trout [ 8 ] September 2000
Simon Sweetman


Deceiving April ... continued

All men sipped largely from their beer. Bill lit a Marlboro, Frank still rolling his, filter in mouth, jug cramped under one arm, a studied approach, his brows fiercely knitted.

'Ever catch the cunt, I'll knock his cock off', as the words finished Michael had to chuckle, partly at the unintended rhyme, mostly at the fact that he was full of shit.

'Aye, it's a tough one', Frank contemplated. Doug nodded. His head down, eyeballing his glass, both hands around the small beer-bowl.

'Where is she now?' Bill wondered aloud, almost as if to himself, more so than a direct question to Mike.

'Back in Tauranga'. Mike spoke in words that suggested he would say all that was necessary. Nothing more. 'With her mother. Receptionist at one of the schools'

'Primary or secondary', Doug queried pointlessly.

'O piss off', Frank enunciated quite clearly, showing his embarrassment -- again -- for Doug Sanders' stupidity.

'Fucking primary', Mike spat. 'Why, - you thinking of going there?' He spoke more to mock, but it still came across as sounding bitter.

'Probably do 'im good to repeat standard 3', Bill introduced, and all had a good chuckle at Doug's expense. Michael himself, momentarily forgetting the bitter pain he was trying -- unsuccessfully -- to pub-proclaim.

'Still, life's a bitch and then you marry one. Eh?' Frank's comment, probably quite inappropriate, but pathetically chauvinistic enough to be taken lightly. Still, Mike only nodded, as if in firm agreement, then, breaking a short silence and proving himself legitimate in bitterness, he quietly offered, 'I do, ya know, still love her. I am, ya know, F'd off for a reason, selfish or not. I fucking loved her. All you guys know that. You're me fucking mates -- you oughta fucking know it!'

Bill lifted his arm around and propped it up on and across Mike's shoulders. His other arm, still on the table, glass still in hand.

'We know', Bill, Frank and Doug all offered. Each of them (even Sanders) knowing that it meant little more than about 5/8's of fuck-all.

10pm and the call came for last round. Drink up. Bates, Sanders, Adams and -- Frank -- were the only four there. The pool cues lay neglected to their left. Standing at almost the same time, all four raised their glasses to consume all and Doug surprised everyone with the weak toast: 'to friendship'.


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© 2000 Trout &
Simon Sweetman

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