El Mortigi Tempo

Real and Unreal, Part One

1.

“You filthy bloke,” exclaimed Z as he embraced Perry. “Come on in. Five years, eh? How was the train ride here?” he continued.

“Not bad,” replied Perry. “Just a little bumpy, but you can’t expect so-called reformers in England to care for the welfare of the peasants,” sneered Perry.

“Here, let me take your bags,” said Z. As he said this, a beautiful girl with short, dark hair, and blue eyes, emerged from the kitchen.

“Ah Perry, I want you to meet Marcella,” stated Z. As Perry brought his hand to shake her hand, he noticed that she was quite young, maybe around 20 or 21.

“Hello, I am Perry,” he said. “I used to be flat mates with Z.”

“Oh, Z has told me everything,” she replied. Marcella was not very intelligent.

In fact she was very dumb, and the thought of Z sleeping with an imbecile is quite nauseating. Marcella grew up in Manchester, and after she had barely finished her secondary schooling, she worked as a stripper at a local sex shop. She met Z at a pub one night, and the two started sleeping with each other.

“So what ever happened to L,” whispered Perry to Z as Marcella retreated to the toilet.

“Things got too emotional between us,” replied Z. “L was too complicated for society, for me, and for herself.”

“When did you two split?” inquired Perry.

“A year ago,” replied Z. “And I met Marcella 6 months ago in a pub. Great girl, and she is relatively simple to handle. Just give her a roof to sleep under, and money to buy clothes and she’ll provide you with everything a man needs: sex and someone to talk with after you come back from work.”

“So what are you doing right now?” said Perry.

“I am working for a pharmaceutical company,” replied Z. “My boss is a nazi, and I don’t think I can work there anymore. The pay is poor, and I am having a hard time paying rent.”

Well, it doesn’t help when you have a whore living with you, thought Perry as Z showed him around the flat. Perry was getting depressed the more he stayed at Z’s flat. Z had showed so much promise and potential during his youth, and his acquaintance with L only further stimulated this potential.

Perry and Z became acquainted with each other during their university days when they both worked at R&R Music Store. Perry, who spun records as a DJ at a nightclub, was very knowledgeable about the underground music scene, and Z, who was a huge Sex Pistols and Clash devotee, was the punk guru of the time. The two wore contrasting outfits: Perry with his black suits, and Z with a green mohawk, tattered leather pants, fish net shirt, and chains and dog collars around his neck. They attracted a wide variety of people into the record store, and the owner, Thom, was very pleased with the two and gave them monthly bonuses.

Z, who was quite adept on the keyboard by the time he was 13, received a Spanish guitar for his 12th birthday. His gnashing guitar playing oftentimes caused the nylon strings of the guitar to burst; hence he was forced to trade in the Spanish guitar for an electric guitar years later. He formed a band with some schoolmates called The Ripcords, and they rehearsed in the local church on Fridays. While they enjoyed playing music by the Smiths, Gary Numan, and David Bowie, it was punk that provided them with energy. Z played the guitar with such fury that he had to wear special braces because of a severe case of tendinitis. L would come sometimes to the band rehearsals, and occasionally, she would play guitar, but the other band members were not very fond of her. The drummer in the band, who we shall call Edmond, hated L with a passion that he often boasted of “hate fucking L ‘til her brains blew up”. Now I cannot fathom L doing something so horrible to anyone that would warrant a “hate fuck”. But L was the Renaissance woman of the school, and Z was her counterpart, and this was hard for many to swallow. Years ago, I was on a train going from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore, when I overheard the phrase “hate fuck” in a conversation between two people seated next to me. I inquired about the meaning of the phrase, and I learned that it meant “deriving pleasure from hurting someone where it really hurts”. I think it would be fair to equate the phrase “hate fuck” with “rape” because both are acts where the perpetrator feels powerful and superior, and the victim is emotionally scarred for life.

It was even more irritating for Edmond when he found out that the object of his “hate fuck” was sleeping with Z. Edmond was a strange fellow. He was a handsome boy with golden hair, blue-green eyes, and a charming smile, but the girls never liked him. When he was 8, his father was sentenced to prison for 35 years for murder, and a few weeks later his mother overdosed on heroin. He picked up the drums before his 11th birthday, and this was the only outlet to vent his anger and frustration. When Z introduced L to him, Edmond developed an immediate hatred for someone who the world perceived as perfect. Yes, L was perfect, and this made Edmond and the rest of the world sick to their stomachs. But is being perfect a crime? Whenever I think of L, I wonder if she was really perfect? What may be perfect for me may not be perfect for another, and I certainly do not think that L was perfect. To be perfect makes one an alien, an unreal creature from another dimension, but L was imperfect and real to our senses. More real than anyone I have ever met and more real than anyone I will ever meet.

2.

Perry slept on the sofa in Z’s living room that night. He could hear the pleasurable groans of Marcella in the next room.

Whore, he thought. How could Z go from L to a whore? This thought troubled Perry the whole night and he had a hard time falling asleep.

When he did fall asleep, he had a dream that caused him to wake up in a puddle of cold sweat the next morning. A white dressed child with pink hair held his hand and they were floating across London. She had wings, and Perry thought that she was an angel until she had started to bleed.

“Am I dead,” Perry said to the child.

“No child, you can never die, because you were never born,” the child replied.

“Are you taking me to God,” cried out Perry.

“No,” she responded.

“Who are you? Are you an angel? What is your name?” he said this has he held her hand so tightly. He felt so much love in her eyes that he hadn’t seen in years since his mother had passed away.

“I am Estella. I am not an angel, actually far from it. I am not even human,” she replied.

“Are you real then? This must be a dream,” shouted Perry. “Let me out.”

“Perry, this is reality. You perceive this to be a dream, but it is reality,” Estella cried out. “I knew you when I was alive, but I died in a car accident when I was 6.”

“Is this what will happen to me when I die?” said Perry so softly and depressingly.

“Child, this is what happens to people who die before their time comes up. You were supposed to die in a train accident yesterday. But your time was extended,” Estella exclaimed.

“Why me?” said Perry has he frowned with confusion.

“I don’t know,” responded Estella. “God loves his children.”


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