Sunday, July 30, 2006

Before & After: The two lives of Dr. Halo and Mr. Just Died


Desperate lonely strains of the Blue Danube float across a vast empty hall. A young man sits at one desolate end, sipping on hot black coffee. It’s horrible. Bitter. No amount of sugar can salvage it.

Another time, the bitterness would have redeemed him of lesser sins. Today black coffee isn’t working.

Remind me again, arse dweller, why I’m drinking vile black coffee at three in the morning?

He’s not very kind to his head at moments like this.

He runs it over and over again. Stark worn-out frames that are warping on infinite loop mode. Really, I’ve exhausted every way of cringing. Perhaps I can make sense of it now. Clarity always comes when a situation has been stripped of emotion.

Wise words for a very screwed-over young man. He laughs. That’s a start.

It really sucks when you must analyse every twitch in your brain. Okay okay okay. I’m obsessing now. Stop. That’s it. No more thinking.

For a moment his mind wanders to the euphoria of before-it-happened.

But he always comes back to now-and-after.

He is very sure that life will never be the same again. Two clear phases. Two cleanly edited chapters of a very shortly climaxed book. The book that ended before it started.


Twenty hours ago, he woke up feeling like God.

Everything he would do today would be a study of perfection. The way he methodically brushed his teeth, wore on his crisp white shirt, pulled on his immaculately ironed trousers. Not a crinkle. Not a spot of dust. Just perfect.

He didn’t understand how people couldn’t comprehend the beauty of form and discipline. Everything in life can be metred. Everything can work with clockwork precision. Art is not chaotic or random. Order is inherent in Nature. Obedience is inherent in Nature. Only fools believe in spontaneity and chaos.

Today he would prove to the world that all things must reach a preordained conclusion. Destiny is the function of actions that must bear consequences in precise measure.

He smiled to himself as he set about cutting his beans-on-toast in perfect little squares, to be jabbed right at the centre and placed in his mouth. Six beans per square toast.

Beans isn’t what he’d like to be eating this morning. But nothing’s going to mar today’s perfection. His smile must stay as it is. In another six hours, he’d achieve what he’s set out to do, exactly as decided on his master plan calendar, three years previously.

The day passed by. Slowly and perfectly. And finally it was time for him to begin.

The people had settled. The murmur had died down. A heady mix of expensive perfumes wafted across. Diamonds from all corners winked back at him. There was a terse tense tautness in the air now. Just the way he liked it. Much the same way he liked the strings of his violin tuned.

He looked at the mike. A Sennheiser 2000. The best professional mike in the world. It could pick up the sound of a moth’s wings in its dreams. Perfection perfected.

He picked up his violin. Arranged a well-practiced look of distance, equanimity and composure on his face. Art must move the audience, not the artist. After a fleeting, poised, mildly dramatic pause, he played.

And he played.

And he played.

Like a lion tamer in a ring. Like waves on a surf. Like David trampling Goliath. Like Moses through the parted sea. Like Jehovah presiding over the skies. Fingers danced on polished teak. Chin commanded a willing stern. Strings obeyed. The air resonated in exact troughs and crests. And the audience… The audience sat transfixed.

Then, just as dramatically as he had started, he stopped.

He set down his violin slowly, carefully and deliberately. Stood up. Stepped forward, past the mike. And bent forward in a grand, flourishing bow.

Pin drop silence.


You can always tell how moved an audience is by the length and breadth of the pause before the applause. And this, he thought smugly, is rather good. Ah. There! He could see the audience was recovering. There… the first set of hands, about to come together. That deafening first clap that stands out. The trigger-clap he calls it. Like the tiny drop of cum before a gushing rushing orgasm.

And then…

Just as he was straightening up to receive the applause of a lifetime, just when his chest could swell no more…

Just when the silence was about to be broken forever with an applause that would last a lifetime…

Just then, he farted. Right into the ill-placed Sennheiser 2000.

tomorrow’s another day.

1 comment:

Ben Ditty said...

Farting's not the worst thing in the world.

But I thought this was very poignant and well wrote :)