Thursday, 10 November 2011

The Lizard

The LED shone in the night, its blue-white beam interrupted by a snaking cable that painted a shadow shaped like a long-tailed lizard onto the ceiling.

Today had been Halloween. I used to like it. We’d decorate the office with plastic bats, spiders, cobwebs sprayed out of a can and the inevitable pumpkin would show up with its black grin.

I kept turning over the same old thoughts, sifting through them until I saw a green table cloth like the baize on a snooker table. Colour, a spot of purple, provided by a pot of African Violets. Yellowing net curtains drawn aside. Paint the colour of butterscotch spread on the walls too thickly: you could see the brush strokes and lumps where the paint had ran.

More flowers on the window sill: red geraniums in clay pots. A beast of a chair, its bones pegged and bolted together, its wheezing body ribbed with springs. The fire burned and on the hearth an ashtray with a black button. Press it to make the silver lips retract, reveal the ashy mouth. Twisted dog ends inside like dirty teeth.

Such was my thinking as I stared up at the lizard.

Eventually we crawled our way into sleep and parted someplace before it got light.

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