Friday, 21 September
18.37: She’s come home. Black trench coat, medium heels (not an important day). She wears Tuesday’s suit, as usual on a Friday.
18.40: Sits at the table. Looks happy - excited maybe; throws her shoes on the floor.
18.43: She is planning something. Thoughts flick across her face as ideas form in her head. I like that about her. Still at the table. Phone rings. From the way she talks, it must be Fat (the subject’s best friend, an ugly woman, surely mistaken for a man many times); feet on table, it’s surely Fat. Why didn’t I plant a microphone in there when I had the chance?
18.54: Goes to the bathroom. I’ve just realised I’ve never been curious enough to observe her in the bathroom.
19.40: She’s back, wearing red dress, knee length. It makes her breasts look big. Her breasts are not that big; high heels. Nice hairdo, the going out one. Goes to the kitchen and back. Tidies up the room. Lights candles, I bet scented ones. We’re going to have a little show tonight. First in _____ (check previous files). I’m making myself comfortable.
20.05: Goes to kitchen.
20.12: Brings plates to living room. Wine. Iceland frozen food tonight, most probably.
20.17: Sits at dressing table. Puts make-up on. Too much make-up. Can somebody tell women that too much make-up is not appealing? They wouldn’t listen if a guy like me told them so.
20.30: Interphone rings. She jumps; answers. She paces nervously in and out of sight.
20.32: A man arrives. 32-36 years old, looks important. I’ve never seen him before. He carries himself with dislikeable self assurance. I suppose that makes him attractive to women. They kiss. She blushes. Both sit at the table. Her hands tremble. She laughs too much, nervously. That annoys me.
20.40: He’s already drunk 2 glasses of red wine. She talks without stopping, gesticulates, has barely touched the wine, nervous. He is not listening. Not as a man who comes for the first time to a woman’s house should. I bet if she puts a mirror in front of his face she would instantly regain his interest.
21.00: She brings in the food. Fast food with advice on how to eat healthy printed on the label. It looks good. They dine.
Albert Core is in a wheelchair. One night, a few years ago, he got drunk with his mates and they decided to pinch a couple of wheelchairs from the Hospital Emergency Room and race them along the high street. Hospital wheelchairs lack the lightening system that would make them visible in the dark. He was unfortunate. Jane, his mother, said he got what he deserved and that him not being able to walk again was God’s way of saying ‘Hey, take that Albert, I’m a funny guy, too.’ But he is not like that anymore, people say. Even his mother likes him a bit more now. It’s been fourteen years since it happened. He’s stopped drinking and his mates never visit any more. It’s not cool to hang out with a guy in a wheelchair. Anyway they all have families and kids and crappy jobs now.
He doesn’t feel lonely. He enjoys his own company. He has got used to not wanting much from life. When family come to visit, he gets tired. They talk loudly, fidget, offer to give him a hand with this and that. And walk around. Why on Earth would they be walking around for, when he can’t, to make him angry? He’s better off without people in his space. He needs them out there, though, on the other side of his window. He bought binoculars with night vision function, a tripod, a recording device that he hasn’t used much, as he likes to write it all down in his notebooks. He has a notebook for each of his subjects.
Her name is Elodie. She’s a French woman who moved to his neighbourhood several months ago; seven, to be precise. Maybe her real name is not Elodie and maybe she is not French but she certainly fits the profile. He knows her clothes, her friends, her eating habits and her body. He best knows her body. But he never thinks about masturbating whilst looking at her. Not because that would be sick. It wouldn’t be so sick, if you think about it. He doesn’t feel the need to think about it. It’s not his thing.
21.26: They finish eating. She takes the empty plates to the kitchen. He drinks more wine. He empties the second bottle in his glass. Her half full glass is still on the table, barely touched.
21.29: She brings desert, some sort of multi-coloured ice-cream with a red topping. He refuses. Bowls remain on table. They kiss. I bet I’m going to witness some sort of body-to-body action...
