Brut & Beau
Bryn McLarey, Oxford
“Charlie, you’ve pissed on the fucking toilet seat…and all over the floor!” Juliette called with enforced primness from the bathroom.
“That’s not piss dear, I’m afraid I got a little emotional after watching ‘Lady and the Tramp’, those are actually tears of joy at having met you…”
I heard muffled laughter as the door closed, amazing how much a knave leik me could get away with, sae long as I had good comic timing. I returned mae attention tu the news channel, a few minutes later she wandered in, a waft of elegant hair and scent.
“Why is it, precious Charles, that all males no matter their age and background, seem to believe the smell of Lynx is anything other than a vile repellent?” she asked in her faux- posh voice.
“It doesn’t repel all females… it attracts a certain type – bleach-blonde, skin tight dress. You may think not all males want these cheap lays, but honey, the fact is, in certain situations, they do…mainly when you break up with them. And that smell I left behind is actually Brut, some cheap left-over stuff from days of yore, I used to cover up the stench of weed on my work-shirt for tomorrow. As I have a date with you, I’ve no time to wash and dry a fresh one”
She peered intu the mirror as she puts on some dangly earrings.
“Ah… Eau de Stoner, that explains why it smells like a teenage boy’s been nesting in there.”
I nodded agreeably, though I meybe agreed more with what Andrew Marr was saying on the television.
“How come you were smoking weed yesterday, I thought you gave it up? Does it fit with your character?”
I shook mae head.
“I’ve finished university now. I’m working as a bartender for fucks sake, I don’t need to pretend to be Charlie anymore. I’m fucking free… will you still love me?”
She slunk in next tu me on the sofa, peering at the passing headlines on the bottom of the screen for anything of interest.
“You’re still talking in an English accent most of the time. You’re still dressing like a fop, and you’re still listening to Vivaldi when you get bouts of sleeplessness. Exactly what has changed?”
I paused, looking away thoughtfully from the television, then tu her. I shrugged.
“It’s not like a switch I can flick and change straight back. Why d’you think method actors go a bit crazy? I’ve been a walking lie for the past three years. It’s kind of addictive, you know that. I just have to release myself gently by doing what I want, when I want. It’s like the divorced man. It takes him a while to realise he can leave the toilet seat up again.”
“…Or just piss on it,” she mumbled. “What are you gonna do if you do an MA? Revert back?”
I rubbed my happily stubbled chin.
“Fuck. Dunno. I’ll go do it somewhere else, so I don’t have to keep it up.”
“Haven’t you got a degree in a false name?”
“No, Charlie is the middle name on my birth certificate, so it’s always been cosha.”
She picked up mae hand and ran her fingers over it. A few weeks of proper work had turned my skin back tu its true roughness. My nails were black from cleaning the coffee machine that afternoon. She smiled and sighed in a strange way. I think she’s always liked the fact that I’m two people, because it’s our little secret. I think it’s a fetish thing; she pretends tu date a prince but fucks a pauper. Daddy would be proud.
“What if one of your old crowd comes into the bar?”
“I’ll play it as it comes. I always have, that’s the joy of it. Just fuckin wingin it all the time. Who gives a shit? They’re all morons…”
She looked intu mae face intently, tugging at a curl of black hair. About time I shaved mae head meybe, see if she really likes the hoolie look.
“You’re such a fucking liar, Charlie. You’ve met plenty of people you genuinely like. Aren’t you going to stay in touch?”
“What on social networking sites, so they can look at pictures of me coked ta fuck, mooning mae hairy arse at the traffic?”
She beamed and shook her head wisely.
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