Could be a swans song title

People are so fucked up. 

Friday night. I’m making patronage at my local multinational eatery/social hub. I’m just here for the food tonight, so i neglect to track down anybody familiar and i just pull up a green plastic seat at a big green chipboard table to wolf down my hastily-prepared chicken katsu nori roll. Is it just me or is there something totally fucking wrong about the texture of lettuce in sushi?

Anyway. Being without conversation or iPod, i go straight into eavesdropping mode to keep the brain in first gear while i eat. To my right there is a heavily tattooed man with a blone fauxhawk talking to a stunningly beautiful asian woman. I’m sure this is going to be a good one. I get my best listening lean on and practice my netural food-eating face. It takes me ten whole seconds to realise they are conversing in what appears to be german. No luck.

To my left is a family. Two parents both sitting on my side of the table, interview-style taking turns talking at (at, not to) their daughter. Mum is an overly-sober looking type, reasonable length sensibly brown hair, plain clothes, permanently furrowed brow.  Dad is a little more boho in appearance, even if it’s a pretty beige kind of boho. Checkered short-sleeved shirt, thick-rimmed Weezer-brand glasses, three-day growth, receding hairline, soul patch. Little Girl is probably 6 or 7 and it’s far too early to tell what the hell she’s about.

Mum is describing, with no appreciation of subtltey, the idea of abortion to her child.  Her tone is unfeeling and she’s speaking probably slightly too fast for her daughter to understand. This is fucking bizzare. Dad interjects here and there to add comforting detail, but is usually cut off. Mum is really getting fired up here.  Her diagramatic rant builds in urgency and pace, reaching a sort of perverse conversational orgasm as she explains how the unborn fetus is ejected from the womb. She pauses at this point, lets her daughter process this information (she doesn’t) and then proceeds to say one of two incredibly brutal things in a minute:

‘and that’s why you can’t see Jill anymore is because Jill’s parents murdered Jill’s sister

Little Girl takes a second. Her face goes completely blank. I read somewhere that children only really come to understand the notion of death at six years old. This must all be pretty new to her. Inevitably, the waterworks begin. An anguished howl of newfound mortality far more unnerving than the standard ‘i-want-this-thing’ squeal that most children make. My skin crawls a little bit as Little Girl, reeling simultaneously from the idea of never seeing her friend again and having somebody she knows ‘murder’ somebody else, collapses into a sobbing heap. 

Mum’s facial expression hasn’t shifted. I notice a flinty look of unrepentance in her eyes. Dad gets up to go comfort Little Girl. Mum snaps a hand around his arm with inhuman speed and what appears to be inhuman strength. This woman must be the antichrist, i decide. Without looking away from her sobbing daughter, Mum says the second completely fucking brutal thing in under a minute:

‘No John, she has to learn to cry at what makes god angry’

I get up and leave at this point, abandoning my two remaining nori clumps. 

 

People are so fucked up.

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~ by montaguedross on February 15, 2009.

One Response to “Could be a swans song title”

  1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flâneur

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