Coming & Going: an unknown number (incomplete)

One afternoon when I was floating about the kitchen with a bag of broccoli and a beer I came across a number written on a piece of paper. I knew the number was relevant somehow, that the number was one I had intended to ring but left over the New Year and forgotten about. But whose was it?

The only clue was a large scratch in red pen at the top, which looked like an L. Or had the pen merely slipped? L? I kept the letter in my brain for hours and couldn’t recall. It was definitely a woman’s number, and the only thing from picking up the phone to find out was that it might have been the wrong type of woman and I would have signed myself on an odorous date. I couldn’t shuffle the faces in my head. No recollection grew. I sat in lessons with Catalans discussing verb tenses and propositions of time and gerunds and all the while my cranium was unhelplessly jarred on that damned letter. L. Who was she?

Was she a Catalan? Had I met many in a drunken night? Was she European? American? Laura, Lisa, Lauren, Lena, Lucia? I knew it wasn’t anyone I knew. I vaguely remembered a moment – and it felt like a date number, not a friend number.

All day the number haunted me, taunted me, pulled at my memory and sat on the tip of materialisation. I couldn’t focus. It was desperate. A new number was the exact thing I was in need for. A fresh date. A pleasant drink and chronic flirtation. I decided to ring the number after my last lesson.

When I got home Edwards was purching on the couch strumming his ukulele and sucking on a cigarette. His gremlin was in the kitchen cooking up lard with mushrooms, occasionally getting her moustache caught in the fryer. And all thoughts were pushed out except one: I WILL NEVER UNDERSTAND WHAT GOES THROUGH EDWARD D. EDWARD’S MIND WHEN IT COMES TO WOMEN. I just couldn’t understand this bizarre relationship going on. Here was a man, decent enough, and there was this horrible woman, who regularly cheated on him. Yet she complained, daily. She wasn’t after more affection from him, she wasn’t after energy or power or vitality from him. She simply tormented him. And on top of that she was horrendously ugly.

‘How are you Edwards?’


Which struck me as irregular, as he only really played the ukulele when his disposition was good.

‘Went to see the fucking boat people today…’ He began.

‘Boat people?’

‘Yes. The ones who sell boats on the port. Catalan fascists. Like every other Catalan muppet.’

The frying continued in the kitchen, as if a loud rainstorm had gathered.

‘Is this about the pirate ship?’

He nodded.

‘They want us…………. (to be continued)


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