Another piece of 7″ fiction. I can’t fucking stop it. I had a truly shitty day and I turned even that into a story. Before anyone says anything, I know ‘indignance’ isn’t a word, but it should be. And it fits the meter of the sentence better than ‘indignation’ does. It’s my story and I’ll write whatever shit I want, ok?
When Hope Sandoval sings, I feel my subconscious stirring. It rolls and slithers about in its special place in my cortex, and it whispers to me about becoming a better person. I ignore it. My being a bit of a prick is something we don’t like to talk about. An omerta hangs over our house on the subject. We carry on regardless and I leave Julia to make her apologies for me.
‘I’m going out dickhead.’
‘Fine. Don’t fucking come back.’
I don’t even know what we’re arguing about. I wasn’t listening. Maybe that’s what we were arguing about.
I put the whole thing to one side. I assign it with a mistake catalogue number of 34,587 and slip it in between getting married, and getting divorced. I’ll never find it again. I like my filing technique to be deliberately chaotic. The Dewey system didn’t work for me: I tried it, but it just gave people the chance to rattle off lists of how I fucked up from the index cards.
‘What’s the opposite of a charm offensive?’
‘What?’ I’m trying to watch some shit on the TV that I’m not even interested in.
‘A charm offensive. What’s the opposite of that?’
‘How should I know?’
‘Well, you seem to be fucking running with one.’
She’s not wrong I suppose. It used to be different. I craved high opinion, but being obnoxious has a street value of millions. The first hit makes you sick to your stomach. Two or three more and it owns you. Fixes are everywhere: the kid who inadvertently nudges me when getting off the train; the girl who takes too long at the cash machine in front of me. Once in, there’s no way out. The rush of indignance is the only thing that keeps self-loathing at bay.
She’s with me, I know, because she won’t give up. She once caught a glimmer of somebody else behind the cold front I push through the world. I suspect she might be wrong. That ghost she saw is as irritating as me, he’s just slightly less obvious about it.
‘I’m back.’ Of course she is.
‘I’m sorry.’ About what, I have no idea.