Kaptain's Blog

The writings and musings of The Kaptain

Saturday, April 19, 2008

The Number One Under Heaven (26)

Kate was in a filthy mood as she stomped back through the piazza, on her way home. Feeling hurt and a little cheap, she barely noticed that the first light of day was just beginning to reveal itself behind heavy overhead clouds. One or two of the previous evening’s revellers were still sitting at the square’s wooden bench tables, resolutely drinking their way through the remainder of the strong Danish lager they had purchased earlier from Twenty-Four Seven. Dishevelled and slumped at random angles, they had the appearance of a pack of somnolent hyenas, resting after a particularly exhausting hunt.

“Whorr… look a’ dat!” one of them managed to call out, raising his head as he noticed her shapely legs glide past. It was some balding gwailo lech, whom she did not recognise. Before his accomplices had had the opportunity to chip in with their own lewd comments, Kate rounded on them. “Fuck the lot of you, you pathetic specimens. Try getting jobs. Do something useful. Like real men. Remember what they look like? You lazy bunch of bastards!”

She gave them the bird finger as the men exchanged glances, their heavy eyebrows raised in surprise at the edge her verbal assault had contained. And it was true: Kate’s invective was certainly over the top. But while her outburst had allowed her to expunge some of her frustrations, she was still reflecting with disappointment the way Tommy had kicked her out of his bed, and most likely his life, just a few minutes earlier. Dismissed her. Sent her away, bored. So I wasn’t special, then, after all. Kate felt a mixture of anger and shame that she had been so foolish to think otherwise.

“Ooooooh!” one of the drunks now bravely piped up, with extreme affectation. Waiting until she was at a distance that meant she was unlikely to return, despite whatever was said, he then added: “One… is not… amused!” in a parody of the Queen. The man’s body was swaying, in slow motion. The dance of the drunk. The others sniggered as Kate’s back slowly disappeared off into the distance. Moments later, having returned to their slurps, they had largely forgotten the entire episode.

As she continued to march her way back to the apartment, it was not an excuse for her nocturnal absence that Kate was mentally searching for, nor did she fear how her husband might react to it. There was no panic in her mind. No: there was instead a feeling that events of the past forty-eight hours or so were bringing matters to a head, forcing her to make some kind of decision, one way or the other. But something else, too. It was the sudden realisation that she herself had no job. Had not worked for some considerable time, in fact. Was in no position then, to take the moral high ground over the drunks she had just condemned, back there in the piazza.

This is a shit life, Kate now reflected, her pace slowing. A dreadful fucking bore. I’ve lost my independence here. Become a glorified housemaid. And it was in this moment that she determined to leave Blake, to take Sophie back to the firmer reality that was England. Back home to get a job, and some kind of life of her own again. As soon as her daughter returned from that shit-hole to the north.


posted by Kirk at 3:12 am  

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