Saturday, 14 May 2011

Jeffrey Archer

I wrote this when I was young and imagined a future writing stuff. Jeffrey Archer, for your reference, was/is a Tory politician/writer of books. He came to speak at my school and I was tasked with reviewing his novel for the school magazine/London Evening Standard. It was all very exciting. I got my picture printed in the London paper and a photographer travelled to school to take a photo of me standing next to a tree with an arm full of books. I think that I wrote subsequently wrote this as a response to the whole episode. I only post it now because, having thought I could update the blog more regularly, I found this story in an old email today. Yes, I'm experiencing a dull weekend.

Jeffrey Archer

I’m always breaking eggs on the bus back from the supermarket. Eggs that are purchased only to be broken. Eggs. The irony doesn’t help clean up the yolky mess. The irony doesn’t help placate the bus driver who’s shouting about his eggy bus. Irony.

At home:

“Would you like soldiers?” you cry. “Would you like some Sunny D?”

On the bus:

“Sorry. Sorry. Sorry. Sorry. I’ll pay for everyone's tickets or something.”

I can’t buy eggs without breaking them. Why? Because they remind me of the bald woman who stole my heart. I haven’t had eggs for breakfast since four Fridays ago. I haven't had eggs for fear of spoiling my memory of the bald woman.

People break eggs (at home) for breakfast. Very seldom are they used for cakes. Cakes are made by huge Supermarkets and frozen for our convenience. We do not have time to make cakes unless we are bored housewives. Very few of us are bored housewives. I am not a bored housewife. I am a highly-respected IT developer. I help design programmes for companies whose headquarters are made from glass and steel.

And I cried when I last broke breakfast eggs. Why? Because I knew that the breakfast meant that the best evening of my life had finished. The breakfast was like the fullstop at the end of the sentence. That is a simile. I am more than a highly-respected IT developer.

And what was the sentence’s content?

Sex. THAT WAS ITS CONTENT. The 's' word.

I wiped away the tears with my shirt. It stank of the previous night – stale beer, caustic fags and somebody else’s aftershave. This made me even more upset – I prefer to smell of washing powder.

“Would you like soldiers?” I cried. “Would you like some Sunny D?”

The woman didn’t turn from the kitchen window. She shook her head. A black wig perched upon it like a witch’s familiar. I knew it was a wig, and not a tragic haircut, because I saw her put it on. She’d done that in my bedroom. She’d also allowed me to watch her dress. I had been half-eyed, wondering suspiciously. The ladies.

As her arms bent ludicrously to zip up the dress’s back, she told me that I was ‘a dream lover’ and not to ask further questions.

I hadn’t yet asked any questions.

Her voice was halfway between a train announcer and poorly synthesised computer speech.

I rubbed the hair on my stomach with contentment, happy not to consider her voice.

She told me to make breakfast, but to ensure that I washed my hands beforehand. I respected that. Too often are visitors slack with their personal hygiene. Too often do visitors cough without covering their mouths etc.

Tall, she was. And angular. Like the letter ‘k’.

Hands were washed, eggs were scrambled.

“Serve them upon a white plate,” she purred, facing the window still. “I’ll take three quarters of the eggs.”

She ate standing; she didn’t thank me. My quarter of the eggs tasted of strength and milk.

As this is a story, I shall provide you with a description of the morning weather:

It was sunny.

“Where are your keys?”

I pointed through the open kitchen door to my chinos, lying still in the centre of the lounge floor, a proud fragment of last night’s lovemaking.

“Trousers?” she asked.

I explained the keys would be in the back pocket, where I always kept them. They would be protected by a 'Legoland' fob. Secret - I'd never been. The fob was a gift from my mother. I understood that the bald woman did not need to know this.

