Nothing a good kick in the arse wouldn’t sort out…

Nothing a good kick in the arse wouldn’t sort out…

Turns out I’m getting old. Well old-er. I still haven’t quite got the grasp of falling into a stereotype for my age. Probably because I’m a bit of a bol**x when it comes to doing what I’m supposed to do.  Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not exactly James Dean or anything –no.  Jaysus you’d want to see me driving! Speed limits, yellow boxes and disabled parking spaces are there for a reason. But I’m a bit selective. There always has to be an exception and those rows of empty family parking spaces outside Tesco especially  on a Tuesday morning in the shagging rain?  Well like I say -I break the rules – sometimes… a bit… Especially on Tuesday morning outside Tesco when it’s pelting down.

Its nearly my birthday.  Woo-Hoo!  Not quite, still a couple of days to go.  One of the things about getting older, is that birthdays lose their impact.  I tend to remind people so they will at least acknowledge it… go on feel free… see I’m doing it here. But the point is that I think the more you start running out of them, the less you look forward to them.  Maybe that turns around again when they really start getting scarce?  

In a couple of days from now, I literally get a year older.  Now when I was seven, I was never seven.  I was seven and a half or seven and three quarters.  There was a rush to be older.  Funny how that changes isn’t it?  Now me being me, my impending birthday got me thinking of some, mostly irrelevant things  about my life.   Like for instance, I worked out that I have driven over one million Kilometres in my life.  If I strip that back to hours I was awake during the time since I first learned to drive, this means I have spent an astonishing 11.5% of my waking hours  in a car since I learned to drive!  Bizarrely I’ve never been in a serious car accident, although a small boy once ran out in front of me and went over the top of my car.  He was uninjured as he was small, bouncy, and most of the momentum came from him running into me.  I was driving very slowly in heavy traffic in Wicklow town at the time. That scared the living bejaysus out of me I can tell you, but fortunately he was unhurt.

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I’ve travelled the globe and I couldn’t possible count my air miles throughout my life as apart from holidays, I have always travelled several times a year for work. My carbon footprint must look like a feckin’ Yeti’s.

Importantly when taking stock, the good stuff is nearly taken for granted and the loves of my life, my children and my darling Jo, are always going to make a constant and welcome impact on my soul as I deal with all the crazy.  But for the purpose of this thought process, I will leave out this part of my life, for it represents all that is good about me, and I’m kinda going off on a ‘where did I leave mucky paw prints’ rant, as opposed to a ‘how lucky am I’ one.

I’ve eaten a lot of cheese.  Not sure how that fits in the grand scheme of things but it surely has some significance and while I can’t work this out in kilos, I’m confident it is sufficient to have sustained at least one person in permanent employment.  I’d say the same for chocolate, red wine and coffee.  So you could say, I am vital to the Irish if not global economy in some small way.  What else have I done?

I’ve…and for those of a sensitive disposition, pardon me now… I’ve broken my fair share of wind over the years.  I wouldn’t in anyway like to suggest I have contributed inordinately to global warming or anything, but I’m sure if it were measureable, I would be surprised by just how much gas has been produced by this otherwise generally pleasant carcass of mine..  Truth be told, as we don’t produce methane I’m not even sure if our emission of hydrogen, carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulphide, actually impact the ozone layer at all, then again – I’m no expert.  But it has to have had some impact. 

Purely for scientific reasons of course and partly because I couldn’t resist looking it up, I did some calculations based on average human emissions, and It would appear that I would need close to 60,000 empty milk bottles to store what has basically leaked out of this slowly rotting carcass of mine over the years.  It might be all the cheese. To be fair, I have denied responsibility for at least 40,000 of these.

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I ran a lot, mostly in the early part of my life, so I’ve covered a fair bit of ground including one memorable Bicentennial Dublin City Marathon n 1988. I have scored goals, trys and countless baskets in pursuit of sporting joy but again, it’s been a while.   I was always fairly healthy until my heart one day  decided it had had enough, took its ball, and walked off the pitch as if to say “I’m not playing anymore” albeit temporarily.

