Saturday, March 21, 2009

Crisis on Bearded Fahey

A sanctuary no longer, an inner pit assailed by change, become a sanctum diminished beyond fix, a porcelain paradise loose of its promise, born anew in the miasmic after-burn. Death wills and toxic stench are the only remaining truths left, now found set inside its charred walls. Bathroom lies be damned, henceforth they stand enchained to the maligned gestures of flippancy and misdirection. Cold sterility is the lifeblood, the very pulse of walls and floor alike, surfaces blotted in black clarity.

The light is off, the room dead in darkness. An arm punctures the stillness, clutching myopically for a touch, a feeling, fumbling in hope of a meeting – mighty bestower of light be here now. A recognisable click later and a persona is imposed upon the arm.

Eyes lacking the ability to identify the arm of a Fahey have yet to be born, for here clear to all is the wondrous limb foretold by scripture: the thousand-jointed limb of a Fahey, segmented tribute to flexibility and boundless treasury of party tricks.

- Hearsay that Fahey’s uncle once begot a spider for a son remain to this day unconfirmed. Suffice it to say, Fahey’s insectual ancestors swim forever in the channels of his gene pool.

With the bathroom now lit, the door is thrust open and in strides Fahey. Shirtless and hairy, blue to the balls, Fahey steps toward the sink. The mirror above returns his gaze. Beautifying utensils lie disarranged on a small shelf. A filthy towel long untouched hangs on a hook. Unoriginal bathroom details drift aimlessly, scattered across a sky of white tiles and spilt mouthwash.

Fahey’s eyes remain steadfastly locked on the sink. A razor, not too blunted, not too smeared by prior use, attracts his attention. An arm is raised, making a motion to lift the object. Fahey’s eyes flick to the left, toward the bathtub, then back to the razor. Shaking fingers lift the razor as the faint sound of pen on paper becomes audible. Fahey clears his throat, eyes flick left, eyes flick forward. The sink begins to fill with warm water.

Discomfort drains Fahey’s face of colour as he tries to angle himself in a way that he stands back facing the bathtub. A foreign cough interrupts the aural hegemony of the flowing water. Fahey takes water in his hand and splashes it upon his face. Then he starts to lather shaving foam over every bushy inch of his beard. Sound of bubbles to the rear, a splash this time born not of the sink. Fahey shakes his head, ears closing to distraction. Now the razor is in hand, coming nearer and nearer the face of Fahey.


…I don’t know when it was. Too long to say, too long for certainty. Sure it was shocking, no one’s going to expect that, I know I didn’t. You just go about your daily business, that’s all, it’s not my place to wonder the intricacies of it. I noticed, yes, but after how long? No way to know. Was I oblivious? Probably. Was he there long before I noticed? It’s possible. Truth’ll never be known, not unless he decides to confess all, which I doubt’ll happen. This is how it started: one day I wandered into the bathroom, I was in dire need of a piss. So there I go, relieving myself, when I turn my head and see him, a man, sitting in my bathtub. Like I say, there was a shock to it. He said nothing, so I say Who the fuck are you? Why the fuck are you in my bathtub? No reply. Then I notice he has a notebook on his lap and a pen in his hand. He’s scribbling the whole time, as I piss, as I look at him, as I speak to him, the pen never ceases. I step over to him, I’m starting to get annoyed now. I look down at him. He’s hairless and wears casual non-descript clothes. I repeat my questions. Still no sound bar the echo of the pen. What can you do? Soon I was exhausted. I could no longer be bothered to repeat my questions. Clearly he wasn’t going to speak. So I left him. He’s been there ever since…

Steam rises, rendering abstract Fahey’s image in the mirror. A fly darts past causing Fahey to twitch suddenly. He lunges for it, anger boiling. Then: palliation by way of reflection, Fahey considers the absurdity of his situation. Normalcy, or the memory thereof, can be sought free from the ties of difficulty, for its shadow traces a line on the horizon. Normalcy’s dance pollutes the surface of Fahey’s distress, its virus set to reinfect a world divested of its inscription. What remains is Fahey’s incumbency, that irksome pressure to action, to transform, to resurrect pastures of the past. Or not, perhaps, subject as it is to individual whim.

Fahey turns to the bathtub. One note sounds in the air: a scratching, the scratching, the minatory wail ill-fitting Fahey’s very being. Daggers – each and every pen-stroke is a weapon. Cessation of the subtle attack is mere fiction, additional dagger-thrusts act to further damage the integrity of Fahey. Temporal lacerations causing Fahey to bleed time. Spatial lacerations causing Fahey to bleed objects born of his porcelain madness. Ever try and bleed a shower curtain? Unpleasant is one word to describe it. But Fahey’s threshold for pain knows no limits, either that or he jettisoned his limits long ago, perhaps in that film where he fights a dinosaur.

Fahey stands over the bathtub.

“You fucker!” yells Fahey.

Not a hint of deceleration befalls the pen. The man’s head rhythmically stirs, his gaze alternating between Fahey and the page. Whatever diabolical record is being composed continues towards its completion.

“It’s been fucking weeks, months even, since I’ve had a shave! Look at me for Christ’s sake!”

The metronomic tilt of the man’s head catches Fahey’s grimaced face, before descending once again to the page.

“I just want to have a shave in peace. I don’t care if you’re here, just stop writing. Come on. Give me five minutes, OK?”

No let up.

“Three minutes. I’ll be quick. I don’t care if I rip half my face off, I’ll rush it if I have to, but I need to have a shave. Give me that won’t you?”

Scribbling continues.

“You writerly sonofabitch.”

Fahey takes a step back.

“Those notes of yours better be the most profoundest fucking thing ever written…”

Exasperated, Fahey wipes the foam from his chin and storms out of the bathroom, knocking off the light on the way.


…I don’t know why I didn’t do anything to get rid of him. He seemed to have as much a right to be there as anyone, despite it being displeasing to me. After a while I learned to avoid the blasted room. My habits evolved to accommodate the man. Occasionally, when I could no longer hold my urine, I’d have to enter the room and piss. Each time he’d be there, sitting in the same position, writing with the same pen in the same notebook. I have no idea what he is writing. One day I stooped to see but it was indecipherable. Clearly words and sentences, arrayed accordingly, but it was impossible to read. Perhaps it was written so quickly, or written at odd angles in the bathtub, I don’t know. I don’t even know if the man could read the stuff, that is, were he inclined to do so. It could be endless pages of mad rantings for all I know. Or a biography of me written from the perspective of my bathroom. I doubt he’ll ever break his silence. I might need to move someplace else. Then again, maybe we can learn to live together, and maybe eventually I can shave free of his distraction…

2 Comments:

Blogger Aaron McMullan said...

Jesus sufferin' Christ... what more to say to this, but that... fuckin hell...

1:40 pm  
Anonymous donna said...

This multisyllabic word-heavy demonstration of your ability to use a thesaurus must have fallen out of the holes in your brain from smoking too much pot.
donna

7:12 pm  

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