Hair (from glove #2)

Issue #2 of glove is out now. Containing 40 pages of some of the most challenging & inspirational writing from outside the mainstream, this issue is even better than the debut one. It is available for £2 from the editor in person, or by PayPal to iancusack@blueyonder.co.uk priced £3 UK, £4 EU & £5 Rest of the World. As a little taster, here’s some flash fiction the editor vanity published -:

Glove 2B

Badly in need of a haircut, I headed to town. It took over an hour and a half to get there due to traffic and the fact I needed to murder a couple of people on the way. I know the barber’s times, so I thought it wasn’t a problem when I arrived at 17.05. However as soon as I walked through the door he said “sorry mate. This bloke is my last cut of the day.”

I referred to the 17.15 last cut sign and the 17.30 closing sign without success. I dug out my wallet, showed a clutch of twenties, offered extra cash. He still said no. I screamed “YOU BONE IDLE CUNT!! I’m on time!! You’re breaking the rules!!” Kicked the seats. Kicked the walls. “You fucking twat.”

I ran outside, stripped naked and started tearing out fistfuls of my hair, screaming “you fucking bastard I NEED a haircut!! I NEED ONE!!” I sobbed to myself in rage, then stood in front of the window and began a process of transferring every fluid within me, from every orifice, with malice, onto the glass. I besmeared it with my essence. I rubbed myself all over the shop front until pain and suffering and bleeding caused me to stop. Then I turned, re-clothed and walked off, smiling at all the onlookers. Including children. Especially the children.

I hate children.

Glove 2A

Kinnegad

April 12th is the 30th birthday of Paper & Ink editor Martin Appleby. Don’t send him a card; buy his latest issue, number 10, instead. It’s the best one yet. You can get it from https://www.paperandinkzine.co.uk/shop where you’ll discover I’ve got this short piece in, which I’m really rather proud of -:

kinnegad 3

Long, long time since you were in these parts. An age. More. First thing you notice is the roads. So much better now. Motorways and dual carriageways replacing single file crawling behind ubiquitous tractors. You get off the boat, down the tunnel to the M50 and then your foot’s most of the way to the floor on the M4. Toll plazas and smooth blacktop instead of axle breaker pot holes is the modern way. EU money of course.  On the road anonymity as you watch salaried commuters pulling an early swerve on a Friday tear past you, while you smooth past overstuffed family SUVs heading west for the holiday weekend.  The exit is on you in minutes. No longer the half hour wait to crawl down into the town, listening to the river slip by, anxiously checking the petrol tank warning light, before the traffic broke and you nosed onto Main Street. Cars are a different breed this weather. Unrecognisable compared to years back. Computers like something from Cape Canaveral do all the thinking. Cruise control. Optimum fuel consumption. Wifi. Ipod shuffle. Estimated time of arrival. Far too early. The microchips don’t lie. Just over an hour from the North Wall. Less than half the time than when you took your leave.

kinnegad 1

You’re parked up outside Tesco. Yawning, eyes watering. Early start, 100 miles of good road and a sea crossing catching you up. Leafing through The Westmeath Examiner. Parish notices, court reports and GAA club news from Mullingar and Athlone. Places you’ve not been in half a lifetime. Shoppers come and go. Wheeling full and empty trolleys. Maybe clock the English number plate, but don’t give you a second glance. The wind shakes the leaves. You kill time. Waiting for the pyroclastic flat white from the Insomnia stall to cool. Waiting for the tolling of the Angelus bell, so you can book in soon as it’s turned six o’clock.

Half eight and you’re drying your hair on a monogrammed towel.  Capital Hs everywhere. The Hilamar got flattened in the boom.  Rebuilt as Harry’s in time for the slump and they didn’t ask your permission. Credit card room key from the Spanish fella on reception. Back in the past, he’d have been a language student. Spending the summer. Now, who knows? More his home town than yours. Second floor. Twin room. Street facing. Functional. Drop your bag on one bed and body on another. Two hour blackout. Bolt upright to the sounds of young ones roaring outside the window. Minor disorientation. Complimentary peppermint tea as you flick through the channels. Advert for the Late Late Show. Gaybo. Retired twenty years now. Shake your head and make for the shower. Tepid not boiling. Full power. Rinse away the sweat, the past and the present. Chemical fragrance barrier. Hair, face, mouth and pits. Get the kit on. Ralph Lauren. Paul & Shark. Middle class. Middle aged. Smart and safe. Golf casual.

Deep breath. Out the door. Light click and it’s closed as you skip down the stairs. Busier now. A few booking in. Loads more sweeping through and into the main hall. Distant sounds of 90s pop. Beautiful South; Don’t Marry Her and the next bit gets sung like Amhrán na bhFiann at Croker, third Sunday in September. Squeeze through the crowd. On the street. Cars outnumber people. A hundred steps closer to Connacht for the cash machine. Euros. Puint Éireannach long gone. James Joyce and Douglas Hyde forgotten.  Drop into Coyne’s for a pint. A dozen punters watching Sky Sports News. Nobody talks. Nobody recognises you. Dungarven Helvick Gold; 4.9% IPA from Waterford. Take it to a stool by the window. Watching night fill the empty sky.  Laugh at the memory of burnt coffee porter and bubble-gum lager. Hand over another €5 for a second pint. You could stay here until all hours, but it’s time to go when the text arrives; where you at? Fire one back to say you’re en route, drain the glass and leave, ignored.

Linen shirt flaps in modest breeze. Brisk walk back. Bound up the stairs. Scoot through the place and into the function room. Packed out. Sweltering. Loud. Helium balloons everywhere. Above the tables and hanging off the roof. Eyes grow used to the blue, UV gloom. Over the water they’d say Baby Boomers, Generation X and Millennials all partying together. That’s there; over here old fellas in suits and Dunnes Stores v necks look bored, swallow flat pints, ignore their smiling wives who sip on Powers and white. Their day has gone.  Ones your age in stripey shirts and slacks. Coming out the other side of a decade long NAMA induced, post-bankruptcy hangover. G&Ts. Corona. Discreetly, you get a place at the bar. In the shadows. In the long grass. Sipping a Black Donkey Sheep Stealer; 5.6% Saison from Roscommon, feeling the lingering citrus, tart on your palate. Not bothered at the sideways stares and baffled glances you’re getting.

Focus your gaze on the young ones.  The future. Better dressed than in your day, but still going for it. Raging full on. Drunk and happy. Singing and not caring about tomorrow. The Whole of the Moon. Jesus you hated The Waterboys, but the under 30s are near crying as they belt it out on the dancefloor and in the garden. The patio doors pulled wide open. Air comes in; cool and smoke dirty. Loads going in and out for fags and joints and dabbing. Forty and fifty somethings tag along. Scrounging blow and toot to look glamorous. A load of them. All ages. Inhaling the helium, then singing The Fields of Athenry like Donald Duck and collapsing in a heap on the damp lawns.  Eejits.  You’re laughing at the word. Not used it since you left, after Hillsborough and Tiananmen Square, but before the Wall came down or we’d qualified for Italia 90.

