Category Archives: Aidan Furey

The Last Days of the Suicide

You wake up suddenly, prodded awake by the bitter, rotting taste of last night. You wake up suddenly, when the last drop of alcohol has been strained from your body. You sit up and the room swings pendulum-left, then right. You place your feet on to a sticky carpet and stand-up as the room swings left and then right again. You walk to the kitchen, your arms outstretched, your eyes half-closed. You make coffee and as you reach for the milk you glance to see if there is any beer left but there is not. You drink the coffee and listen to the radio. You listen to old tunes from the 90’s, when music was good, when life was good. You smoke a cigarette and then you phone Fat Frank. He tells you to come over at three, that he will have the money at three. You think about what to do with Fat Frank’s money. You think about buying groceries and cigarettes. You will not go to the bar. You do not want to go to the bar to listen to those losers talking about the bets that they missed that week. You do not want to go to the bar to listen to them talking in ifs and buts and should haves and could haves. You’re sick of those idiots, those leeches, those losers – you’re sick of those losers for friends. You look at your watch and wonder what to do for four hours. You could go to your mothers to cut her grass and she might give you a tenner, but you were drunk the last time you stayed there and she thinks that you pissed in her wardrobe. Instead, you clear away last night – the tins, the bottles, the glasses and the overflowing ashtrays. Then you see the splintered glass on the picture above the fireplace. You look around the room and you see the footprint on the wall and the cook’s knife that has been forced into the arm of the chair beside the window. You phone Soupy to ask him what happened last night but Soupy does not answer. You should never have let Soupy into your flat because it always ends badly. You sit down and don’t like that there are missing parts from last night. You sit down and feel a wetness seep through your jeans. You stand-up, curse and inspect your jeans and think that they are O.K. They are the cleanest pair that you own and they will dry soon. You open a window and let out the choking smell of a night of smoking and let in the stench of dog shit and rain – stale rain that gathers in the cracks of the pavements. It’s that stench that gets deep into your bones, that stench that comes from thirty-four years in a shitty street, in a shitty town. You turn on the T.V. and flick through a different life, one of renovations, antiques and second homes in sunny places. You turn off the T.V. and sit in silence. You let the silence surround and overcome you. You need to leave this place of quiet. You need to leave this place with no voices. You need to go.
+++++You see him from across the street. He is carrying a blue bag and you know that he sees you because his step stutters. You walk towards Fat Frank and he gives you a smile that is more gum than teeth. You walk towards Fat Frank wondering where he got the money from. You listen as Fat Frank tells you that the money came early, that he was on his way to get you. You don’t believe him but you don’t say it because he has beer and soothing cigarettes and the chance of an afternoon of something. You hold the bag of beer for him as he takes his dick out and pisses in the street, even though his flat is no more than one hundred feet away. You hear him ask about the trouble in your block last night but you say that you didn’t hear any trouble in your block last night. You wonder if you were the trouble. You wonder about the splintered glass and the footprint on the wall and the knife in the chair. You ask Fat Frank if he has seen Soupy and he tells you that he hopes that he never sees that fucker again.
+++++You put some of the beers into the freezer and the rest into the fridge. You hear Fat Frank tell you that you look awful and he offers you a blue pill. You pocket the pill because blue pills are for sleeping, not for drinking. You drink the beer quickly, the first one warm but you don’t care. You feel at ease for the first time today. You feel like the scream inside you has turned into a sigh. You ask Fat Frank if you look any better and he shrugs. You ask Fat Frank for a cigarette and he points a stubby finger at the box on the low table. You tell Fat Frank that you will have a couple of beers but then you need to go, that you need groceries. Fat Frank smiles. You have another beer and then another. You have a couple more and soon you watch as Fat Frank’s heavy head drops and then tumbles downwards into sleep. You open the fridge and count four beers, knowing that you can only have three of them – the fourth would be greedy. But you drink all four as Fat Frank sleeps, then you search his coat for money and then his wallet, his drawers and his mantel piece, you search his window sills, his cupboards and even his bread bin but there is no money. You sit down defeated with no beer and no money because Fat Frank is an unreliable, greedy bastard. You stare at the single fold of flesh that is Fat Frank and you want to scream at him, to stomp on him, to show him that you’ll not to be messed with, but instead you sit down, you do nothing. You save your show of strength for when you are alone in your flat, then you bury them all under your unheard words.
+++++You swallow the blue pill and wait, staring at Fat Frank as he sleeps contently in his chair. This is all he wants. He looks like a kind old grandpa who has had a heavy day, instead of the forty-year-old bar-fly who has had a heavy night. You watch his hefty chest rise and fall. Each time it deflates he makes a noise like a dying dolphin, a noise that is both hypnotic and horrific. You smoke a cigarette and feel the blue pill sneak up on you, feel it surround you, feel it smother you coldly.
+++++You wake and it’s late. You know that it’s late because the curtains are closed. You feel Fat Frank press a beer into your hand and it may as well be your dick as you have no use for either. You know that there are worse things than being alone. You know that there are worse things than being alone and one of them is being here.