Lord knows how many miles I’ve walked, especially with the three mutts we have now and I’ve even managed to swim in a few different oceans, one unwittingly in the company of sharks late one night, but that’s another story.

Apart from the cheese, I have eaten a very wide variety of food and never shirked when someone told me I was eating snake or octopus.  When I lived in Australia for a bit, I lived near and worked in the heart of Melbourne. That was great because, there were literally restaurants specialising in cuisine from the four corners of the globe.  Back then Dublin was much more monocultural, so I hadn’t had the same exposure to such a  wide variety of international cuisine. Now of course times have changed.  Even in our own little home town, you can get Thai food, Indian, Chinese, Argentinian, Italian, French and on it goes.  My – we have all become so global.

I come from a time when Spaghetti was exotic and curry was rumoured to be a flavour that foreigners used, to cover up the taste of spoiled meat!  God be with the days we were ignorant of anything that didn’t exist outside of a ten mile radius.

I’ve seen a lot.  The first man on the moon, the first Irish woman president, Dolphins rising in a pod against an azure sea, Ireland beating England in the Euro’s in 1988, the Irish Rugby team beating the All Blacks in Chicago. I have born witness to many incredible moments.  I was there to see my beautiful children take their first breaths, my father sadly take his last, and all that has transpired before and since.  I have looked into the eyes of the girl I truly love and I have seen the most spectacular sight of all.  I see it every day and count myself lucky indeed.

Bad things have happened and I won’t list the disasters that have befallen us Irish or the rest of the world, but of course these are not unique to me.  Over the years I have accomplished many things, most notably, learning to eat, crawl, walk and talk, none of which I recall but all of which are probably far more significant than anything I have done since.

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The problem of course, is that there is that there is still hopefully such a long way to go.  A problem you say!  Yes – a problem.   You see while the auld noggin is willing, the auld flesh is complaining more and more as each number gets added to my age.  If there is a bit of me that doesn’t at least occasionally creak, I have yet to discover it.  Back when I was a scrawny, skinny arsed youngfella, it was grand. I could jump off sheds, get tripped and fall repeatedly playing sports, run more miles than I should and still be fine the next day.

Nowadays if I paint ten metres of coving, I need at least a week to recover before I can move on to the next room. This whole spirit is willing thing is a load of horseshite.  So I have had to adapt and adopt. I’m hardly on my last legs or anything, but I have had to learn to slow the feck down.  I still haven’t quite got the hang of it, but I’m getting there.

My adaptations are creeping in.  Saying no sometimes helps.  I used to be a ‘I’ll do that’ type of volunteer, now I’m more of a ‘ Here Mick- you spend your day in the Gym, lift that over there for me will ya’ type of guy.  I have adapted to recognise that just because I can do something, doesn’t necessarily mean I should do something.  The heart attack helped bring me around on that one.

But like I say, there are lots of miles left on the clock and I’m really looking back at work done as opposed to, things to do here. Like the rest of you, we recognise certain milestones.  We openly celebrate big marker dates like 18th birthdays, 21st birthdays and then they spread out. We start to celebrate decades.  You hit 30 and 40 and 50 and we reserve special celebrations for these.   This year my birthday will not have a zero at the end, so it will pass relatively unmarked.

I find it a little bit sad, because while I hate fuss, I still feel about ten years old inside and I still love the anticipation of surprise presents and all the build-up that used to happen when I was a nipper. It seems silly now, but I guess it doesn’t matter how old I get, I will always be a little boy in many ways.

Maybe it’s because I still hold perhaps one of the few fond memories about myself from my childhood, very close to my heart.  Back in the day, I spent a few years where basically the best thing Santa could bring me, was a cowboy suit or a new set of guns and a holster. I asked Santa early one year for a very particular reason. I wanted a new set of pearl handled colt 45’s.

