kid’s skills. To see if money makes a difference or lack of it. Technically, I steal from Rome. I feel the need to make a duel with Romeo. To aim at him, as I wonder how fear looks, how death laughs in a person’s eyes as the trigger pulls back. The bullet pierces the flesh, cutting through, making a hole in the white.

Maybe I should shoot myself.

As soon as I say it he runs off, leaving himself in my thoughts, as if he were a bruise. I blink, calming myself down. I brush my palm against my left arm, my lips afterwards, easing at the touch. How long has it been?

He runs back, not asking me to follow him into his room, as if I’ll steal his action figures and throw them at him. A grin is widely spread on his child face with those freckles scattered on his pale skin, making him more naive. His emerald eyes look at me with trust, with pride and with curiosity. Then he holds the portrait in front of him, unlike when he came running to me hiding it behind his back.

I tilt my head sideways.

Is pornography the darkest sin?

Shall a portrait be considered as one, as the clone stands naked?

A sweat drop appears on his forehead just under the neatly cut bangs, as I wonder who shall brush them off with a tender feeling or to feel the pulse, the split skull taste the blood and eat the life, praying. The fear printed, as I shall press my fingers into his scalp, my lips next to his ear, as I whisper the meaning of life and gateways to losing it.

Hurry up, you’re leaving.

It looks… comical in a professional way. He made the cheeks rounder, the eyes gazing off into the distance as his lips form some warning, some absurd suggestion and rough punch of denial. Romeo is afraid to speak up, but there is no need.

“Brilliant, kid.” I smile at him and let my hand ruffle the combed side of his head. Get the fuck out of here. I feel my fingers intertwine in his hair as memories fill my head. I want to share them, my first kiss, the first time I bought a magazine, the screen now my own eyes. I could remember when Juliet shouted at me for no exact reason and I pet her head, assuring that I was not a cheating bastard.

Oh, Lola.

Never liked her much. She laughed too loudly, her eyes a piercing colour. I close my eyes, so that I feel a light pain in the eyelids, as I try to get her piercing eye colour out of my head with the voice and accuses. Lola ranted on my space-outs, just a blink and I’d look differently. I’d blow smoke in her face, on purpose, as she hated the smell of cigarettes. Never liked it much myself, but I despite her more. I’m Smith and she’s Morrissey. The way her blonde locks were in braids, ponytails, low, high or her hair just straight down. I wanted to cut them off then hold them until they’d fall onto the floor in a pool and I’d let Roman sink in the misfortune. I disliked her for copying whoever was in her beautiful female list. I hated how she dyed her nails two different colours each time choosing some banal to the bones combination and how she’d blow on it, glancing sideways, asking if Roman was back.

I’d grin at her, as her face would make a disgusted expression as I’d chew on my cig while lighting it. She’d ask me why I changed. She’d ask me why I’d smoke and then drop the cig a while later in shock that I had that between my lips. She’d ask why I was so different. How come a person who loathed her lived with her in the lingering thoughts, slept with Roman in the same head.

It made her question Roman.

If he loved her on Tuesdays.

One second I prefer impressionism the next I think that surrealism should take over, trying to dig holes into the past.

One second I wear my scarf tightly against my neck the next I hang it loose.

One second I remind myself to buy hair dye the next I want to dye it back the way it was.

Close to a chocolate brown.

Close to hazel eyes.

It’s his entire fault.

I had to make-out with her, pretend that I adored her, I had to hold my need for a smoke and not to puke. I had to act all sweet and nice. I had to hold myself when I was in the psychiatrist when the question would be held. When I’d be labeled and tucked in, then woken up, yanked in water as if I were a witch, as nothing else could be done. He lead me out, he drove me insane. I yelled at him. It wasn’t his business.

I stopped being nice to her, taking a pair of scissors.

He couldn’t make me go away.

I was Roman.

I wasn’t some trauma gone deep into the kid’s brain.

I wasn’t a virus which you could delete.

