Friday, 5 December 2008

Literary Section XI

2 Fools and 300 Sins
Act I: Carnival of Fools
Part I: Invitation...

September 6th, 2028, 18:30

Blast this verdammt weather! I had hoped that the summertime would hold a little longer but it's just my luck: the humidity just had to go up, two days before the opening and the old wound has been acting up like a real bitch. Ah, to hell with it, I will just pop two of the pills that Lisa ever so kindly (and illegaly) provided me with, grind my teeth and bear it. To be honest, I could very well use the weather as an excuse not to show up; maybe it's even for the best. There was good reason I vanished the first time around and even better reasons for my remaining out of anyone's touch. What the Hell was she thinking--...

Still, I gotta hand it to the ol' girl, first for finding me and second for being persistent enough for me to give her a "yah, I'll come by". I used to take pride in my not being surprised, barring exceptional circumstances and she just had to go and become an extraordinary circumstance. I don't much care for the occult but if there was one time I felt a cold, ghostly hand grab me by the balls, it was when she called. Another was when... Well, not getting into that, I'll veer off subject. Twas two weeks ago and I was loitering around the office, not doing much of anything: it was another day I was feeling too old to go after any small or big-time scandal, be it straight, gay, trans, politician, unfaithful blue-collar or whatever. Anna May was gone early (this whole month's been full of dance rehearsals for the play - must make a note not to miss the premiere) and it was the first day that humidity started setting in. I was in pain, therefore miserable and foul and had disconnected the phone as a result, complementing my misery with the company of a bottle of liquor from the old country. Bless my forefathers for being the most determined drunkards in the Mediterranean.

After it became clear that old case-files and long-since-forgotten "glories" would not help my typically unsettling sleep, I left the mess as was (except for hiding the liquor), put the phone back online and went to get my leather coat (older than me and somehow not the worse for it). After I put on my hat and got my walking cane, I was at the door. Phone rings... The vast majority of myself has been cursing me, no holds barred, for picking it up, but that old curiosity that has fucked me over more than once, demanded I did.

"Yah? D&T Investigations. Whoever you are, we are--"

"Grav?" I froze. This voice only had a mild resemblance to someone whom I had known a very long time ago, someone who had been a good afriend and to whom I had not been as good a friend as I might have. Still, it was not so much the resemblance, but more the familiar tone, almost carefree, almost as if 20 years had never gone by; as if betrayal and death had not come between friends and lovers and--. I broke off from my reverie and to my astonishment, I answered...

"Stormy...?" What the hell was the matter with me? Why did something like that come to the fore of my skull after being in the graveyard of my mind for 20 years?

"Yeah, it's me. Oh, I am so glad you recognized me!"

"Yah, sure... Um... How did you--"

"And how have you been my erudite detective?" Christ, this was rapidly turning into a Nightmare Through the Rabbit Hole. 'Erudite detective'? I had not been called that by anyone in years - well, except Anna-May and then I only react tersely to the poor girl.

"Well, I... uh.. good, good I guess. Well, as good as I can after-- You know..." Right, at 46, it is evident I am turning senile. Why did I have and bring up something that all involved would have most likely preferred forgotten?! "I'm sorry, I mean--"

"Hey, no harm done sweetie. That's all in the past now; do not hit yourself over the head about it." Was she cheerful? It sure sounded that way; tired perhaps, but cheerful. This was becoming more surreal by the second.

"So, um, how's tricks? I mean no, I wanted to ask ye how did you--"

"All that can wait until we meet up close." Here we go. Veering off into madness again.

"Look, Stormy. I appreciate the call and all but I really--"

"Please. Hear me out. I won't even try to dig into that thick skull of yours to find the myriad reasons and excuses you want to give me to avoid getting together with the past. I simply called to give you an invitation to the opening of my nightclub. Your name will be given at the entrance, I will give you a date and address and then do as you like - it's not as if anyone could convince you differently, even back then." Ouch, OK, that got my attention all right.

*sigh* "OK, I'm all ears."