21.35: The ice-cream is melting. He lifts her red dress, her skinny legs open like the gates to Heaven. Not for him, though. He acts like he deserves it, like he owns her. Her face is burning red. Her mouth opens. He must be having a finger inside her, lucky bastard. He lifts her up, puts her on the table, between ice-cream bowls and glasses of wine. She doesn’t like it. She stops him.
21.45: They talk. She looks at him apologetically. He’s pissed off. A shade of discontent appears on her face. I know her so well! She takes his face in-between her hands and tells him something. He pulls back.
21.48: He walks nervously to the window. He looks up. He narrows his eyes. Is he looking at ME? Did he see me? He leaves.
21.53: She is trying to touch his arm, he pushes her aside. She nearly fell. Now she is a bit angry. No sex show after all? Fuck! He just slapped her. Again! Again. I feel a warm sensation in my back like when mother used to put hot bottles of water in-between my sheets. She stands up and starts crying. She is not telling him to stop, just looks at him and weeps. His rage is not entirely released; I can see it in his eyes. He curls his finger into a fist and hits her on the right side of her jaw. Blood comes out of her nose. She falls.
Albert puts the binoculars down and looks at himself, at his body sitting inert in the wheelchair. He had felt something, something that reminded him of his former self. The nails cutting the palm of one’s hand when turned into a fist, the pleasure of hitting another, of launching your punch with power into someone’s face. His hands start to tremble. He put his palm on his chest and lowered it. He closed his eyes. Could it be? Could anything still be alive down there? He left Elodie and let his mind shift to the time when he raped a girl. He lowered his hand even more. He was going home, drunk, and there she was, two blocks away from his house, sitting on the pavement and crying. He stopped and asked her what was her problem. He had no intention of hurting her. She said all men were pigs. Pigs with a capital P. He leaned forward and spat on her face. She called him a mother-fucker. His mother was ugly and he was no Oedipus. They used to have this joke in their little gang. So he hit her hard. And again. And his dick was getting harder with every punch. She stopped screaming when he looked down on his cock . His penis was so erect that he couldn’t think of anything else. He tore her clothes apart there, on the pavement, and started his job. His job. He whispered in her ear that he would break her neck if she moved. So she didn’t. Remembering that, he smiled. His eyes were still closed. His hand was nearly there. The images of Elodie, blood coming out of her nose gave him the courage to unzip his trousers.
Nothing. Dead meat. Dead fucking meat. Nothing at all. His penis lay on a side, connected to his body but not his to control. Not anybody’s to control, just a dead piece of meat attached to his body. He wanted to take a saw and cut the lower part of his hapless body. He was so angry he could run. He couldn’t. He started slapping his dick with all the strength his upper body had. Harder. Harder. His cadaveric skin turned pink and he continued, thrusting his uncut nails into the soft skin, pulling out pieces of flesh, crying. Crying. Fuck. Crying. Why, God? Crying. He didn’t want this for the night. He had blood on his hands. His blood now. And no erection. Blood.
He took his binoculars in one hand and the pen in the other. He wheeled to the window.
22.06: She is on the floor. She is breathing. He is nowhere. His coat is gone. The fucker left. She doesn’t move. She breathes, but she doesn’t move.
22.09: She’s still not moving. Ice-cream melted. She has to move. I would be disappointed if she stopped breathing, I need her. She breathes. Not moving. Should I do something? I should do something.
Albert looks for his phone. It’s in his reach. Without putting the binoculars down, he dials a number. Ring. Ring. Ring. She breathes, her chest moving up and down, her sole trapped between life and death. Ring. Ring.
‘Oh! Hi, Albert! What can I do for you tonight, sugar?’
‘Ok, honey, enjoy! I’ll pass you to Linda, ok sugar?’
Albert doesn’t say anything. He waits. She is still breathing.
‘How are you, you hot stallion? Do you want mammy to fuck you hard tonight? This is what you want? Tell me, you want me to fuck you hard?’
Albert rests his head on the top rail of his chair. Linda is talking fast in a foreign accent. She is breathing. He rests.