THE WRONG PLACE II

4 Nov

Cont

Bijou

The guy who owned the place, Zack: the girlfriend half his age. She liked his stories of St Kilda back in the days when Roland S Howard and Mick Harvey were in a band; cocaine with James Freud (wanker). She liked his sense of humour. But she was growing weary of his fast greying skin, his weary spirit, his breathing in the mornings. The heavy weight of a life throttled by pleasure. Business Wednesday to Monday was good. Too good. Wall to wall wankers. Art crowd, hospitality people Wednesdays, Thursdays. Weekends crawled with yuppies from public relations snake-pits, magazines that ate the souls of their readers. Mondays the worst: undergraduates from the education precinct. Tuesday nights he liked. It was Tuesday tonight.

The girlfriend’s name was Gidget Moondoggie. No shit! She was born Tanya Parsoe but she changed it October before last. Her 18th birthday present to herself she tells the story. She liked to undulate her ivory statue arse at Zack when they were at it and use her name to coo with. Fuck me moon doggy. The pure pornography of feigned innocence. Zack was old enough to’ve had his sexual development warped by religion not pornography. She was the swan song of his wilderness and the petty humiliations and vacant romantic nonsense were a reasonable price to pay.

Gij, everyone called her Gij. She knew they would. At work Gij always wore the uniform: black jeans, black T-shirt, canvas shoes: black, white or red. When she wasn’t working she held court. The Blue Ruin princess. Her courtiers were all impeccable retro-designer drones. Her clique of sexy chicks assorted stylistically as to avoid direct competition and foster team spirit. Like the Spice Girls if Courtney Love was in them. No-one competed with her highness.

She was the reason her crew counted on table service when everyone else had to go to the bar. She was the reason that Gentle Tom the massive Maori door bastard would kick a six-figure coke-addled money-bleeding lush in the arse hard enough to send him to Sydney if it pleased her to shower the guy with insults deadly enough to make the blood drown his brains in anger. It pleased her more when he returned the favour with interest and got the boot for dessert.

Tonight there was no need to please the Infidel. Bill Withers piped from the tubes just below the staccato raindrops on the window. Dancing light against the glass cut across by the indigo silhouette painted on the outside. A pair of figures, male and female: he – a stretched out dude with a 50s quiff, crepes n’ drapes; she – all curves and tattoos. High heels and frills that shot out across her thighs forming an arrow that pointed to it. Heidi swayed slightly to the bass guitar’s little dance with the bongos. She got to swinging a little. This was one kind of song she really liked. A suicide song impossible to stay still for. She got to swinging a bit more. “Zach,” she says in that rare feminine deep tobacco-coated voice. “Turn this up.”

So Zach turns it up. Zach lets Gij get away with mass slaughter but he listens to Heidi. Zach and Heidi… well no-one talks about it. No-one knows about it. Zach’s oldest friends come in sometime by jet from other cities on the network. If they know her you can’t tell. Whatever happened was over a long time before Zach opened The Blue Ruin. Sometimes Heidi released some cryptic fragment of transient background imagery: That was Zach’s Carl Perkins psychabilly phase. Suede boots, paisley ties really wide. Zach never said anything about Heidi. Gij was afraid of Heidi. For one thing Heidi was the only person apart from Zach around that knew her real name was Tanya. Heidi was the one who set her straight.

“Gidget,” Heidi always called her Gidget, “The way to change your name is to change it. It doesn’t matter what your license says. It’s what you say it is that counts. Don’t give people a choice unless you want them to have one.” Gij never told anyone after that. Once her sister came in for a night and insisted on calling her Tanya stepping up the volume each time she did. They haven’t spoken since.

Heidi thought the name was stupid but had to give her marks for bombastic audacity if not taste. “It’s a name you don’t forget,” she says. “But the further north you get past 22 the more stupid it gonna sound. Just sayin’.”

“Oh. I worked that out ages ago.”

“Yeah?”

“Yeah, I’m going to change my name to something else for my 21st. I have a short-list.”

Cont

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2 Responses to “THE WRONG PLACE II”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. THE WRONG PLACE III « STILL CHAOS - November 11, 2010

    […] Cont […]

  2. THE WRONG PLACE « STILL CHAOS - November 19, 2010

    […] To be continued… […]

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