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As my birthday falls exactly one month before Christmas, I asked for a Winchester rifle so I would have a complete new set of guns come Christmas morning. Back then asking for both from Santa would have been greedy, so I strategically asked for one thing on my birthday and the rest from Santa.  Up there for dancin’ as they say.

My Mam and Dad gave me the most spectacular toy rifle for my birthday,  It was a Winchester repeating rifle with a white handle and the stock was shiny silver.  It came in a box covered in imagery from the Wild West.  I could have cried.  It is a story I have used before in my writing as it evokes such a fond memory, but for the uninitiated, I kept the rifle, still in its box, untouched until Christmas day, so it would be in perfect condition, just like the pistols that Santa was going to bring.  I engaged in an emotional month long, exercise in delayed gratification, that I doubt any other child could have managed.

Looking back I still cannot believe that the tiny excited little pony that I was, could maintain such discipline and it is one of the few moments in my life where I look back and feel so very impressed with my tiny little self.  But it does make me feel sad because, I remember so much more about that time and my big old heart becomes truly that of a child once more when I think of those times.  I guess I miss my little self.

But enough nostalgia, they say it’s not what it used to be.  Onwards and upwards I say. I’m nursing a few wrinkles until I get them just right, and doing my best to avoid turning into a grumpy old man in the coming years, so that’s enough to be getting on with for now. I will undoubtedly start to act my age one of these days, something I am trying hard to avoid. So if you see that happening at any point, do us a favour will you?  Give us a kick in the arse… 

 

Haven’t read a Max Power book yet?  I think it’s time to pick one up.
Max Power’s books include, Darkly Wood, Darkly Wood II The woman who never wore shoes, Larry Flynn, Bad Blood and Little Big Boy
You can find more details about Max Power’s books here : –
http://www.amazon.com/author/maxpower
https://maxpowerbooks.wordpress.com
fhttp://facebook.com/maxpowerbooks
twitter @maxpowerbooks1

Universal book links
http://getbook.at/Darkly-Wood
http://getbook.at/Darkly-Wood-II
http://getbook.at/Little-Big-Boy
http://getbook.at/Larry-Flynn
http://getbook.at/Bad-Blood

all 5

 

 

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The tick-tock in my clock…

The tick-tock in my clock…

Like a disgruntled old goat, I sometimes have to shake a metaphorical fist at myself when I sense the shine wear off my smile. Under the weight of shambolic modern day advice, it could be easy to fall for the notion that I should share my negative moments, or at least put them out there to release the angsty mess that gathers up at my corners, as the winds of trouble swirl about me on bad weather days. But I know better.

There is nothing like a little repression to save the rest of the world from your bullshit. Lord knows, I have to listen to myself enough without imposing any of my own troubles on the world. And so it is. Forevermore, I shall endeavour to maintain my inner demons, doubts, worries and concerns, to avoid boring the arse of the rest of you.  No doubt there will be plenty who advise against such a notion, but unlike the so called experts, I know me.  I’ve lived with me for a long time now and I completely get me… well mostly. I’m not sure the rest of the world should have any hand, act or part in working me out.

Having declared my penchant for repressive self-analysis, I will share something with you. This is less an inner demon than and outward projection and a puzzle. As any regular visitors to my blog will know, I have had an occasional visitor to my nights over the past two years. As if to add fuel to the flame of my nocturnal dark stalker, we have had increased unexplained activity about the place. Now I named my dark friend Mr. Squiggles to ease the sense of fear that he brings.  I thought by giving him such a childish name, he might disappear.  It was not to be. He first came to me in my hospital bed as I recovered from heart surgery and has frequented my bedroom at precisely 3:35 on the rare occasion he appears.  I thought him a function of my condition, a psychological trauma if you will, brought on by dying – if only for a minute, but I still attach that traumatic event to his appearance.  It seems however he followed me home.

Now other strange and unexplained things have begun to happen and not just to me.  We increasingly hear people who are not actually there, in other rooms in our house. Just yesterday there was someone in the ensuite bathroom in the room next to ours. The thing is, there was no one else there.