"In two weeks hence, at 21:00 sharp, the '302' will open its doors to the public. It is located--"

"OK, wait a fucking second there! This is not even funny Storm. Is that why you called me? To mess with an old man? You know what? I remember, real clear, if that is what you called for - the leg wound reminds me keenly in this weather. So you can just--" I felt something black and sickening at the pit of my stomach. The '302'?!

"Grav, just for moment, shut up. To begin with, I am older than you. Secondly, it saddens me that you have indeed become a paranoid old fart! Do you remember me this cruel? I KNOW who was real cruel, as well as you do. Do you really want to go there?"

"Ah, entschuldigung Stormy. I just... Well.."

"I know what YOU are thinking for once. That's an odd feeling - YOU were the one who always knew too much. However, don't make this something it is not. I am not an Erinye, Grav and God knows you have enough of your own, even though it was not your fault. At any rate, we got into a discussion that I did not want to have over the phone after 20 years. The club is located where Villa Amalias stood. Did you write down the date and time?"

"No, uh... gimme a sec-- wait, THAT huge thing is yours?"

"You' 've seen it?"

"Well, I have seen the 'KEEP OUT' signs and some of the workers. Some of my... less aware informants used to hang out there and there was this whole upheaval about their having to relocate or face incarceration. Well, as much of an upheaval as people who are in perpetual stupor can cause."

"Well, at any rate, that's where it is. Come early, say around... 19:00. There won't be anyone there yet and we can do some catching up; if you want. Besides, I have one of the best places reserved for you, so you can see the opening. It's gonna be something!" Well, I am not really sure what kind of 'something' it's gonna be but I cannot argue there, for a number of reasons.

"Yah, I'll come by. But I won't stay too late. Leg's killing me."

"As you like. Oh, and Grav? You might see some familiar faces there - I wanna be straight with you but please, it won't matter, so do not let that keep you from coming over."

"Right. Yeah... Look, I gotta go now so..."

"I understand. I won't call again. If you come by, all will be as I told you. If you don't, well, have a good life. such as it may be".

"Right. Thanks... I think."

"Bye, sweetie." She hung up and left me there, numb, apprehensive. I guess 20 years did change her some. She was not chewing words, nor was she calling for support. She was doing me a courtesy, that was all. A courtesy I did not feel I deserved and much less, wanted to deal with. Still, if ever there was one thing that got me into trouble and I could not fight against, that was curiosity.

While, a week a go, I suddenly resolved not to go, another visit (this one an equal mix of threat and friendship) made it quite clear that I had only little choice in the matter. Still, I think it's a bloody stupid idea; but then again, most of my life has been a series of stupid ideas.

[To be Continued]



Skauld Skauksson said...

Siga re mhn gramisei h... errrmmm... errr... ammm... couGh, cough, gah, gouh, gah... thn Villa Amalias gia na ftia3ei club!!! Panw apo to ptwma mou reeeeee!!! Anarxia reee!!! :P Ax0ax0a0x0ax0a0x0ax0axa!!! Epishs, to gegonos oti thn exeis balei na proskalei ton Tafo gia "some catching up" se ena "special reserved place"... Xououoummm!!! Motiba arxisoun na ektilysontai mprosta mou... :P Mhpws to pragmatiko analogo tou Grav 8elei kata ba8os na kanei toso poly sex me...? Ax0a0xa0x0a0xa0x0a0xa0xa!!! JJ! Epishs, pes mou oti me onomases Skøld!!! :P Kai gia na teleiwnoume... Pes mou oti eisai atrixos, ayto pes mou mono, teloshshshshsh!!! :P Ax0ax0a0x0ax0a0xa!

PS: Permission zu delete zhat now post, if deemed necessary, granted! (like you care anyway...!: :P)

Speedgrapher said...

Dude, proton i Villa Amalias pleon den exei toso anarxikous oso prezonia (kai aftoo ennoo sto keimeno). Oso afora ton Grav, asta na pane, einai poly katestrammenos o typas kai pou eisai akoma. Pou na deis pios ton epeise na paei otan allakse gnomi "not so friendly and more threateningly".

Kai oxi, den eimai fucking atrixos Skoeld!