And now you’re back and she’s seen you. Stepping in from the garden. Waving. Your little girl. Aisling.  Radiant and tall. Her hair long and garlanded with tiny flowers, yellow and blue.  Slim like her mother. Smiling.  A simple dress. Cut loose and natural. Barefoot. Coming towards you. More beautiful than the fading polaroids taken on the day she was born. You got sent them months later, but they’re in your wallet, always.  More beautiful than the album Aisling brought to you after she left home. Pictures telling the stories of starting school, First Communion, Coralstown GAA team photos and the Leaving Cert school prom. More beautiful than the framed phot on the living room wall of her begowned and beaming at graduation or the drunken selfies snapped in Melbourne bars and the posed tourist shots in the shallows of Lake Rotorua.   Still waving with the left hand and her right arm round the waist of her other half, who you’ve not met before.

She reaches you and there’s a blurred, teary hug and a kiss, then more hugs and she’s introducing you to Lydia who she loves more than anyone in the world and is almost as beautiful as Aisling. They’re showing the wedding rings that make them Mrs and Mrs and you’re laughing and crying at the whole world, as you get two bottles of Dom Perignon in a bucket of ice and  you head out to the garden with your beautiful daughter and her beautiful wife. You’re drinking and shouting and roaring at the memory of the pursed lips, disapproving stares and twitching net curtains because you’d got her mother up the stick. The moralising and judgements that made her mother give Aisling away, then run off to die with the drink and the skag in a kip off Dorset Street. Long before Aisling had grown, but long after the scorn and obloquy that sent you away to England and kept you there until now. The knowledge of the ignorance and hatred that drove her parents apart and away sent Aisling to the Southern Hemisphere to find love and acceptance.

kinnegad 2

Now you’re all here where it began and so it ends. In Kinnegad. On the riverbank.  Among those you love. That’s all that matters. Fuck the begrudgers.

“glove” #2

glove 2 pic

Contributions to glove #2 are now open via email to iancusack@blueyonder.co.uk & the following points are intended as a guide for those interested in sharing their work.

  • The guiding principle for glove is that the maximum possible number of writers is included in the 40 pages of text; consequently only one poem or story per writer will be included.
  • Work must not have been published elsewhere; in exceptional circumstances previously seen blog posts can be considered.
  • Your work remains your copyright; once glove #2 is out, do what you want with your words.
  • Writers should send a maximum of 2 stories or 3 poems.
  • Stories should be a maximum of 2,000 words in length & poems 40 lines; only in exceptional cases will longer work be accepted.
  • We are really keen on flash fiction.
  • Contributions should be sent either as Word document attachments or in the body of an email.
  • To save space in the magazine, no writer biogs will be included, but a Twitter handle & / or website address will appear alongside names in the list of contributors on the inside cover.
  • House style is 12 point Cambria for body text & 16 point for headings.
  • Editor reserves the right to change minor details of punctuation.
  • It is intended that the magazine will appear in May 2017 & all those included will receive one copy in return.
  • There is no set editorial policy or ideology, but anything right wing & / or discriminatory won’t be published.
  • Ideally, you will have seen issue #1 so you know what we’re about.
  • The twitter account @GloveLitZine will announce when our deadline is up, as well as making other relevant announcements about the mag.
  • We’re really, really grateful for your interest; all contributions will be acknowledged.

Thanks,

ian cusack

editor glove

 

 

Businessmen

Now you’ve read glove Razur Cuts, you’ll be on the look out for something new. I can’t recommend the Hand Job anthology from Hi-Vis Press highly enough. It’s a counter-culture classic of  rancid reality. I’m proud to have this story in there -:

HJ

My name is Steve. I work in sales. I live in Berkshire.

I used to be a timid, inconsequential failure. Married. Two kids. Employment was a time consuming irrelevance and working away was detestable. I felt like telling head office to stick it when I was sent on a three day residential course on sales techniques in a part of the Midlands I used to call the North. Of course I didn’t. I kept my mouth shut.

The second night was the one where everyone got pissed and the real learning took place. During the first day, they’d kept us hard at it until nearly ten at night, so I just crashed out, exhausted by the long drive and hours of sales target babble, drifting off to the murmuring inanities of iPad amateur porn, my wank incomplete. The next day we knocked off at seven and only had the final plenary session and lunch to endure on the final day, so realistically the course was all but finished; other than the relentless evaluations required in the coming months to show I was putting the ideas I’d learned into practice.

Close to midnight in the bar, strung out on a dozen bottles of Corona and bored shitless by the endless car related talk of drunk, shallow men my own age, I struck up a conversation with Terry, one of the regional managers. He was a legend in the firm, rumoured to be earmarked for a Chief Executive’s role by the time he hit 40. Lizard eyed and charming, the evangelical fervour of his speech to the symposium had helped us all forget the boredom and homesickness that poisons such gatherings.  The man brought a touch of Nietzsche to the world of commerce and I was honoured to be seen in his company. We drank until the bar closed, then piled back to my room to attack the minibar. Despite my wish to show collegiate solidarity, I reached oblivion after two large brandies.

Next morning I woke up naked, face down on the pillow, aware of a painful, burning itch around my rectum. I noticed several bites on my torso, two around my left breast and three surrounding my navel. Examining my anus for an explanation of the annoying sensation in the bathroom mirror, I noticed a dried crimson seepage from the sphincter that had dribbled to the lower end of my buttocks. Terry was gone, but a pair of burned CDs, numbered 1 and 2, lay on the pillow. The wall clock stated 8.30; shower and then breakfast.

After muesli and toast, I attended the plenary session. The course broke up at 1 and I decided to skip lunch, making an excuse about traffic. Pulling out of the hotel car park, looking for motorway south signs, I eased the first CD into the machine. It consisted of a passionless, real time audio narrative involving Terry undressing me, near incoherent with drink, and despite my feeble protestations, coercing me into a prolonged session of reciprocal oral sex. Then a barely audible whimper from me as he penetrated me and achieved almost immediate orgasm. His groans were the only sound; in contrast I was presumably either asleep or unconscious. The first disc ended with his heavy breathing and throat clearing after ejaculation and withdrawal, followed by sounds of water running from the bathroom as, or so I imagined, he sought to clean his penis. As silence entered the car, I pulled off the motorway at the next exit, found a layby and sat behind the wheel, aware that my life had changed; possibly for the better.

The incredible thing was I felt proud, liberated and powerful having heard the events of the night before. Terry had selected me. It was an honour to be the maestro’s catamite. Searching through the conference papers strewn across the back seat, I found the list of phone contacts for follow up meetings and dialled Terry’s office. After four rings, the answer machine started, with Terry speaking.

