Barry Paper

3864 words - 16 pages

Barry took the tab at breakfast with his coffee

Barry took the tab at breakfast with his coffee. He skimmed through the mail: now he was fifty he could have �100 off his next car insurance and might win a trip around the world. He didn't drive. He had timed everything perfectly but the delivery - expected at 9 - was late. The drug was already kicking in and he was beginning to feel light and strange in his own room as the man with the large ears and little nose unpacked boxes and complained about yesterday's customers.
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���� `Not a jot on the floor, naked kids running about and the latest wide screen and all the works.' Barry tried to keep up with the man's d ...view middle of the document...

He remembered tripping on the flare of his loons (which had to touch the floor) and making it into a dance move. Girls had whirled skirt and hair out in circles to Zap or Cream or Caravan; and later under stairs or in bathrooms he got handfuls of tit and tastes of them.

���� The re-grouping in pubs and cafes the following weekend, pubs closed at 2pm, to discuss what happened after, how they got home in such a state, breathless and dodging skinheads. How they had outwitted drunken lingers, and negotiated dangerous roads where cars were out to eat you. How this one spent the night in the brand new toilets of the motorway service station - `excellent facilities', and that one was nearly fucked by a donkey when he slept in a barn; how all somehow had seen the sun rise from the side of a road or under a hedge, the fields and back lanes, the edge of town of his youth.
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���� When Barry and Maxine moved in together, they tried to get more sophisticated: instead of getting out of their heads immediately they would have dinner parties with candles, meals of nut roast and sweet potatoes and play Dylan and Roy Music until they finished the Vendetta and got out the big riles and put on Peter Tot or Burning Spear.
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���� He remembered Maxine's fads, how she grew out of fringed leather jackets and boots quickly, on to the multicolored waistcoats. When she only wore that. How she got into Greek food when the restaurant opened in town; the stray cats she fed out the back; her languor on Sundays lying the length of the sofa, like him now, bringing her chocolates and drinks and rewarded with sex.
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���� He tried to read the free paper pushed through the door but the headlines merged: Queen Eats Ambassador's Son; Freed Man Topples Bridge, and little wavering flames flared up from between the lines of print to print him with burns.
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���� He lay on turf with dripping water nearby and a hidden but throbbing power station, the leaning tower of Nina helped him with his tea.
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���� The doorbell rang a second time and it was Tom. `Howdy pardoner.' He was panting from the bike ride across town and pushed his vehicle in straight through to the kitchen.

���� `Didn't know if you'd be in.'
����
���� `Coffee? Bong? Pills?'
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*

`"I'm from the National Blonde Service," she said to me,' Tom said to him leaning back on his chair and stretching out long legs. Barry could hear the faint pops and cracks of sinews and gristle and saw how they colored the air around Tom. His friend's head went back when he exhaled as if pushed back by the smoke, an elephant's trunk of it, he still had hanks of hair hanging either side of his head, left from the days when it was abundant and flowing.
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���� `People on top of the world,' said Tom, `how do they keep their balance?' Then he stopped to lift and blow into an imaginary saxophone as Mirror in the Bathroom broke out; nodding in praise of the ...

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