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Pop Goes The Gun                                                                      

His flat smells of turpentine and ashtrays and something sweet… the odours concoct a potent mixture in my nostrils and shoot to my head. My head spins and I feel it is slowly breaking away from the rest of my body; my neck is the string of a helium balloon and someone just untied it. I can almost feel my hair brushing against the ceiling… static electricity.

Static electricity is why I am here and we both know it. I’m bored with my boyfriend. He’s bored with his girlfriend. He wants me to pose nude because it’s the fastest and easiest way he can think of getting my clothes off and it saves us having to make excuses to our consciences.

"In here," he pushes a door open and I follow him inside.

My eyes don’t know which wall to focus on first. I blink then take a deep breath and focus on the one facing me. I feel my face grow hot as I am confronted with wall-to-wall coverage of nude women posing like they are in pre-edited James Bond credits. No silhouettes here.

"D’you like them?" he sees me looking and I open and close my mouth, not sure what he wants me to say.

"Took me fucking ages. I used a different kind of paint for those ones so it was hard doing much detail."

"Oh,"’ I feel my throat collapse into my stomach. Not much detail? I can practically see the goose bumps along their inner thighs… I begin to feel panicky and stupid. Maybe he really does want to paint me naked. Like seriously. In detail… to add to his wall. Shit, shit, shit.

I turn to look at his other wall and see Andy Warhol prints, movie posters… a Trainspotting poster with him and his friends in place of the actors. He’s Renton. I look at another poster for Pulp Fiction and realise it’s his girlfriend, donned in a black wig pouting out from the picture. I try to decide if this is cool or just…weird.

"Sit down," He motions to his bed.

I perch on the end of his bed. I watch as he starts to sift through his CD collection.

"What kind of music you into?" he asks.

I shrug. "Rock. Alternative," Did alternative exist anymore? It seemed everything had gone mainstream. Even the kids hanging around town were confused; their eclectic wardrobes borrowing a piece of everyone in an attempt to look different, only to turn up and see fifty other people had had the same idea.

Nirvana blasts out from his stereo and I laugh.

‘What’s so funny?’ he yells in my face, as he dances around, an unlit fag between his fingers, his jeans slouching half way down his arse.

"I haven’t heard this in ages," I say.

"What?" he cups his ear with his hand and smiles. I can still see his dimples even although he hasn’t shaved for three days.

I smile back; my body begins to relax.

"Have you ever thought about dying?" He appears in my face again and I jerk back, unnerved by his abrupt question.

"Well, not exactly. I mean I’ve thought about death, but not, like, the actual act of how I’ll go…"

"Sammy, Sammy, Sammy," he tuts shaking his head.

I frown. I feel this was the wrong answer. Am I supposed to have thought about death in great detail?

"All the interesting people are dead. I can’t wait to meet them all and party with them," He lights his cigarette and laughs as he blows circles into the air.

"You could always hold a séance," I shrug.

I see him ponder this seriously. We really don’t share the same sense of humour. I begin to wonder if he is so crazy that he is beyond a sense of humour…

"I don’t really believe in all that shit," He waves a hand dismissively at me. He pulls out a bottle of whisky from his cupboard. "Ah, there you are my sweet baby."

He takes an over enthusiastic swig and the liquid glides over his chin, dripping on to his t-shirt. He keeps drinking. I hold my breath along with him. How much whisky can you down in one go?

"Ahhh," he gasps, pulling the bottle back down level. He burps loudly. "Here, have some."

I take the bottle. Peer into the half empty gold pool. I take a swig. The roof of my mouth roars in protest. I feel every drop sail down the back of my throat, down, down, down, exploding in my stomach.

"You’re so cute," He sits down beside me and pinches my cheek.

"Oh, thanks," I can feel his eyes analysing every line and pore on my face.

"And sexy," He brushes my hair back from my shoulder and his finger traces a circle around the delicate skin on my neck. I can feel every inch of my body begin to pulsate, my lips are screaming Kiss me, kiss me.

"Just perfect. Hmmm," He snaps his fingers and I blink. He jumps up and rushes over to his easel.