Out, she marched. A sharp, mechanical, inhalation of air, and she swept her long left arm to take the cream trousers from the floor in the manner of a horse-mounted cowboy picking up a calf from the dusty prairie floor. (Yes.) The keys were extracted by her spider-like fingers, the jeans were abandoned and I was told not to leave the flat, that she’d be back very soon.

I stood unmoving until her footsteps faded in exterior hall. Decision made that she had definitely left, I sprinted to my bedroom, dived upon bed and shot hands to top of bedside table. Really, I couldn't have moved any faster. There my bastard fingers fell upon their target – my smartphone.

I’d missed six calls. Eight text messages sat unread. I didn’t open them; no need – I knew what they’d all say. Instead, I expertly traversed the menus to create a new message:


“Hand me that telephone.”

Her voice boomed from the hall. I craned my neck to look from bedroom through lounge to hallway. She stood (halfway down the hallway) like Lara Croft. Her shoulders were thrown back, projecting bosom towards my eyes. Her right hand held a large, albeit thin, suitcase – a suitcase I hadn’t seen before.

I smiled. She repeated her order. I threw the phone towards her. It was quite a throw - all the way through the living room, spinning as it went. I hoped that this display of athleticism would impress her enough to prick further her sexual desire. And she would find the message. And her morning frost would surely melt upon reading such complimentary communication.

Her left arm darted skywards and plucked the telephone from the air. With a flick, it disappeared into her back trouser pocket.

Slowly, she began to move towards me and the bedroom. The pace of her walk and the metal of her stare were in no way sexual. This was in marked contrast to the previous night.

Reader, did I gulp? Reader, I did.

Where there was once erotic intent, there was now steel threat. I edged away, across bed. She stopped at the threshold of the room. Her left arm moved quickly to the door handle, and with a blur of motion, I was shut in my bedroom, quivering at cream-painted wood.

What was 'occurring'? I had read on the internet of women who enjoyed ‘role play’. Was this it? Should I join in and act all freaky? Should I be excited? I thought of my mother. She would disown such a dirty child.

It seemed too normal to be true, the whole sex thing – before the night previous, sex happened to other people in movies and the like. Perhaps sex was always like this? Perhaps women were always slightly passive/aggressive in the morning? I was unsure, but such doubts didn’t prevent a stirring of johnson under boxer-shorts. I tried to recall exactly how I had come to sleep with this sexy eccentric.

The night previous:

I arrived at 2000 in my corner of the Wetherspoons, my local public house. It had been the fourth successive night of meeting with Clive at 2000 in my corner of the Wetherspoons. Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday had passed like any other night in my corner of the Wetherspoons. Clive and I would talk (largely about Formula One), we would drink (not to excess – four/five pints of bitter) and we would tread home, alone, to sleep, heads pleasantly fuzzy.

Not Thursday, though. I arrived at 2002 and Clive wasn’t there. There was only a space where he should have been sipping. This was unusual for Clive. The man placed greater emphasis on good timekeeping than personal hygiene (of which he placed little emphasis).

I ordered a Mild, and sat in the corner alone.

I noticed her shadow fall across the beer. I looked up and gulped. (NB - I don't normally gulp so often.)

Staring down was the most beautiful face I had ever seen (in the Wetherspoons). Her features were perfect, as if sketched on CorelDraw. I couldn’t have imagined a woman that I would find more attractive. She even wore a mole underneath her left eye – something I’ve always thought sexy. Her skin was flawless and seemed to throw off a dull yellow, light.

“What is your name?” she said. I told her, voice faltering with embarrassment. “Good,” she said and looked over her shoulder. “Your friend Clive could not arrive.”

And before I could quiz further, she was sitting in Clive’s seat and we were kissing. Time hadn’t even reached half eight before we were back in the flat and I was hunting for a clean duvet and finding one and having sex with her on the clean duvet. I was like James Bond or something.

And so, next morning, I found myself shut in my bedroom with my green duvet and a ‘role-play’ playing stunner.