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As the grand master of sceptics, I have explained most things away, even my Mr. Squiggles who if I am honest, I merely dismiss or repress out of my inability to technically explain him away. Three nights ago, or should I say early that morning, at my usual personal witching hour, I lay awake and sensed a presence.  It was akin to how I feel when ‘he’ is about and I opened my eyes and checked the time.  It was indeed 3.35 in the morning.   I listened and heard nothing, but Mr. Squiggles makes no noise.  He is pure stealth, a creature with hidden malevolence waiting to be revealed.

The first time he came to me, I watched his dark shadowy form creep about the outer walls of the courtyard, just outside my hospital window.  He disappeared and reappeared many times, as he dipped in and out of other hospital ward windows, as if looking for something.  His movements were quick and it was very disconcerting, for I have a mind to believe only what can be seen, touched and what I know to be real.  This was something else. 

There are lots of logical reasons why my Mr. Squiggles could have appeared. My mind playing tricks on me is the obvious one, although, I do not normally suffer from such strange delusions and while I was physically very ill at the time of his first appearance, my mind was crystal clear.  I am no longer quite so ill and yet he comes. As he only appears at a set time of night, this perhaps adds to some notion of personal confusion or even a trick of the light.  Despite my very strong personal scepticism, I cannot accept either as a reason for his existence, so I am still trying to resolve his presence in my life.  I do know that real or not, he waits for the right time to appear.  He watches me.  I feel him like an impatient Grim Reaper, who slips in my window, when he senses the exact moment when I am l physically struggling. 

But I digress. It wasn’t Mr. Squiggles that came creeping through my window on Tuesday night. Our bedroom is quite dark, but the window is illuminated slightly from the outside world and it was there that I watched the strangest of sights unfold before my very eyes.

Again it would be easy to believe that my eyes or my mind were playing tricks on me and I would prefer to choose that it were indeed so, but alas, it was not. What I saw set my hair on end. It was very much like the evening last month when someone walked across the kitchen in front of me, someone who wasn’t there.  Last night it began with a shadow and I immediately suspected my usual dark companion had come to check on me. I was wrong.

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As I lay there, a black bubbling mass began to gather at the centre of the window. It was even blacker than the darkness framed outside the edge of the window and while it started off as an uneven ball of blackness, it slowly grew until it filled at least half the space where the feint light gave it a silhouette.

I knew what it was and I looked away for a moment. There was no doubt in my mind what I had seen, but I could not quite get my head around it. I looked back but it was still there, only moving even more than before.

Fear is a peculiar thing and I tend not to allow it in, so I cannot say I was afraid but I was certainly startled and my skin gave a good impression, but the goose bumps and risen hair were involuntary. I lay there and squeezed my eyelids tight together before opening them again.  I wanted to dismiss what I saw as an optical illusion but this was crystal clear to me.  I was wide awake. I looked about the room and fluffed the duvet as if my physical action might shake my madness, by  eliminating the strange vision in the night.

Now you just want me to tell you what I saw, right? Don’t worry I’ll not keep it a secret, but I have to explain that in telling you the truth of the matter, I can never express the depth of the darkness that it represents to me. This is something real and unreal, something unexplained.

One black inky hand, as clear as my own only in shadow form, grew out past the black wrist that followed it, only to be pulled back by another identical hand and then there was another, and another.  The hands that reached out were as real as my own, fully formed, three dimensional, clawing from a dark central mass, as the numbers of desperate clawing grasping hands grew. They were not trying to grab hold of me, they were too far away for that and I could see they were hands filled with an expression of fear if that can possibly make sense. 

They were trying to escape but other hands pulled them back. So it was a black, almost undefined mass of hands that I saw and I could sense something even darker behind them. Then it was there, in the background.  It was my old friend Mr. Squiggles. I didn’t see him, but he was there alright and unlike the hands that were real to me, he was imagined because he was sitting out of sight on the window ledge, waiting as he always does.  