“Hello Steve. I know it’s you even though I’m not here. I’ve been called to a meeting at head office. Enjoy yourself last night? I bet you did. But are you worried about what your wife is going to say when she gets a glimpse of your torso in bed tonight? Don’t panic just yet. Don’t be a fool and phone her up to say you’ll be late back or try to confess. You’ve still got much thinking and learning to do, so get your foot down and continue to put miles between the conference and yourself. I hope you realise that from this moment on, every day as you travel to and from sales meetings, conferences, accountancy forecasting sessions, you’ll listen to the second CD I left you and that CD only. You might not accept this now, but I can assure you the message you’re hearing now will become your philosophy for life. Take that CD, put it in the machine and learn from it. See you around, mate and thanks for the fuck.”

I knew the truth of what he was saying so well. Without pausing to even think, sliding the disc into the machine with a reassuring, sibilant clumph, I prepared myself for the miles ahead. By the time he started speaking again, I was easing down the slip road back onto the motorway to a soundtrack of his expressive, jagged vowels.

Tell the truth now; what do you really think about when you’re having sex with your wife? Sure I know it’s not that often an occurrence these days. Once a week? Once a fortnight? All dependent on indulgent grandparents or accommodating babysitters. In fact, do you have time to think of anything at all, or is it all over in a blinding flash of premature ejaculation? I know it’s difficult for married guys like you, with kids and all, to find the time and especially the privacy, for the odd jerk off. While the wife’s out shopping is it? I mean it’s a pretty fair bet that there are plenty of 30 something middle class blokes like you, who spend the entire minute and a half of their monthly sexual intercourse attempting to hold back by silently reciting the entire 92 club membership of the football league, but still spurting to unsatisfactory detumesence by Bolton Wanderers. It’s a class thing mate. You went to single sex grammar school and then redbrick university. You didn’t lose your cherry until you met the campus nympho in the uni bar during Freshers’ Week. She dragged you back to her room, half pissed and terrified, before tearing off your clothes and placing you a couple of millimetres up her snatch before you shot your load, not like a churn of natural yoghurt upturned over a prostrate life model, but rather like a small bottle of Tippex landing on a middle aged secretary’s handbag and the top staying put. I know everything about you and we’d never met until yesterday. Isn’t that strange, Steve?

Social class is so important. I’ve got friends who work for Social Services and they assure me that male proles take their wives from behind in fetid council house living rooms, whilst the women still carry on with the ironing and their sullen, dumbly insolent children endlessly massage their phone keypads, sending vacuous texts, oblivious to the static ballet engaged in by those they presume to be their parents. Fucking, to them, is like shitting for the rest of us; something that happens a couple of times a day to get rid of unpleasant bodily waste matter. Being middle class, sex is different for the likes of you Steve. A privileged boy who was kept away from women before university, so nothing distracted you from educational progress and an upward curve of social progress. The nearest you came to a sexual experience was wanking off to the underwear section of Kays’ Catalogue or zipping up your mummy’s too tight evening gown when your father took her to a Masonic charity dance. Am I right Steve?

Once you got to college, you didn’t start re-enacting Haight Astbury 67 though did you? The remnants of that self-consciously improving ideology still defined you. Looking at women, you were forced to assess not their looks, but their breeding potential and whether your mother would approve of them. That’s why middle class men have such evil fantasies. When you can’t get a fuck much before your twentieth birthday, you’ll have had maybe eight years of jacking off to survive on; plenty of time for diseased urges, especially when your upbringing tells you sex within marriage only happens for the purposes of procreation or as a birthday treat.

But let’s go back to my question Steve. What do you think about when you’re fucking your wife? We’ve discussed the practical aspect, trying not to shoot off too soon, and thus adopting evasive measures. Then there’s the obvious choice; you know, Friday nights, nipping down to Waitrose for the latest recommended riojas and grigios, then collecting the takeaway lamb masalas. That’s when you spot them getting out a taxi. Three or four with big hair, crop tops, micro skirts. Staring at their massive, uplifted tits, you wish you were twenty years younger, swapping suggestive badinage in a dingy lounge bar, or kneading their cute backsides in last dance desperation at the local club. It didn’t happen for you back then Steve did it? All your incompetent lust was directed at the weird mother of one of your mates, who plied you with gin and Dunhills luxury lengths, while talking about Madame Bovary. Now you’re harbouring a semi hard-on and feelings of guilt; these girls are less than half a decade older than your daughter. Two years’ time you’ll be getting hot flushes seeing her mates, or even her, dolled up for a night at the youth club disco. However, something as obvious as young flesh may not appeal to you. Frightening bondage outfits, female traffic wardens or rolling around in your own shit in an infantilist training academy may be your kick. Perhaps you don’t really like women at all?

I’m not accusing you of hanging round public bogs Steve, but I’m sure you know how it goes. Two disappear into one cubicle. One sits down as if to take a shit and the other unzips. The squatter takes the stander’s dick all the way down his throat. He’s almost puking as the foreskin rubs uncomfortably against his tonsils, the balls resting on each cheek like crimson goitres and then, well I’m sure you know the score. You may have done this. I don’t know. While I prefer to fantasise about what I’ve done, I know for a fact I’ll never legitimise your existence by remembering our encounter when I want to reach shoot off time. However, you’re different Steve. You’ll think about our assignation every spare second you have between now and the end of your pathetic life. That just shows what a wonderful person you are. Your only contribution to 35,000 years of human culture is to get taken up the shitter by your superior. What a pitiful story you have to tell.

I have to tell you Steve that I find the male body fascinating. I wish I’d held many more of them in my arms. The first was a wanking contest in the bogs on the school Biology field trip, when I rubbed my spunk in the face of Checko Watson, the class moron. Bad move. When word got out about this, a couple of the less sluttish girls tried to mother him.  He even managed to fuck one of them. Strangely enough, when we have class reunions, only Checko wants to talk about that week in Wales. You see, he’s ragingly out of the closet and I like to think I helped him on that journey of self discovery. He picks up married blokes all the time. Blokes like you Steve. Sad, lonely, confused men, who can’t control how they feel, but lack the willpower to go out and fulfil their fantasies. They’re the pissed ones who never dance in gay bars, slumped morosely in a corner, aching to be kissed by another man. All Checko does is go up to them, smile patronisingly, put an arm round their shoulder and whisper that he’d love to take the loser home. He reckons that once you’ve got them back to the house, you’d swear they’d been making their living doing mouth work round the back of the station since puberty, instead of installing double glazing or servicing photocopiers.  The trouble is, afterwards; that’s when the remorse kicks in. Jizz may be seeping from their assholes like watery raita from a damp pitta, but they’ll insist they’ve never done this before and start showing off photos of their kids and saying what a wonderful woman the wife is, knocking back Scotch like prohibition’s imminent, whilst alternately shoving fistfuls of tenners into Checko’s top pocket as a token of gratitude and a final pay off to make sure the little woman doesn’t find out, then vaguely hoping he’ll be in the club the next week for another liaison. That is you Steve. Why else did you beg me to come back to your room last night? Yes you did. And that’s why I recorded it, so you could take it home and play it to the wife while you fucked her. Except from now on, she’ll be fucking you.

