Brian Snuff – With yesterdays mumbles
NIKITA : A little piece of my soul dies when I make the fucking effort to get everyone together and they don’t even have the common decency to answer. I’m really busy and haven’t haven’t slept properly in days, yet here I am!
We were sat out on the fire escape of her flat. She was smoking weed, swigging straight from a bottle of whisky and looking a little bit wired. These were all signs she was unhappy. She rarely smokes anything. She says the words ‘common decency’ with such bile and venom she makes them sound like bitter swearwords.
SNUFTY : Bane texted me to say Rhian’s folks are coming around. Clearly he didn’t want to say that to you, he knows you’d ride him for becoming domesticated.
NIKITA : Not even fuckin Kes answered. And you know that damn phone is glued to his tiny hand.
SNUFTY : He’s scared of saying no.
The sun was sitting low over the suburbs, orange shapes perching in branches. We were close enough in place to town, but it felt like we were in the middle of a vast maze of backgardens. A teenage boy was taking down washing from a line down below, attaching the pegs to the hem of his t-shirt.
NIKITA : We’re all becoming domesticated aren’t we?
SNUFTY : I don’t know.
NIKITA : I remember lame-ass excuses used to be having a hangover, or just having bought the box set to season three of 24.
Just the words ‘bought a box set’ dated this already and we realised how much time had passed since our student days.
SNUFTY : Where’s Jeanie? Did you phone her.
Niki nodded as she drew sweet smoke into her lungs. She offered me the whisky and the joint. I accepeted only the joint.
SNUFTY : I don’t really like whisky.
NIKITA : Man trouble. She said ‘no man is worth my time anymore’.
Her voice mimicked the high-pitched whisper perfectly without being mocking.
SNUFTY : She just needs to change her taste in men.
Nikita made a silent gesture to say I took the words right out of her mouth. She examined peeling nail polish.
NIKITA : Don’t we all, Snufty. Don’t we all.
I took another drag on the joint, worried as always I was making the roach too wet. My lips are the wrong shape for smoking. I passed it back.
SNUFTY : Didn’t you see Leon last night?
I tried to say it in a tone that suggested a change of topic, even though we both knew it wasn’t.
NIKITA : Oh, yeah. Him and all his workmates. They all just talked about coke for three hours. How is that possible?
Niki gets very bored when people just talk about drug adventures. Especially coke-heads, she’s got a bee in her bonnet about coke-heads. I think it’s something to do with her older brother.
NIKITA : The trouble with druggies is that they’re like Christian fundamentalists, they’re obsessed with converting you to the righteous path.
I smirked and gave a half-nod.
NIKITA : And Leon really over-does it. I worry he’ll give himself a premature heart attack. He even says he thinks he has a weak heart… and it just shows that, something is really wrong with his life if he feels the need to do that…
She glared at the sky which was turning a pleasant indigo. I feel like there are tiny bits of broken glass inside my heart when I listen to Nikita talk about Leon. I remember it was my fault for dredging him up. Maybe I’m a sucker for punishment. Maybe I hope if she talks about his failures as a humanoid, she’ll realise I measure better. The trouble with love is that it’s the failures we get stuck in love with.
I clambered to my feet to slide back inside the window.
SNUFTY : Shall I make a cup of tea?
NIKITA : Oh, Snufty. This is why I love you.
Subtext : If only.