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So here I am crossing already blurred lines, talking of real, grasping, terrified, desperate hands appearing to me in the night, hands that anyone reading this will put down to some illusion or dream. On the other hand I use the word imagined when talking of Mr. Squiggles, but I only say imagined in the sense that what was imagined, was  precisely how might be sitting on my window ledge, not that he was there, for he surely was.

I have a tick tock in my clock these days. Ever since the unimaginable happened and I crossed the line of life and death only to return, the second hand has become so much more of a presence in my life. I am finite it seems and it was something I had chosen to ignore for most of my life, as no doubt we all do.

But has my infinity crash caused a lapse in my sanity, opened a window on a madness that I have begun to see as normal, or is there some other explanation.  Let’s be clear. I don’t believe in ghosts. I do have a vivid imagination, I am a writer after all, but I am not inclined towards such flights of fancy, that would explain away  the strange visits that are becoming all too frequent for me.

A logical man, I demand an explanation and in its absence I have a default position which is; that which I don’t understand, can only be explained as something outside my sphere of understanding. There still exists a logical explanation; I just have yet to discover it.  I spent two bloody days this week working out a series of connected excel formulas that seemed impossible to resolve.  Just because I couldn’t find a solution, nor could anyone be found who did, no matter which source I went to, didn’t mean there wasn’t one.  I finally worked it out yesterday.  Not knowing, meant only that I lacked sufficient  knowledge at the time, not that it was impossible and perhaps it is so with Mr. Squiggles.

Today as part of my work,  I took a new 4 wheel drive Mercedes Pick-up through its paces off road.  I drove up and down 43 degree slopes, through a river and sideways on a slope that promised to tip me over, but it didn’t.  It was incredible fun, but there was a moment where I was climbing up a hill so steep that I could only see sky, when I had to totally put my trust in the vehicle.  I could see nothing but I made it through because I backed myself and what I had been taught about the vehicle.  It reminded me of how I am when my nocturnal watcher appears.

I have no idea of what is about to happen, but I somehow trust that it will work out.  I can’t see where I’m going, but I have no fear of what lies behind the horizon. Maybe I am foolish. I hope not.  Tonight I will go to bed without fear or trepidation, knowing I may have to face him again or maybe he will not appear for weeks.  It makes no difference. He will eventually come back to haunt me.

I was recently whispered the date of my death, I doubt it will come true.  But the real secret, is that I have already been there to that place and it holds no fear for me anymore.  So what fear I Mr. Squiggles?  Maybe someday he will reveal his true nature and purpose and then of course, I will share it with you.  But in the meantime believe what you will, I know there is a reason for everything as I listen to the tick tock of my clock and wait to see what comes next…

Haven’t read a Max Power book yet?  I think it’s time to pick one up.
Max Power’s books include, Darkly Wood, Darkly Wood II The woman who never wore shoes, Larry Flynn, Bad Blood and Little Big Boy
You can find more details about Max Power’s books here : –
http://www.amazon.com/author/maxpower
https://maxpowerbooks.wordpress.com
fhttp://facebook.com/maxpowerbooks
twitter @maxpowerbooks1

Universal book links
http://getbook.at/Darkly-Wood
http://getbook.at/Darkly-Wood-II
http://getbook.at/Little-Big-Boy
http://getbook.at/Larry-Flynn
http://getbook.at/Bad-Blood

all 5

When Fecky-the-ninth starred as Jesus…

When Fecky-the-ninth starred as Jesus…

Boys are idiots. I should know I was one. A friend of mine once ate a church candle to impress a girl, I kid you not.   We were twelve years old and rehearsing for the Easter play in the local church. For us it was a great doss and we took every opportunity to dodge genuine school work when it came along.

“Who wants to be in the Easter play?” Ah yes Brother Donard, you knew that every hand in the class would go up, but not because we loved or admired you –  unholy, sadistic Bas**rd that you were, no, it was to get the hell out of Dodge for a couple of hours rehearsal every week. Ah the freedom.

It didn’t matter whether you were a narrator, a cruel Roman Centurion whipping the lard out of Jesus as he crossed the altar, or the big man himself, all that mattered was you were free from school for a bit. The context of what you were doing mattered little.