You know Steve, I’m into sex, not sexuality. There’s too much money invested in the house to leave my wife. Instead she and I will fuck two or three times a month and I’ll recall encounters with men to achieve climax. The rest of the time I’ll jack off to hetero porn. I don’t like gay porn; I find it frustrating that it depicts consensual, loving sexual relationships. That’s not what I want to see as it’s not my experience of sex at all. If someone is producing material intended to provide me with the erotic basis for self-gratification, they should tell the truth, especially about heterosexual love stories.

About twenty years ago I had this girlfriend from university. She lived in Leicester. It was one of those relationships of mutual inconvenience. We fucked each other because I was too egotistical and she was too stupid to find anyone else. I’d wanted rid for months, but couldn’t be bothered with the hassle or the scene it would create. Her weeping in the union bar as I hit on this Irish lass with piercings and a Lou Reed tattoo who I’d fancied for months. Instead, I let this situation drift. We got home for summer end of first year and I ignored her letters, pretended I wasn’t in when she called and basically forgot about her. It was so easy in pre mobile days to be reclusive. Then one weekend she insisted on me coming down, as her parents were away. By now I’d not had a fuck in six weeks, so I prostituted my principles and hitched down. Got a lift most of the way from this twat in a shoe lorry who picked me up at Wetherby and handed over a pile of aged wank mags. I took them round hers to try and offend her into kicking me out. It didn’t work; she binned them with a shudder, but still fucked me with the same mechanical lack of passion I knew only too well. Next morning, as she tried to persuade me to waste a day visiting her grandmother in Hinckley, I played my last card. Said I thought I was gay, had been picking up men in parks, using porn as a desperate attempt to rekindle interest in women, that sort of thing. She screamed, burst into tears, said it was over between us.  I laughed and asked if we could still be friends; she was undecided, but agreed to a farewell fuck. This got me out of visiting Granny, so I lounged about the house, drinking her old man’s booze and wanking over the porn mags I’d retrieved from the bin. I set off hitching the next day, got home in good time, phoned a mate and went on the piss and this is where it gets good.

In those days, very few clubs were open for late drinks on a Monday, but we found one.  Frankie, the guy I was with, was pretty normal with the obligatory posh girlfriend. He was loaded and I didn’t object to him paying. I told him the tale and caught him blush, so it didn’t surprised me near closing when he started to tell me how he’d always fancied me and shit like that. Perhaps he was trying to call my bluff, so I told him I’d always fantasised about fucking him too. When the club shut, we went back to his. Gave each other silent blow jobs in case his parents woke up. Next day he couldn’t look me in the eye and so I ended the friendship that morning. I couldn’t handle his weak embarrassment and guilt. The fact was I felt proud of what I’d done. I’d thoroughly enjoyed the experience of sucking another man’s cock. I’d never enjoyed going down on a woman; too messy, but cocks I could handle, especially the thrilling moment when the delicious spurt went down my throat. Unfortunately the ex spread all the stories about me at university and I didn’t get the ride all autumn term until I picked up a Spanish exchange student at a Christmas disco. Frankie got married to that posh girl of his and they’re still together. The sexy Irish bird gave me a long goodbye kiss on graduation day and went back to Armagh to teach in a Primary School. She’s a Sinn Fein MEP these days. Done well for herself.

So what about you then Steve? What do you do when the urge for self abuse becomes overpowering? Don’t tell me; either of your two DVDs, one straight British, one gay Dutch, hidden in Match of the Day cases so the wife won’t suspect, gets stuck in your laptop that you’re too scared to browse or download on in case you get caught. Curtains closed, speakers mute and the eject button hit after the money shot. I’m right aren’t I? Steve you’re as predictable as the seminal stains on your carpet and boxers. What do you think the wife puts those down to? Viscous incontinence? Misplaced humus? Do me a favour. She knows you jack off. She’s watched your films before, even getting a funny tingling sensation, flushed complexion and a hint of breathlessness. Of course you know she’ll find someone else. Someone better. If you’re lucky, she’ll let you join in with them. If I let you that is.

Steve, you need to realise that you’ve got two choices; a lifetime of unsatisfactory one night stands with glorified rent boys, or every time you fuck your wife, you imagine you’re being fucked by a man. The very fact you’re still listening means you know this and you agree. Not a hard choice is it? I find the second option a richly rewarding, deeply satisfying experience. I can always tell when the wife wants to fuck me. She’ll get the kids to bed early, generally on a Thursday or Sunday, have a bath, walk past me naked and ask if I fancy an early night. Generally I do. She lies down and I play with her tits. No sucking as I find that demeaning. She moans, gets me hard with her hand. We kiss. I climb on top and enter. Before we’ve got this far, nine times out of ten I’ve chosen which of my two preferred fantasies I’ll access that evening, though I must point out that never in a million years will they ever include the night I’ve just spent with you, Steve.

The first fantasy goes like this; when I was 14, all I ever thought about at that age was sex. Anyone I came into contact with, male or female, I immediately assessed for their fuckability or use as wank fantasy material. I would jack off six times a day if I had the chance. I was heading for a stress fracture of the wrist.  I used to deliver pools coupons on Sunday afternoons, when people dreamed about winning their fortune playing Spot the Ball. I’d go back for the money on Thursday. 

One of the houses I delivered to, a tip with discarded furniture in the garden and pieces of hardboard standing in for smashed bedroom windows, was inhabited by this scrawny looking couple and their weirdo long hair son. I calculated it wouldn’t be too difficult to have a sexual encounter with any of them. Calling at the house one Thursday the son, who was about three years older than me, said his parents were out but would be back soon. He invited me in. We watched TV in silence until I asked him to show me the toilet. He led me upstairs. I took my cock out, pretending to piss, but asked him to wait outside the bathroom for me. I didn’t put my dick away. Furiously erect, I advanced on him, brandishing it, asking if his was as big as this. He said no and showed me his, stepping closer to do so. We faced each other; pink swordfighters, ready to engage. I stroked him; he giggled and reciprocated. He warmly and tenderly massaged my dick, as one would pet a kitten and I firmly held his as it began to swell. Within seconds we both ejaculated, splashing our loads onto the cracked red linoleum floor. He started to panic and wiped the spillage up with toilet roll, flushing it away and denying me the opportunity of discovering whether his spunk was of a different vintage to my own. He washed his hands, then put his arm around me, nuzzling my hair as I smelled the carbolic soap on his fingers. Instantaneously I came in my pants, with a velocity I had not previously known myself capable of. Then again, such affection was unknown to me. We went back downstairs for ten further silent minutes of TV, before his parents came home and paid me what was owed. The incident was never mentioned again, though I never did encounter the son alone in the house again.

