The Fourth Dot (in If….)
Haydn Antoine, Derby
“Is Malcolm MacDowel dead?” I asked, turning the page of the newspaper and folding and flattening it with the gentility of someone who has the time.
Claudia laughed through her nose so it made a huffing sound.
“Noo, he’s jus bald and looks lyke sum’one cooked him…lyke a fat orange goose wi’ little bits of tufty hair. It’s lyke a whole different person, he dun’t have that nasty lit’l bit of mischief in his fizzog lyke he do in this film and ‘A Clockwork Orange’. ”
She shifted on the sofa to stretch out more, I looked for the peek of red pants above the waistline of her jeans.
“Maybe that was actin petuw,” Roofie grinned cheekily. He was sat on the beanbag with Patti curled between his legs.
Claudia tugged at a lock of her pale hair, eyes fixed on the screen.
“He’s quite annoyin’ly buff as a young bloke, kinda radiates sommat.”
“Cosmic energy,” Patti offered.
“Itus Cookie hoo radiates cosmic energy, cause her ‘air is radioactive…” Rufio mumbled.
Cookie was sat on her usual cushion on the radiator. She had some lime-green extensions in today, but she was on a downer, one of many. Still it was a rest from the screeching eccentricity. She had eaten three packets of biscuits and a scattering of crumbs outlined her seat.
“Why does it randomly change to black and white? I don’t get it, it’s not like they’re flashbacks.” Her tone denoted pointless frustration, as though she took it very personally that she didn’t get it. She’s funny sometimes.
“Thisus our sweat room!” Rufio decided happily. “Can I collage the walls Blondie…? Wiv pictures of your head on the statuw of David?”
“Are you ok Cookie?” Patti asked. “You seem pissed off?”
“I’m just a bit sick of just hanging out here all the time, maybe we should do something else,” she waved her last biscuit in the air.
“Maybe we should all come an hang out at yar gaff instead,” Claudia remarked wryly.
“I fucking hate my house,” Cookie mumbled. “They just leave me angry notes telling me to do the washing up, the bitches. It’s just totally a bad atmosphere.”
“We could go bowlin, not bin fa ages,” Claudia mused, she stood and walked to the fridge and dug out some bottles of beer, foraging around the work top for an opener.
“It’s too nice a day to be bowling, we should be outside,” Patti remarked.
“I can’t afford to go bowling anyway, it’s too fucking expensive,” Cookie moaned, taking the beer offered to her.
“That’s why we’re stuck inside, no bloody money,” Patti added.
“Why don’t you just go to the park?” I suggested. “Since you’re drinking all my beer anyway.”
“We could go when the film finishes,” Patti said.
Cookie sighed exasperatedly at the fiction that continued on the screen.
“Why would she actually cop off with him after he was such a knob?!”
Claudia slid into the chair next to me, making a scathing face out of Cookie’s eyeline.
“Cosmic energy… I do it all’t time at the bar when men a rude to me, rip ma clothes off and pretend ta be a tiger.”
She nosed over my shoulder at what I was reading, but her attention span was too short for the nuances of Middle Eastern politics.
I pointed to the orange DVD case, at the title.
“You notice there are four dots not three?”
She nodded and kissed my cheek in a way that said ‘I know you’re going to say something not very interesting but I’m listening anyway’.
“Toby was saying, three dots is a pause, a temporary drift off, but four… The fourth dot implies infinity, a permanent drift off…” I paused, “a bit like pi.”
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