Now my friend Barry was a show off. He talked the talk and told us about stuff he did that he hadn’t of course, but we chose to believe him because that made life more interesting. But he was an awful twat sometimes. The biggest problem we had for that particular performance was not our diction or acting skills.  They didn’t really present a problem.  We were twelve year old boys; all we did was mess and act the eejit anyway.  Dragging a huge wooden cross across the altar on Easter Sunday, dressed in a sheet draped over you in what was the most unauthentic representation of the Crucifixion you could imagine, really only presented a challenge in not laughing. Like I said, we were just a bunch of messers.

The biggest problem was that they were letting us ‘work’ with girls from the Dominican convent! I say ‘girls’ as though it was an unimportant word, but we were  generally kept away from them as much as possible, so we only knew one way to act in their company – like complete morons.

At twelve it was awkward.  We had the auld bit-of-a-notion and a hint of something stirring, but we weren’t exactly au fait with the whole purpose or mechanics of anything we were feeling or thinking. Back in the seventies in Dublin, none of us Christian Brother educated boys had a clue about sex.  Girls were for marrying at some point and the rest was a feckin’ mystery.

One fella, a story I know I’ve recounted before, explained to us in great detail how impregnating a girl involved a substance obtained from a lad’s ear.  I won’t go into any greater detail except to say, there were fingers and belly buttons involved and fortunately it turned out that he had got that one completely wrong.

We’d all kissed a youngwan at some point of course, but any of the boys who said it hadn’t involved spinning a bottle was a damned liar. Kissing was still mentioned in a laddish way, but often accompanied by a slight sound of disgust. The exception, was when a top class fibber went off on how he had ‘got off’ with so-and-so at the back of the sheds late one night. In truth, we all knew he would have been tucked up in his bed at the time he suggested that he was out sewing some wild oats we didn’t fully understand anyway.  Still we listened to such tales with fascination, perhaps in the hope that we might gleam some valuable insight into the world of girls and kissing, but I can’t recall a single useful nugget from those times.

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The candle eating incident occurred behind the altar. Strictly speaking there are differing definitions for an altar depending on ones persuasion, but from our perspective, the altar was the entire space around the altar table where mass was performed. Hidden from view, there was a door to the sacristy and we all had to wait there at some point during rehearsals.  There were about a dozen of us boys and girls involved with various speaking and acting parts and it was deemed inappropriate for a bunch of naredowells like us, to be lounging about on the altar unless we had a specific function, so this is where we waited in the wings so to speak.

During rehearsals, we had a nun in charge.  She was generally on the altar at all times, making sure we pretty much genuflected at every conceivable moment.  She struggled with the logistics of the whole thing.  The trouble with the performance was that in her world, one had to genuflect in the presence of the blessed sacrament which on mass days, would be present whether in the tabernacle or on the altar, or  in the priests hands at some stage.  As our ‘’Homage’ to the great occasion was not structured in a single flowing presentation, but rather as small broken segments to be performed throughout the mass, the poor auld sister had to work out when and where the blessed sacrament might be at any given point, and where we might be in relation to it. As far as she was concerned, you had to genuflect each and every time you crossed the altar. Had it been one of the Brothers, they would have handled it differently.  They frightened the hell out of us and I knew they could do what they wanted.  Nuns were different, altogether more holy and reverential somehow.  This one certainly was.

I swear to God it wrecked her frazzled little head. Worse still, she was one of those very holy types, who wasn’t happy with a casual, quick knee-bend as a genuflection, oh no.  For her, it had to be thoughtful, unhurried and not careless.  But there was more.  Typically she would have made a sign of the cross, but the guy playing Jesus (yes that was me, I was the star of the show – how ironic) had to at all times drag a big heavy cross across the front of the Altar – no free hands to bless ones-self. The worst part for me was that the cross was made of solid wood!  I don’t know where they got it from, but I was a skinny arsed ,undernourished, twelve year old boy.  The feckin’ thing nearly broke me.