Did you like that one Steve? Were you the long haired fool? Could you see yourself there, as part of a threesome? How old are you in your dream version? Could you comprehend my desire? Well, try this one; my other fantasy. High summer. I’m 16. Early evening, bored, alone, in a deserted shopping arcade. I see a pissed old man, probably seventy years old, stumbling, shouting abuse at nothing. I can’t explain why but I’m turned on by him; vulnerable, drunk, old, offensive. I start to follow. He ducks into a back alley for a piss. I watch unobserved from the main street. I’m immediately attracted by the sight of his penis. The prepuce stands proud of the desiccated foreskin like a crimson lizard; it appears polished as a translucent stream of piss arcs through the sky. Unable to control myself, I lurch at him. Through alcoholic fug and incipient dotage he stares at me uncomprehendingly. I beg him to let me suck him off, offering immoderate praise for his prick. Unimpressed and possibly frightened, he tries to brush past me, but I stick to the task and enthusiastically masturbate him through his unbuttoned trousers, through there’s no reaction other than intense fear in his eyes. His shouts of protest become so loud I take flight, running past him down the alley and escaping through the car park behind. Do you think that old man knew what was happening Steve?  He’ll be dead now and I’m sure he’ll have taken that secret to his grave. His only mark on the universe is to provide me with a reserve sexual fantasy, but in doing that he’s achieved more than you.

By now Steve, you’re prepared to do anything to satisfy me. You never will though, but you are mine. We’ve been playing Faust without you knowing it. For one night of sex, you’ve handed over your soul. And there’s nothing you can do to change things.

A final ten seconds of ambient birdsong gave way to the blank, metallic chank of the CD ejecting. It was 3.30 on a nondescript Friday afternoon. I was a hundred miles from home in a line of slow moving traffic. Hungover, unkempt and ravenous for both food and a sexual encounter. With a man.

I headed back down the motorway for a further two junctions at a funereal pace, before the next service station. Nosing the motor into the car park, I knew it was an indiscreet location. A park or a public toilet would have provided better camouflage for a clandestine date, but such was my boiling lust, I had no time to tour the whole area.  The idea was to find the washroom and, in the probable absence of willing male meat, I was prepared to check out the graffiti for numbers listed to set up a meeting with a man as sad, lonely and aroused as I was. Someone I could exploit and brutalise, to make him love me as much as I loved Terry. It was only sixteen hours since we’d met, but I worshipped him.

The facilities were down to the usual service station standards; metal door, caged light bulbs, no paper, broken seats, screeds of graffiti. One sentence stood out; Terry wants his massive cock sucked by you. Not even stopping to jack off, I barged out the door, fumbling with my phone as I tried to call him while heading back to the car. No answer. Within seconds, an incoming call. My wife’s number. I picked up on hands free and a voice broke the silence as I fastened my seat belt. “No need to make that call. I’m here for you now.” It was Terry. How the fuck?

“I knew once you’d listened to it, the CD would have you feeling horny, so estimating the volume of traffic, speed you’re travelling at and length of the CD, I worked out those services are the obvious spot for you to head for. Shithole area isn’t it? Stringy, poverty suffused dicks encrusted with grime. Not pleasant, but you could have found some sad fucking loser to lord it over, showing off your smart phone, your big car, even your love bites.” I didn’t understand how he had that phone.

“Remember, whatever directions I head in, you’re miles behind me. Get back to your house. I’m already here. Nice place you’ve got. Nice kids too. We’ve just waved them off for the weekend with your in-laws. You’re expected back in time for dinner. Now drive.” I wasn’t scared any longer. Anticipation replaced fear and I negotiated the way back in two hours. Good going for a Friday afternoon.

It was nudging six fifteen when I pulled the car onto the driveway. An enormous black German estate was parked in the garage, dwarfing my wife’s Italian runabout. I collected my belongings, the small suitcase and large briefcase. Turned my key in the lock and heard my voice echo into oblivion as I announced my return. The hallway and front lounge were deserted. The kitchen and dining room lit up, the smell of food cooking and a table set for dinner suggesting a normal evening. I heard female laughter coming from the conservatory, followed by a murmuring male voice and more laughter. I went to investigate. On entering the room I saw two women, one of whom I was married to, sitting naked at Terry’s feet. He stood up and greeted me by stabbing an assault rifle into my groin.

“On your knees cocksucker. This house may have your name on the mortgage, but tonight we do what I say. I’ve been filling the ladies in on our little escapade last night and they want to know more. Strip, fuckpig!”

Unsure whether the gun was loaded or not, I removed my clothes. Dirty, sweat-stained from the booze-fuelled burn up I’d endured all day. It became abundantly clear this would be no ordinary suburban dinner party when I inquired as to the name of the other woman, who I had taken to be Terry’s wife.

“Now you listen to me. We’re businessmen, right? We’re men who do business. We’re not businesspersons or even fucking businesspersonnel. We’re businessmen. We work together as men. We drink together as men and we fuck together as men. These two are women. We don’t care for women. We don’t trust them. We buy them houses and we fuck them twice a month. We give them small cars, credit cards and children. They get beauty treatments and we pay for them. They don’t have names. They are wives. You don’t give your car a name do you? Or your phone? Or your laptop? Women are things. Possessions. They work for us. They are a noun; singular wife, plural women. Got that? For the avoidance of doubt, my wife is woman 1 and your wife is woman 2. They are even lower on the evolutionary scale than you. Now they’re going to cook for us, while I give you a debriefing on last night”

He tracked the gun in a slow parabola across the three of us and led me forcibly back through the house, up the stairs and into the master bedroom, where Terry threw me face down on the bed and slid into me, before instructing me to recount the events of last night. At first this was difficult as my narrative voice is not as strong as his and my mind wandered to his fantasies, such was the power of his descriptions, but with great concentration I focussed on my own vision of heaven. The change in the level of arousal was astonishing.  I found myself anticipating each downward movement, raising my trunk off the bed to heighten the depth of penetration. My orgasm was the most intense of my life, though bettered by the post-coital ruffling Terry gave my hair. Smiling, he confessed something very special.

“You know the rumours about my promotion are true. Head office called me down for lunch today. They confirmed the provisional offer of the Chief Operations Director role I learned about last month. I accepted, but only because they’ve agreed to my request to select my own team. You see, as much as you love me now, you’ve got to realise that you’ve actually been having a kind of interview these last couple of days.” He saw the startled look in my eyes and smiled again, with loving indulgence.

“Don’t worry Steve. You passed with flying colours. How do you fancy the role of Regional Manager (South), based in the same building as me? I want you to oversee annual appraisals and corporate recruitment. Remember everything you’ve learned in the past twenty four hours and you’ll be fine. Let’s just say, we’re partners from now on.”

He squeezed my genitals lightly and I took it as a sign to get dressed. Then we went down for dinner, served by the women, my appetite undimmed.

No and Yes

Once you’ve read glove #1 (still a handful of copies left at £3 via PayPal to iancusack@blueyonder.co.uk), I suggest you immediately get on @RazurCuts issue #2. This wonderful Scottish Lit Zine looks great and reads even better. Here’s my contribution to it -:razur-cuts

Par for the course, I just about made it into graft on time. The electronic welcome display showed 7.59 as I yawned and blinked through the main entrance.  For a change, I wasn’t bad with the beer, as I’d not been out on the Sunday, though I was struggling with a hangover-in-law after lying around all day, farting on the sofa, following Saturday’s post-match gallon and the rest. Good win that one mind. Put us right back in the play-off frame with the international break coming up.

