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The International Writers Magazine: Life Stories

Andy Peake
You finally answered – took your time, didn’t you? Can’t say I blame you. Look, I had to phone.  I don’t have many options, see..?


In front of me there is the same pair of tits as a week ago. A bit different now:  a new number scratched on the bottom of the card, like someone wanted to get in and out quick.
            That’s different from a week ago.  I’m different.  Then I had a choice: phone her or you. I would’ve chosen her.
            You know, when you’re scared of things, you put them off. Then one day you wake up and you find it’s too late. It’s a sort of lying, putting things off:   not gutsy to admit to yourself you’re scared of something.
            I would’ve phoned her last week, but I didn’t. I stood out here in the cold wanting to phone the bird with the tits… For fuck sake it was someone to talk to. You know.
            The lights in the Burger King go off and dawn is hours away, that sort of time.
            I was in another box a week ago; a bit bigger than this one. She was that close I could feel her breath; close as the tart with the tits.  You know, white coat, couch with a curtain that slides round for privacy. That close.
            She looked at me straight: ‘we can delay it, but we can’t cure it'.  That’s what she said.
            I gave her the same look back.  ‘What are you talking about? Get a proper doctor.’ Don’t know what the silly tart said then, and don’t give a monkey’s, either.
            You know when you get so close to something you can’t see it? It’s like that.  Right now, I’m getting closer and closer to those tits and when I get close enough all you see is a blur. No tits anymore, no nothing. It was like that.
            Like she was right up close and shouting in my face, so loud you couldn’t hear the words…
            It took me a while to work out what ‘life limiting’ meant. Looked like a holiday camp in the brochure, all those smiling nurses.
            That’s what I mean, it’s all different. Same pair of tits, different number.
 © Andy Peake March 2011

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