Some dreadful tasting pills weren’t going to make me go away.

I don’t want to be seen as nothing.

“Roman? Are you ok?” I wince as I feel a sudden headache, then pierce my body as I shake lightly. It’s cold.

No, not just yet.

Worry reflects in ginger’s eyes. Worry. Fear that the only person who admired his work would feel bad. What if he’d die?

Care? Does he care? I stare at him, leaning my head so that I can see him better. To him I’m not a freaking child like trauma breaking loose, taking over Roman’s sane brain. I am the nineteen year old bloke who admired his portrait.

I want a kid like that. I want someone who cares.

“Yeah. Didn’t have much sleep. Just came here yesterday.” I realize that my sentences are short, meaningless, without any details, dry as sand stuck in the throat, a near lie. I look at his pleading, drenched in curiosity and hunger for details eyes, as I feel myself give in. I feel like telling my life. Tell him to grasp it and fuck everyone else. “Just got here and I guess the one hour difference is killing.”

I expect and get a small smirk from him. He suggests tea and I accept. After all we have five hours or even more ahead and I have no tasks given asides for giving my life in sudden acts of terrorism so that he, the next generation, son of some rich family and inheritance of a big fortune can survive to buy pancakes. While me, a child from a middle class family, aching to be the next big artist die. Because I won’t take money from green men.

I taste the tea, wondering if this would be my last tea before some guy bursts into the living room. No, that’s not really a terrorist act. A nuclear bomb? I haven’t watched 24 for quite a while, so my knowledge of terrorists was close to minimal now. How would I have been thrown on the ground then? My bones broken? My body so numb from pain that the last breath is done heavily, unnoticed no fancy life going through my head. But what would happen? Would I die listening to “Heroes”? Yeah, she’d be the queen. Would the memories be mixed? Would I be gone? Who would have the last moment? Whose name would I whisper Lola’s or…

Would it just be my death, as he’d be the liver eating zombie? Because he’s not smart enough. But then neither I’m I.

“Do you paint, Roman?” Romeo smiles widely at me with his teeth as pearly white as his mothers. I want to tell him to stop calling me Roman. I nod taking a gulp from my tea ignoring the fact that now I have a burned tongue. I hope that it won’t bother, but soon I feel like my tongue is on fire and is the one under the attack. I take it out.

I see Lola blowing on it, her eyes closed.

I flinch.

“My dad needs a teacher for this art club he is in charge of.” Is it the only thing he is in charge of? A bloody club? Right, that earns billions. Of course. But then after a quick moment of hesitation Romeo adds. “Well, aside from the business he is doing.”

Right, right, business. That is a surprise I thought book clubs make you filthy rich. He just corrupted me. Oh, Jesus, is the world so evil like that? Kill me now, I do not want to live among this disgrace. I gasp, but yawn to hide my sarcasm at my own thoughts. Thankfuly, Romeo is naïve and takes the whole gasp and yawn as a full weird, yet long yawn. In other words a long gasp of air due to the organism’s lack of oxygen or lack of sleep, no confirmed real reason and dark truth behind the sudden action.



“Would you like to teach there? I mean, if you can explain and well, teach.” He smiles, his eyes sparkling with pride savoring the moment when he’ll exclaim that he found somebody for the job. His first earned pound. Corruption. I stare at him with a trademark Roman being dumb expression. It is his body and face. I hold my cup in the air halfway to my mouth, burning the fingers as I hold it. My mind is strangely blank before I see bursts of colours, fireworks.

I feel a hand upon my eyes, stroking my lips, a kiss upon my cheek with a smirk. I’m a mossy green, not hazel.

“Yes.” And a sudden surge of showing my ability to teach takes over me. I repeat the yes several times, praying that he won’t realize that I am not exactly that sane. I feel like cupping his cheeks and kissing him until death. I feel my head split as I see him with his dark hair, drinking tea, petting Romeo, standing up, muttering a “see ya, Rome.”

I should thank him.

Chapter 12

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