OUT OF ESSEX – CHAPTER 29
Genevieve: Is that all you want from me?
Blondy: Right now? Yeah. More than anything.
Genevieve: Howard, you didn’t even zip up the bloody tent. Why are you here?
Blondy: I’ve told you that over and over. I travelled 265 miles so I could stop worrying about money. Stop feeling like there’s a hedgehog in my pocket.
Genevieve: You know what I’d like to hear you say?
Blondy: Welshmen are the best lovers?
Genevieve: That you’re sick of being herded. Sick of being a sheep.
Blondy: Sheep are beloved in Wales. Especially on cold nights.
Genevieve: Sick of the rubbish shoved down our throats by TV and Facebook. That you’re bucking the system. That you want truth.
Blondy: You try living in western Wales. Jobs are as rare as rocking horse crap. That’s the truth.
Genevieve: Jobs! For fuck’s sake. Jobs keep us in somebody else’s prison. If a soldier is imprisoned by the enemy, isn’t it his duty to escape?
Blondy: I’m not a poxy soldier, darling. I mend bikes. Captain Van Hoyte was telling me that there are twice as many bikes as people in The Netherlands.
Genevieve: Jesus, I hate how you change subject. Don’t you ever think about whether there’s a God? Gandhi and Satan are here, a hundred yards away. How? Aren’t you interested?
Blondy: Now you’re being daft. Satan was a fallen angel in the Bible. You seen any wings? Dave and me cleared out his empty bottles this morning. No feathers anywhere. OK? And yeah, the Indian guy calls himself Gandhi, but that’s a common name in West India. I looked it up.
Genevieve: Have you seen how he looks at me?
Blondy: Babe, every man in this park ogles you. Wakey wakey.
Genevieve: Not lust. More like disgust.
Blondy: Funny you should say that. That was the look I see him give Steph over at the café. She keeps talking about this bloke Ravenous-Glutton. Reckons she’s waiting for him to come to the park. Why you packing up your stuff?
Genevieve: You ever come across the word ‘numinous’?
Blondy: Wouldn’t mind coming across you. Where you going?
Genevieve: It means mysterious, awe-inspiring, spiritual. That’s how I feel about this park. It’s shooting for utopia. No more normalcy. I’m going to Diana’s tent. She’s been through the wringer. She needs another human to talk to, to trust.
Blondy: Ah don’t do that. She’s next thing to an ex-junkie. Come on, let’s talk about your parents. About your mum becoming worn down and tired, washing the windscreens, and your dad’s gambling, because he’s isolated, and can’t bond, can’t find anything meaningful. I do listen.
Genevieve: I know. That’s one of the reasons you’ll get by, and other women will happily sleep here. You’re good company. With a kissable face.
Blondy: So stay. Please. You’re the best in bed.
Genevieve: I want to leave you with a different thought. There was a philosopher in America called William James.
Blondy: Come nearer and tell me.
Genevieve: He wondered if our relationship to the otherworld – the spirits and the dead – was like how our pets relate to our world. So, we may be in the universe in the same way that dogs and cats might be in our libraries. Seeing the books. Hearing the conversation. Without any idea of the meaning, or how it works.
Blondy: Be my pussy. One last time.
Genevieve: James said we are embedded in the otherworld. Not the other way around. Bye Howard.