She just about coped with not signing the cross, but the genuflection was a deal breaker. I cheekily told her that you only needed to genuflect once as you passed or approached the altar, but she pretty much damned me to hell as a Godforsaken heathen for even breathing  with a thought like that in my head.

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Her solution was to work every movement in the proceedings so that with one or two absolute impossible exceptions, no one crossed the front of the altar, thus avoiding the need to genuflect.  But then Fr. Cleary came in to watch rehearsals one day and he stopped us in our tracks.

“Why is Jesus doubling back?  He’ll have to go all the way around to get to Calvary on the far side.”

She started to very deferentially and softly explain that she was thinking… but he cut her off by shouting rather loudly and ignoring what she was trying to say.

“Hey you … Fecky-the-ninth.”  I was shocked at the curse in his mouth, but he was talking to me so I followed his instruction, all the time watching the poor sister unravel beneath her habit. Not only was he about to override her instructions, but he had just called Jesus, Fecky-the-ninth!

“Keep goin’…and you… Head-the-ball,” (he was referring to my centurion, whose sole job was to demonstrate how cruel the Romans were to Jesus by whipping me as I walked) “put a bit of wellie into it.  You’re supposed to be lashing him out of it, not tickling him.”

He buggared off for a smoke, leaving our holy sister wholly disheveled, but perhaps secretly relieved at having been absolved of her responsibility to police rigorous genuflection by the interjection of a higher power.

But I digress. Backstage as it were, while one of the narrators practiced,myself and Barry were chatting away when we saw one of the Dominican girls approach.  She was a rather pretty blonde, a wisp of a thing, full of a sense of her own importance.  She had told me at a previous rehearsal that she wished she had been born rich rather than beautiful, without a hint of sarcasm I might add!   

We watched her swish towards us, all hair and smelling of some freshness we boys were largely unfamiliar with. She swung her yet to appear hips and her very much below the knee skirt ,swirled about her as she sashayed towards us.  Barry gave me a knowing wink. He had this.  He was going to do or say something so cool that she would be bowled over, I just knew it. He called to her as she approached.

 

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“Hey gorgeous…” My god I thought, the nerve of him, the shear confidence to call a girl gorgeous. For a moment I was in awe of his flair… “wanna see something deadly?”  She tried not to break a smile as he reached back and from behind him, produced a long, thin white candle.  He raised it to his mouth and took a chunk off the top, biting through at least four inches and started chewing as though he was eating something delicious.

My jaw dropped. What the… He winked at her as she passed and began talking to her with his mouth full of candle wax.  I say talking but all he said was, “Huh…Huh…” as if to ask, ‘Well what do ya think darlin’ ? Impressed? – Good eh?”

“Spa!”

She chose the commonest insult from our childhood lexicon and while highly offensive and today very much incorrect, back in the seventies it was the insult of choice among us school boys.  It was a single cutting word that she flicked at him as she passed without even looking in his direction and I would have been devastated.

I looked at Barry as he continued to chew.  We didn’t speak for a couple of minutes as he for some reason unbeknown to me, chose to continue to eat the wax in his mouth rather than spit it out, even though she was long gone.  He swallowed with a loud gulping noise and winked at me.

“I’m in there!”

Boys are idiots, need I say more…

Haven’t read a Max Power book yet?  I think it’s time to pick one up.
Max Power’s books include, Darkly Wood, Darkly Wood II The woman who never wore shoes, Larry Flynn, Bad Blood and Little Big Boy
You can find more details about Max Power’s books here : –
http://www.amazon.com/author/maxpower
https://maxpowerbooks.wordpress.com
fhttp://facebook.com/maxpowerbooks
twitter @maxpowerbooks1

Universal book links
http://getbook.at/Darkly-Wood
http://getbook.at/Darkly-Wood-II
http://getbook.at/Little-Big-Boy
http://getbook.at/Larry-Flynn
http://getbook.at/Bad-Blood

all 5