Petit Guignol

409692229_e75d124f7c_t.jpg

Here is my story which appears in 3:AM London, New York, Paris edited by Andrew Stevens and published by Social Disease in February 2008.

Petit Guignol

I was feeling homesick for the event while it was happening
– Douglas Coupland, Generation X

Daintily, a faun-like figure stole across the cluttered room, pirouetting over the bottles and ashtrays that littered the splattered floorboards. She was the first to notice, having been awakened by a muffled squishy sound as of manifold foreskins peeled back in unison.
Fanny sat up and fumbled for her cigarettes which she dimly recalled leaving beside a dog-eared magazine. She pouted outrageously, mimicking Asia Argento on the glossy cover, but feeling (if truth be told) more like Ségolène Royal gone feral. Not that anyone could see her, nor she anyone. Except when she sparked up and caught a glimpse of the other partygoers who had crashed on the rugs. The expensive Persian rugs with their expansive mindfuck designs: it was all coming back now.

Frédéric Beigbeder in hot pursuit of a statuesque demi-mondaine modelling a lampshade hat. That fucking twat, with his sweater knotted around his neck, whose inanities were still audible above Naast. Astrid surrounded by livid creatures of indeterminate gender lapping up the dark glamour of a voluptuous breakaway Zutiste. Patrick Eudeline reclining on a Moroccan pouffe drinking champagne from a shiny boot of leather. An amazon (with a blonde beehive and the blank expression of a blow-up doll) fellating an oversize banana in some dark (dank?) corner. Gérard Genette doing the twist to Klaxons: rather tentatively at first, then letting rip. Some obscure artist (with an impressive pompadour and an unresolved mother fixation) showing off his collection of potato prints to a bemused Chloé Delaume. A boy who looked like a girl almost kissing a girl who looked like a boy before recoiling in sheer horror. Nick Kent, ashen-faced, claiming to have seen the ghost of Alain Pacadis. Astrid astride an up-and-coming neo-Post-Structuralist who kept neighing and bucking bronco-fashion. Jean-Luc Godard describing his new film project as Blake Edwards meets Russ Meyer. Florian Zeller in hot pursuit of a statuesque demi-mondaine modelling a lampshade hat…

…At some point, there had been a blackout. Matches were struck, candles were lit, she could remember that distinctly.
Probing eyes, disembodied, unblinking and bloodshot, trained on her, boring through. Bleeding gashes in the cloak of night.
Writhing couples, vertical, horizontal or higgledy-piggledy, their serpentine hips suddenly illuminated like quattrocento manuscripts. A torch flashed into the deepest recess.
Astrid, bent over a Formica table — Jackie O hairdo in disarray, retro ski pants concertinaed around her ankles — emitting unmistakably teutonic grunts while a rolly-polly Pataphysician with a twirly moustache bobbed up and down behind her in slo-mo.
Wall-to-wall hip young gunslingers, every one a baby Johnny Thunders.
Pointillist ponces in pointy shoes atomised under the strobe light: lithe, lank youths, all floppy fringes and flailing arms, moonstomping to Plastiscines like there was no tomorrow, although tomorrow was today.

Today was tomorrow when Fanny’s angelic features were bathed in gold, her halo melting like fondue cheese, and sparkling fruit carved in dewdrops dangled lasciviously from chandeliers like overripe testes.
How could she ever forget what it was like?

2260650664_9e72417f50.jpg

He had pounced out of nowhere and pinned her by the arms to the soft furnishings, his breath as fresh as a lungful of menthol, his greedy fingers foraging deep and she had put up a feeble show of resistance like a heroine in some cheap novel and the only time he ever smiled was when he slapped her and it only made her wetter still and she was confused because her mum was a feminist and Gülcher were on the stereo and she closed her eyes as soul surrendered to body and the world melted all around.

“You can only take so much beauty,” he said blowing a plume of smoke at the plaster putti on the ceiling, “before you hit the bottle”. Up close, he looked even more like Jean-Paul Belmondo in Breathless. Same fragile strength. Same studied abandon. A panther in a tonic suit. A pugilist cherub after a few rounds.

Later on that night, Fanny pictured him whizzing by at the speed of light on his shiny Lambretta, pork-pie hat cockily at half-cock, skinny tie flailing the air, high on hormones, bent on being. He was just wind in her hair now. A dot in the distance, merging with the background, at one with the cosmos. Pure life force. …Just wind in her hair. …She closed her eyes, but the world did not melt like it had the first time.
How could she ever forget what it was like? What it was like would never be forgotten — of that she was sure — but what it was like was not what it was.

Yet her heart still pounded to yesterday’s pogobeat. Someone said: Nobody has ever been this young, whereupon Astrid and her fawning retinue had repaired to a dodgy sheesha bar near La Flèche d’Or. In the metro, they mingled with the vanguard of the rush hour. Overground, daylight competed with sodium. Several other revellers had woken up to the dinky farting sound of the faun darting around. As their eyes adjusted to the semi-obscurity, it transpired that he had been dipped, stark naked, in silver greasepaint. It also dawned on them that he was stealing everything his slender frame could carry. They all looked on, entranced, as if he were a cross between Vaslav Nijinsky and Arsène Lupin. A smattering of applause accompanied his final exit while tears rolled down Fanny’s eyes. In that instant, she sensed she had lost something she had never found.

Andrew Gallix is editor of 3:AM Magazine, created the first literary weblog and launched the Offbeat Generation movement.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s