So it was 8.06 by the time I’d got the compulsory grande white Americano from the canteen, exchanged the usual pleasantries with the lads behind the counter and on reception, enabling me to settle down for my traditional Monday morning crap at work’s expense in the disabled bog downstairs in H Block. Proper ritual this one; always let the first flurries of gluey shite explode staccato style into the pan while I skim through Facebook and the BBC news app as the crap pile mounts. Then at half time, so to speak, get vaguely cleaned up, using plenty of the generous stock of hypoallergenic wet wipes so benevolently provided by the Executive Team, on the insistence of the Compliance Department, acting as tribunes for those who suffer from each and every kind of physical impairment imaginable. Never am I more grateful for my IBS diagnosis than at the very start of my weekly allocated 37.5 contracted hours on site.

In the normal shitters across the complex, poor, able-bodied bastards are giving themselves holes like a blood orange, scrubbing away the recalcitrant remnants of their weekend pints and curry with recycled bog roll you could sand your skirting boards down with. Meanwhile, I’m assuming the position for the second voiding of the bowels. This cack is generally an amorphous affair; gone are the meat and beer scented sticky, ebony stools of download 1, as in their place a quart of viscous, ochre tinged, diseased porridge bursts forth. It stinks and it stings. While waiting for the tell-tale lower gut grumbling that signifies I’m running on empty (bar the inevitable clouds of my trademark light, contemporary feminine fragrance that will punctuate the rest of the day and possibly Tuesday as well), meaning bog break is almost over, I leisurely flick through the latest football news, check my betting accounts and leave a few offensive tweets for the lasses in our squad, before getting all Red Adair on my ringpiece and especially my hands, then drain the coffee, zip up and flush. Welcome to the working week.

That particular Monday, I made it into the post-Glastonbury meets the kitchen from Withnail & I style disaster area we call an office, or Productivity Station as The Executive Team have re-designated them, at 8.42. My phone was already down to 57% battery. I fired up the PC so I could charge the fucker and stuck the kettle on, while breakfasting on a pair of Steak Bakes. They’d cooled enough while I’d been downloading software in the H Block for the filling not to be like napalm on the roof of my mouth and I ate the first one ravenously, before savouring the second.

As ever my theoretical boss and fellow elected union official Sandra Mills demonstrated the kind of immaculate timekeeping that’s got her two written warnings for absenteeism in the past 5 years. She waltzed in as the kettle clicked off and the computer blasted out a deafening Microsoft signature welcome. Making a point and a pair of coffees, I affected an exaggerated nod towards the clock on the wall.

  • What’s up with you? Shit the bed?
  • Fuck off you helmet. I’m not in the mood. Me and him were bevvying in the garden all day yesterday. Today was going to be a write-off until I checked my emails. You seen the latest from the circus upstairs?

Part of Millsa’s Action Plan to improve her timekeeping had been an agreement she’d keep in regular contact when off site, by accessing work emails on her Standard Operative Issue smart phone. Hence why she was brandishing a decade old Blackberry that was the organisational device of choice, so no daft cunt got their own handset, which no doubt would boast a library of 80s Frankie Vaughan movies, salacious posed snaps of your fella with a great big lob on and risqué conversations with randoms on Whats App and Tinder, mixed up with the spreadsheets and word documents The Executive Team sent out.

Millsa was waving the Blackberry so angrily, I couldn’t get a proper glimpse of the text, so I took it from her and read it at my leisure, while blowing the coffee cool enough to drink. The title FOR THE ATTENTION OF ALL STAFF and attendant red exclamation mark signifying the communication was deemed to be in the urgent category, immediately put me on my guard. Presumably it was why Millsa had turned on the extractor fan full pelt and opened the windows wide, so she could get to work on her third Hamlet of the morning, while endlessly repeating a mantra of the fucking bastards; the dirty twats. I’d been smoke free over 9 years, but I almost got back on the tabs after reading this cunt;

Dear Colleagues

Recently, we have noticed that a great deal of supra-organisational waste is appearing in our skips.  We are keeping a close eye on our premises to see if people external to the business are responsible for this, but we would also like to remind staff of the rules regarding waste disposal:

  • Employees are not authorised to use the skips for personal use
  • Any evidence of this happening will be a disciplinary matter as this contravenes our staff code of conduct

 The company is charged for waste by weight and there are penalty charges for unauthorised refuse disposal, such as duvets, mattresses and tyres, all of which have been discarded in recent weeks.  Disposing of personal waste in organisational skips is unnecessarily increasing the costs of the service to the business. Should a member of staff have any items they are unable to dispose of through normal domestic refuse collections, please could they contact the Compliance Department for advice on disposal options? 

 Kindest Regards

 The Executive Team

It had obviously been one of those scheduled emails, timed to go off like bombs in shopping centres with no warning; guaranteed to cause maximum devastation when every fucker logged on that morning, as it had been sent at 7.55. No cunt had warned us about it and we’d be the daft bastards who’d have to make sense of this shite.

Handing Millsa the Blackberry, I had a skeg through my own emails; sure enough the Executive Team’s breakfast Molotov cocktail was the first unread message, but following it were about 30 responses, almost all from irate members who were wondering what the fuck you going to do about this shite? Fair point and it was something to pursue with full timers, so I fired off an email to HR announcing I’d be taking agreed facility time that afternoon to assess the ramifications of this initiative, then altered my work calendar to out of office on union business. As ever I knew I’d need a few hours’ kip before the weekly 6-a-side with the girls.

Experience told me, if I could find some spurious reason for threatening a work-to-rule or formal protest, another madcap idea from The Executive Team would die a death. I was a proper stickler for contractual details as a way of fucking the bosses up the arse, while Millsa was more creative in her methods, as befits a semi-functional alcoholic and torch bearer for the Situationist International.  As it stood, we’d not even had any follow-up instructions on what the pair of us were supposed to be doing in The Compliance Department. Mind, neither of us were in a hurry to find out.

Millsa, as she’d finished her cigar and cuppa, hunkered down in her gorilla’s nest improvised pit at the back of the stock cupboard; several pads of flipchart paper as a mattress, couple of reams of A4 for a pillow and the Union branch banner as a duvet. If she was crashing out before half 10, she really must have been on the gargle yesterday. Equality Act or no Equality Act, sleep apnoea and stress-related narcolepsy gave our Sandra a solid gold excuse to lie around, doing fuck all while getting paid for it.

While Millsa dozed untidily, I pissed about on the net, reading the news and that, fired off a few texts to the lasses about tickets for Preston away and supped another coffee. Had to be careful with the caffeine; too much and I’d never get my head down in the afternoon. Suddenly, the whole day went to shit. An email entitled REFUSE DISPOSAL PROTOCOL BRIEFING pinged into mine and Millsa’s inboxes. It was from Senior Deputy Chief Executive Audrey Manning, demanding our presence in her office, known by everyone as The Torture Chamber, in ten minutes. When Big Bernard clicks her fingers, Shop Steward or not, you do as she says. I gently toed Sandra a couple of times in the lower back to wake her up, before giving her the gen. Millsa knew the fucking score. Trouble lay ahead.

