Tuesday, 16 June 2009

The Nutshell Philosophies of Katie Allen


Out of the bus-load of people on that dark night, not a one survived. Each died in tragic circumstances, each one worse than the last. Are you horrified yet? I am. Is there any chance that we can convert this sorry tale at the last moment into a love story?


“Go to park?”
“No. Go to bed.”
“Please may I have a biscuit?”
“Forgive me, but why do you insist on such negativity at all times of day and night? I’m sick of it. You make me look a complete fool.”
“Oh, fuck off.”


It is my duty to announce to you, reader, that, however hard you and I both try, we know we’re kidding no one, in that by the time we have hurtled to the end of this rather elaborate and unnecessarily long sentence, our relationship will be over forever – goodbye!


She noticed him at the supermarket, selecting mangoes. At the cheese counter, he asked if she believed in love at first sight; she said no, but when she got home she painted an oil-on-canvas that later sold for a lot of money. He wasn’t in it, but mangoes featured prominently.


There was once a famous writer who wrote brilliant novels and won all the prizes. This writer’s wife could not read a word; she was an illiterate peasant. She took her husband’s books and built an ark so big from the paper it became wood again, and off she sailed.


She waited behind the hedge. Who were they? Men in bowler hats, pink A4 files tucked underarm. Why pink? (Well, it was unsettling... less unsettling than the fact that they were, without question, following her.) They walked past her, heading further into the maze. She breathed a sigh of relief.


No, no, I can’t, I simply can’t, I refuse in fact. I’m tired and my psychiatrist said I’m not to put up with this anymore. I mean, it’s getting out of hand, it really is. It’s got to stop. You know where the machine is. Make your own Goddamn cappuccino.


The couple smiled into each other’s eyes. The boy kissed her gently, laughed a little. Why did he laugh? Was he happy? Was he cheating, trying to hide it behind an open mouth? Why ‘laugh’? Why not ‘chuckle’? Why are they so happy? Why can I have none of this?


In Lucy’s bedroom, the giggles subsided. The girls were bored. ‘Not to worry,’ Lucy said. ‘Let’s analyse boys now.’ This did the trick; they all grinned. Boy-language was serious business. What did Ben’s raised eyebrow signify? They stared at Lucy’s open notebook where she had pinned it down, still twitching.

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