Monday, 13 October 2014

Episode 20: A New Day, A New Man


from under dark clouds
From Under Dark Clouds

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From Under Dark Clouds


'From Under Dark Clouds...' is a Gonzo fictionalisation of current events in Greece. The story is seen through the eyes of our unnamed hero as he fumbles from paranoia to public office, under the mentorage of the shady Socrates.

Each episode is based on real events. Readers are invited to share their experiences for the Under Dark Clouds treatment. Many have been included in cameo roles.





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I awoke with a Jimmy Saville of a hangover, that tsiporo is a sneaky bastard, like junkie burglars it breaks in when you think you're safe, turns everything upside down, goes through your draws then shits in your bed.

It had snatched a few memories but it had left me with most of what had lead to me being posted back home and bundled out of a cab.

I dragged myself out of my bed which now resembled a dog basket, I had always felt sympathy when the kids asked for a pet but the wife had maintained that we had enough with me.

Today would be a change, a new man. I pulled the sheets from the bed and searched for the washing machine , they're not small enough to hide but can be wily fuckers, for sure. I tracked it down in a small room under the stairs and sprung the portal. The offending articles fit nicely in and I decide to chance the pillows as well but they refused to go through the hole, how did the Lady mayoress do it, more to this housewifing than I had credited her for. Maybe she could do the same down at the town hall. All that remained was to hit the ignition switch, light the blue touch paper, whatever you do with these things and I would be the hero of the hour. Fuck. The dashboard was like an ambulance, all flashing lights and little draws. But this was the new me, the fixit me, the man people could rely on, the… it was me, I was truly PWNED by a domestic appliance. The house was empty so there were no witnesses to my shame except me and for once that was enough.

I went into the kitchen for some coffee, opening the can I could see that what was left was going to be tricky to get out so I poured the boiling water straight in. A realisation struck me; that's how mike manages it. I was alone in a warm house with BBC 6 music on the sound system and a hot cup of Nestlé' s hate. Where had Mike and Tasos gone to last night. We had lost the town hall plaza to the man with clubs and masks and they had nowhere else to go. They? where had Despina taken her fine young boy. Back to the basement of the town hall? I hoped, well I hoped not. I hoped I had for once come through. Socrates had the lawyers on his back, toss up who would talk to me first, him or the lady mayoress. Probably her, she wouldn't miss the chance to drag my self esteem through the cat litter; got a thing with pets today.

I smoked whatever I could find and took a hot shower, being careful to put the ashtray at the far end away from the spray, see an old dog can learn new tricks. I heard a clunk as I was brushing my teeth which would have worried me if it were not caused by the wife returning from taking the kids off to receive a sterling education at the local primary. I was, however, worried by the fact that the wife had returned from taking the kids off to the local primary. I quickly rubbed the towel around my person, the surfaces around the bath and injected it through the portal of the washing machine along with the soiled ashtray for good measure. I greeted her with a huge smile and proudly displayed my cleanliness to her; as clean and bare as the day I was born.

Funny thing, she didn't yell or scream. She smiled and held out her arms.

She told me that she had heard of the commotion down at my Town Hall plaza initiative, yeah she called it an initiative and was proud of me for doing it then standing up to the bullies who tried to take it away from me and the poor people I was trying to help. I was so tempted to tell her that my standing lasted precisely up to the point when I was knocked down and pummelled like cookie dough but I smiled coyly instead.
She gave me a hug that hurt and invigorated me at the same time and told me that she was proud of me, again.

I grabbed my keys and ran for the door; I would make a difference and carpe fucking diem, I would do it today. She called my name and looked at my dangling nethers; I may need to get dressed first.

I formulated my plan on the Vespa heading for the town hall, by the time I arrived it was bulletproof.

Spyros, down at the supermarket had a bunch of unleased apartments, he’d refused to drop the rent when the bottom fell out of the market like a Friday-night curry and by the time he’d seen sense no-one was in the market to pay. Now that was bad enough but the government was in the process of clawing back 40 years of taxes to pay the IMF and ECB and would tax your hair if they could only find a way to count it. Result was that spyros was being taxed left right and centre on income for apartments he couldn’t let. And this was my IN. I would pull some strings through the party to get him some leeway AND take on the maintenance with Tasos and the boys, in return he would house our people for free. He gets a tax-load off his shoulders and his apartments occupied and maintained, my people get their Town Hall plaza; win, win, win. I rubbed my palms with glee.

Mike was looking no worse than usual, I guess he has age on his side, and offered me a cup of coffee as I rolled into the office. The well assembled secretary looked up sharply and firmly stated that she would attend to it, a lucky day for a new man.

When the coffee arrived I took my time enjoying the aroma then asked her for a telephone number for Spyros the supermarket. Within seconds she told me to pick up line 4, it was already ringing, I ready myself for history.

Spyros was as cheerful as ever, in other words, not at all. I reminded him of his woes and held the phone from my ear as he wailed and bleated. The well-assembled secretary rolled her eyes knowingly. He finally began to lose momentum and sighed what am I to do, not really looking for a solution but affirmation of his uniquely woeful predicament, I began my pitch. I pointed out each of his predicaments asking him whether a solution would interest him, he replied positively. I brought up the subject of maintenance on vacant apartments; he had never considered this but agreed, all the same. I went for the close. My secretary was now watching me with eyes as round as tea plates. I told him I could pull some strings with the tax situation, he asked with obvious incredulity whether this was within my power, I assured him that it was but said I would just confirm it with the experts.

“I have the power to reassess a constituent’s tax status, don’t I?” she was now looking at me with eyes like someone seeing Internet porn for the first time, her jaw clamped jerking her head from side to side. “Yes, of course I have.” He paused, told me that they would have to get out when he got a paying tenant, I agreed. My secretary was now standing very close to her head in spasmodic jerks mouthing the word NO! He asked if we could have this in writing, I laughed. This agreement was strictly under the radar any paper trail could seriously compromise him. He saw the sense in that. He asked for concessions on his supermarket, I told him not to be greedy. He paused some more and some more. He demanded a lick of paint, I agreed and so did he. The keys would be at the supermarket and they could move in that very day. I told him he would not regret it, for long and bade him good-day.

I really was a new man, I punched the sky and did a little river dance round the office. The secretary slapped my face, I think I was growing on her. What followed was a barrage, the like I had only ever experienced at the end of my wife’s tongue; I really was growing on her.

Now all I had to do was share the good news with the good and dispossessed people of the town hall.



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