A quick slug of mouthwash and a dirty green piss later, the pair of us timidly knocked on Bernard’s door. Yes she shrilled and we slunk in, heads down.  Sit ladies. Now colleagues, you’ll know why I’ve summoned you. The Organisation needs to take a firm but fair line with fly-tippers and so The Executive Team have come up with a plan. No debate. A monologue. Rapid volleys of instruction. Eradicating this blight is top priority. All other duties were put on hold, which fucked the weekly Friday afternoon pool marathon in The Eagle with the gang from Repro for a start.  The full SP was this; fresh, empty skips were getting dropped off Tuesday afternoon and it would be our job to assess the appropriateness or otherwise of potential deposits on a round the clock basis, from remote locations, with technological support, decisively intervening where necessary. Basically, she wanted more CCTV cameras installed with the greatest urgency and us daft twats to watch the footage on screen in the office, while Radgey Geoff, the Security Officer, hid behind a bush in the car park to gather information for the purpose of eliminating any contraventions of the code of conduct, by making examples of proven transgressors. It wasn’t up for discussion. She was giving us ample time off to adjust the old body clocks, as we were on an emergency rota; 8pm to 6am for the rest of the week. Good job there wasn’t a game on Saturday as I’d have been well fucked, especially if it was away.

Me and Millsa tossed a coin and she won, so I got the job of telling the gang in Maintenance we needed half a dozen of these new style micro CCTV cameras installing by the skips, splayed out to cover all angles, while she finished off her morning siesta.  Their gaffer was midway through a fortnight’s cruise round the Azores with this bit of cock she’d met on PlentyOfFish. In return, the rest of the team were doing fuck all with their days. They actually quite enjoyed getting the drills and ladders out for a bit and put the cameras up in no time at all, despite the bracket being a bit on the short side, meaning we had a pair of cameras left over. Tiny fucking things. Fit them in your pocket, lens the size of a two bob bit. I took the two leftovers with me when I headed back up the office, where I woke Sandra up then fucked off home for a well-earned rest.

After I got back from 6-a-side (won 4-2), I made the most of the unexpected lie-in by heading out for a few pints to watch the Stoke v Palace game. None of the lasses were about, but so fuck; some of the old fellas were in, so we cracked on about the football.  Half a dozen Stella always do taste sweeter on a school night.

Rested, refreshed and in possession of a well-stocked bait box, I pulled up in the car park at graft 36 hours after I’d shambled through the entrance on Monday morning. Millsa was outside enjoying a pre-shift Hamlet, security lightning glinting off her specs as she tried to appear inconspicuous beneath the risible parody of arboreal pulchritude that was the smoking area. Only place you’ll ever find deciduous obstructive pulmonary disorder, I’m telling you.

  • Aye aye Captain. Caught any pirates yet?

 

  • Keep your fucking gob shut, daft cunt. Stress; it can happen to the best of us, or the worst in Millsa’s case. Here, get up them stairs and get logged on, so we can see if any fucker’s trying to break in.

 The temperature was dropping, so I didn’t mind. Fired up the PC, opened the surveillance software in monitor mode and watched slow tempo cuts between 4 views of fuck all; it was like one of those Danish cop dramas I can never be fucking bothered with.  After about half an hour I lost interest, started pissing about on my phone, like any normal shift. Found a stream of the Spain versus Croatia Under 21s game. Less entertaining than the CCTV pictures, but at least it was football.

Millsa shambled in about half 9. Radgey Geoff, the wannabe hard cunt in a blue cable-knit with elbow patches and a short-sleeved blue shirt with epaulettes, was on his rounds, locking up. Ordinarily he started at 2 and finished at 10, which would have meant me and Millsa against the world until 6, when GI Gary, the daylight Geoff, came on shift. However the Radge was also on an emergency rota; 6-6 for the week, with most of it spent in his van, scanning the gaffe with night sight binoculars. The Walkergate Travis Bickle. A coked up nutter with a vigilante fantasy.  Sean Dyche’s body double with a subscription to Soldier of Fortune.

Meantime, we watched Newsnight and had a cuppa, before Lady Sandra jangled the mega bunch of skeleton keys, which told us we were going on an adventure. It was no surprise it involved the Executive Suite.

  • No fucking half inching the Belgian chocolates or sachets of moisturiser from the shithouse. Understood?

Message received loud and clear. Liberating stuff that wasn’t intended for the likes of us had seen Radgey Geoff kicked down from assistant transport boss to janitor of lunacy because he’d chored a dozen sweet ciders from a broken pallet the year before. Only one CCTV camera back then and he’d kept his film off its radar, only for Big Bernard to spot the Radge supping a couple straight off then stashing the rest in the boot. Caught red handed. Fait a fucking compli opined Millsa.

With trademark menace Radgey Geoff described The Executive’s decision to discipline him as Imbarrathin, spitting the word out the side of his gob like a ball of dark green hockle. Me and Millsa thought we’d have to work like fuck to keep him within the loving embrace of the organisation, but Big Bernard had shown a hitherto undiscovered compassionate side and offered the security gig, probably because the Radge gave off the testosterone stench of the tough guy he wasn’t. So here he was, this poacher turned gamekeeper, glowering and menacing every cunt that wandered into reception without an appointment. Same money, less work, but no prospects; just what we all aspire to. Had we ever had a thanks from him? Had we shite. Baldy little fuck pig.

Anyway, Millsa led us through the luxurious inner sanctum and into Bernard’s Torture Chamber. Notice anything? Sandra inquired, giving a theatrical wave in the direction of the two opposite corners of the room. At first I gazed uncomprehendingly, then saw the beauty of her handiwork. You’d need to be pretty alert to notice she’d spent the last couple of hours removing two intruder alarm sensors and replaced them with the spare CCTV cameras. Good eh? It’s movement activated recording. A butterfly drops its bait on the ceiling and cameras roll. Tomorrow we can do some proper surveillance work…

The rest of the shift drifted into turgid oblivion. Millsa caught up on stuff on the iPlayer she’d missed, while I read for a bit, played on the net and burned a few copies of the new Angel Olsen and King Creosote albums for the gang. Come six o’clock when GI Gary bursts in the place, whistling and singing snatches of Beach Boys and Creedence numbers, while running up and down flights of stairs, bare chested of course, unlocking rooms ready for the day ahead, we’re shutting the door on epicentre of our operation that’s smelling of socks, farts and Millsa’s leftover microwaved kebab. Lady Sandra’s meeting her old fella at Wetherspoon’s by the station for the full English and a few peeves. I’m tempted, but I really need a kip so pass on the offer.

Wednesday day time was a non-event; I slept until around 4, cooked a big veggy curry, ate half of it, packed the rest for my bait and watched some shit on the telly. I had emails to write, a more than visible social media profile to raise and the latest When Saturday Comes to read, but I saved them for the night shift.

