View from the Bridge: 14

by John Morrison


14: The Biological Stains

It's Spring in Milltown and a young man's thoughts turn, naturally enough, to a lengthy session of colonic irrigation. And everyone has their own individual way of responding to the stirring of the loins and the rising of the sap.

Town Drunk, for example, opts to stay home with a case of beer (24 cans in a case... 24 hours in a day... really just coincidence?) and watch re-runs of Baywatch with the sound turned down. As to the sex act itself, he's managed to get the whole unpleasant business down to about five minutes from start to finish. Even quicker in the implausible event that it's sex with another person.

Beer Bore, secure in the knowledge that no good ever comes from taking your trousers off, spends his quality time surfing the Internet in search of nude cartoon characters.

Wounded Man, feeling the need to be punished rather than cherished, is strangely attracted to dominant women: the kind who know that the quickest way to a man's heart is straight through his chest with a Stanley knife.

Whenever he's visiting this galaxy, Dope Dealer likes to invite a young lady round, and slip into something more comfortable... like unconsciousness.

Local Writer continues his lifelong search for a relationship more intimate than that between a man and his newsagent. Brought up on rather more lyric poetry than is good for an impressionable young lad, he has long harboured unrealistic expectations of love and romance. Years ago, while his friends were splashing on that great smell of Brut and jigging about at the disco, he was taking long solitary walks through the countryside in the rather vain hope of surprising a young maiden bathing in the dappled sunlight of a woodland pool. Sort of Sir Galahad meets Deep Throat...

So it's no great surprise that now, after yet another lacklustre evening in the pub, Local Writer goes home to an empty house. He's just lucky that way. And what he decides to do in the privacy of his own home - with cheese-wire, a roll of cling-film, a punnet of soft fruit and perhaps some sort of primitive pulley system - is nobody's business but his.

Sky responds to Biker Dave's inept fumblings by kicking him in the testicles: "Look", she says, with a finality them stems from wearing steel-capped boots, "there's no way I'll sleep with you... not even for a share of Fergie's air-miles."

Willow Woman talks a good deal about Tantric sex: the search for spiritual enlightenment through an expression of physical love. So it's one of life's little ironies that God made sex with a total stranger the most exciting sex you can ever have?

At present (but it's only Tuesday) she retains a soft, self-lubricating spot for a hairdresser who has staying power and a diploma in boring small talk. He manages to achieve a similar state of mind by recalling, ball by ball, one of Geoffrey Boycott's less rivetting innings. Just when he thinks the evening is heading nowhere, he's shot his load, she's faked an orgasm... and all's well with the world.


*     *     *

After a few pints the drinkers of Milltown develop an unaccountable craving for a kebab. They've completely forgotten about the last kebab they bought, those memories conveniently erased by a convivial evening of drinking beer and talking bollocks. They're so hungry they could eat a buttered handcart. So they wander hopefully into the take-away, where an grisly column of reconstituted meat has been heated up and then allowed to cool down every evening for about a fortnight, thus creating a sort of super-efficient stud-farm for salmonella bacteria.

"Make me one with everything" is the optimistic cry - echoing the spiritual aspirations of the Dalai Larma - as shavings of decomposing meat disappear into pitta bread, to be smothered by limp salad and a chilli sauce whose main ingredient is battery acid.

When the punter is exactly 100 metres from the take-away, he can't hold out any longer. He opens up his little parcel, takes a bite, and immediately realises he's been ripped off yet again. With the traditional cry of "I actually paid good money for this shit" he hurls the offending kebab over the hedge and into Wounded Man's tiny front garden.

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