The me of yesterday might not have left the bedroom. I would have assumed that the woman hated me after all and the sex had been some kind of mean trick. I was the victim of a rude hidden camera show. But, and I remember it clearly, in the middle of the night she had told me that ‘I was a superlative performer’ and asked if I had enjoyed sex on many occasions in the past. I told her that I had, of course. I’d learnt from popular culture that cool men always lied to women.

The morning-after saw a me newly invested with confidence, however. I did leave the room, quietly, playing along with her mock-violent threat-making and icy stares and strangeness with my mobile and sudden large suitcase.

I crept along the hallway and I turned into the lounge on my tiptoes. All my weight on my tippy-toes. Silent, silent, stalking like in Metal Gear Solid.

The image with which I was met will be forever burnt into my memory if not my eyes as well.

There she was, not waiting for me. She was crouched upon one knee at the opened until now unopened lounge window. Last night’s jeans were pulled tightly across her perfect bottom. The suitcase lay empty at her feet. Under tight t-shirt, her breasts ebbed and flowed with her taking of breath. And in her arms proudly was a rifle. Pushed up against right shoulder, barrel resting in right hand, left hand tightly gripped around stock and trigger. I know my weaponry. This was no gun I had ever seen. This was no gun that ever existed. The whole weapon throbbed with neon pink energy. Guns shouldn’t throb with neon pink energy. I know this much.

Her head steeled above the rifle’s barrel. She searched through the sight.

I decided to creep back to the bedroom. I'd try returning to dreams unencumbered by sci-fi guns. But the moment I took one silent step backwards, she spoke.

“Do not move. Do not speak. Do not look.”

I did as I was told. She was holding a gun. I closed my eyes.

Such was the stress, I cannot accurately gauge how much time elapsed before the gun blast. I half expected to be shot myself. The explosion rocked the room, the sound of a car crash. A tiny amount of urine escaped. My ears buzzed with the shot's resonance.

A broken horn sounded from the real world outside and didn’t stop sounding. Voices shouted.

“You may look now,” she spoke.

I opened one eye. She stood at window still, a titan. A sexy woman with her hair and her body and her gun.

The shouting and banging outside continued. In the distance sounded a siren.

“I have been sent from the future,” she continued.

I smiled wetly.

Slowly, like the child from the Exorcist, her head turned owly 360 degrees. When it returned to face me, she spoke:

“You see? I can rotate my head. I am electronic. You cannot rotate your head. You are not from the future.”

I asked if she meant a robot.

“Yes,” she replied.

I asked who she had shot.

“Jeffrey Archer.” I nodded. I had never liked him. “My weapon fires a pulse that causes instant coronary failure by means of furry energy. Do not worry. You will not be suspected.”

I asked how she knew that Jeffrey Archer would be driving without a chauffeur past my window at that exact time.

“I am from the future.”

She picked her suitcase up, asked me to move from the doorway, and left the flat.

I went back to the bedroom and slept for eight hours. Upon waking, I had hoped that I had been dreaming. I could still taste her futurey breath upon my lips, however, and, sure enough, upon checking the internet, Jeffrey Archer had died – crashing his car outside my house after suffering a heart attack and that.

I regret not asking her why an ‘electronic life form’ might want Jeffrey Archer dead. Perhaps, one day in the future, it shall all be revealed, my friends.

Clive messaged to apologise for missing our Thursday pub meeting. He had met a statuesque (and wig wearing) woman in Forbidden Planet and they had spent the afternoon having sex. He had awoken at ten o’clock to an empty flat. And I wasn’t answering my mobile. And he’d assumed that I’d gone home. He was right, of course.

Hers was a sexy plan indeed. I still try to comprehend why. Maybe I sent her back? Maybe Clive? The future is indeed mysterious. It is full of unknowns. Much like women, my friend, much like women.

That evening Clive and I met in the Wetherspoons. We spoke largely of F1 and little of Jeffrey Archer.

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