Parking the motor, I was surprised to see another vehicle in the car park besides Radgey’s van. Obviously Sandra’s little difficulties occasioned by being found asleep at the wheel in the car park of The Rising Sun after a late one (the engine still running, kebab detritus spilled down her from face to feet and a blood alcohol reading of 320 milligrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood) precluded her from driving, meaning she kept Streamline cabs in business almost singlehandedly. Mind when she had a car, it wasn’t a silver BMV Series 5 Gran Tourismo, with the personalised number plate AM 666.

What the fuck was Big Bernard doing here at this time of night? The first thought was she’d spotted Millsa’s cameras and was about to go to town on us. However the cheery wave she shot in my direction as she locked up and headed for the door suggested otherwise. Sliding into my chair in Disgracelands, as I’d taken to calling the office, cigar toting Sandra expressed her disappointment at the footage from The Torture Chamber.  Big Bernard had been off-site all day and the skips were still empty, so there was nowt to watch and nothing for it but to sit tight and do the joke of a job we got paid for.

Except, it seemed Radgey Geoff wasn’t doing the job he was paid for. The four wide angle cameras on the gantry gave a juddering, staccato account of his progress across the car park: quitting the van, a quick call on the mobile, then furtively glancing from side to side as he used his master key to let himself in by the side entrance to the Executive Suite.

This was getting interesting. Since Big Bernard was the only fucker down there, as The Radge knew full well, this was either a suicide mission or a clandestine meeting.  Instinct told us to flick over to The Torture Chamber cameras and how we cursed the lack of sound to go with these images. The cameras, sensitive to the impact of Big Bernard’s ponderous-gaited pacing of the room, resplendent in a tight-laced blood-red basque and colour matched spike heel stilettos. Bernard looked like Phil “The Power” Taylor impersonating Wonder Woman, arms akimbo and eyes fixed on the door.

This is going to be the best night of our lives chortled Millsa and she cast the Hamlets aside and sparked up a long, smooth Cuban. Bernard’s door opened and in stepped Radgey Geoff; bald, nude, oiled and hard.

Size of that fucker, I exploded, zooming in on his impressive, veined cock; thick as fucking a phone book. Millsa looked at me with distaste and exhaled a dismissive cloud of cigar smoke.

The two of them obviously knew each other’s trigger points. Bernard rushed to nosh him, crouching like a second row prop at a set scrum. Almost straight off, The Radge yanked a handful of soft peroxide undercut to stop her and avoid spending his wad at first base. She leaned back over the desk and his tongue fired in and out of her hole like a ravenous gecko on a rock.

Are you recording this? I demanded. Millsa, rapt with concentration, nodded furiously.

Get in the hole! Get in the fucking hole! She screamed at Radgey Geoff like the 18th green at the Open, oblivious to the waste of breath her words were. Fucking hell man, him indoors is like the speaking clock. Finished on the third stroke every fucking time. This is boss material for the frig fridge I’m telling you. Not only that, it’s a potential retirement villa once I show this to Bernard. Horrible fat bastard she is.

 The performance was reaching a crescendo. Bernard straddled The Radge, pumping up and down, looking a bit like Claire Balding on a mountain bike. We missed the money shot, but you could sense it when Bernard arched her back like an obese rodeo rider. It wasn’t the end enough; the piece de resistance saw her disentangle herself, then squat deliberately over Radgey’s dial and give him a proper golden shower. More yellow than green with albumenous flecks of Geoff jizz, it dripped from his face, ran over the edge of her desk and pooled on the dark blue carpet. That’s going to stain you realise Millsa howled. The Radgey fucker didn’t flinch the whole flood, didn’t blink, didn’t smile. This wasn’t pleasure, this was business.

Outside, a squeal of brakes, a crash of porcelain on metal, a slamming of doors, an engine revving . I flicked the cameras over and saw three fellas flytipping a load of building site leftovers, then racing for their transit and fucking off. I hit the electronic locking system, but the main gate clanged shut seconds too late. Bernard and The Radgey’s fuck session seemed an age ago.

Millsa hit save all streams and we wandered down to the skips for a skeg. Tiles, couple of rubble sacks, bits of broken pipe, a smashed bog. Usual sort of thing we’d been getting landed with since they started building the new Kingham Park estate. Back in her business suit Bernard’s heels clacked across the car park as Radgey Geoff trailed, uselessly waving a torch about.

Have you any incriminating footage that may help The Corporation apprehend who is responsible for such disgusting behaviour? Bernard barked.

No and yes, Millsa smirked enigmatically and headed for the smoking shelter. Cigar anyone?

Nine years of being nicotine free went right out the window as I headed to join her. Mind it was something worth celebrating with a fine Havana.

2 poems from “glove” #1

“glove” #1 exists; the brand new 44 page Lit Zine, featuring 20 contemporary writers at the height of their powers, is finally out….. copies are available via PayPal to iancusack@blueyonder.co.uk for £3 or directly from me for £2 – i can be contacted at the same email address…. please don’t send contributions unless you’ve read the thing….. now, as a taster, here are 2 poems i was compelled to include, to make the page count divisible by 4 -:

scattered-gloves

Ballybofey

Bonjour.

What a joy to find you lads here.

The whole world is on track and we will dance as artists,

but do you little guys know who you’re talking to?

 

When my apple appeared at the Alhalmbra and at the Apollo,

white people stood in the heated dining room.

I assure you they were awfully thirsty and insecure.

You asked to see my little lambs Louise and Mimi, so I unlocked them.

 

With Louise, I danced the jitterbug and the Charleston,

which are not almost exactly the same.

She provided me with air conditioning and a heater

in return for the 60 years that I danced.

 

With my straw boater on the side,

I danced for the whole world.

I love dancing. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes.

The horseman in black socks always danced at a mistaken tempo.

 

Shopping

Miserable fucking weather.

Waiting at the lights I saw

tinsel and streamers in the surgical appliance shop.

Took the old gas fire to the dump,

where this woman hunted scrap in the council skip.

Crawled out carrying a brass poker

and a t-shirt saying FUNKY!!!

 

Me and Phil walked back to the van

and the security lighting failed.

glove #1

I’ve edited a new Lit Zine, glove #1, which will be out imminently. It costs £3 via PayPal to iancusack@blueyonder.co.uk & here is some information about it…

glove-cover

Hands up if you remember Michael Gove? Hard to credit now, but about 9 months ago that appalling piece of worthless shit was considered to be a serious politician, with realistic designs upon top office. Now, in the post truth, post normality world that is 2017, Gove’s star has waned and he’s only known as a figure of scorn and derision, following his adoption of the role of a toadying Tory lickarse, hanging out of Trump’s hole, in the hope of a well-remunerated sinecure as the Four Horsemen get ready to saddle up and ride their ponies. Whether it’s waterboarding or water sports Trump has in mind for Gove is unimportant, as in point of fact, the only visible skid marks Gove has left on the soiled boxers of British society are the catalogue of administrative fiascos that were his education reforms. Free schools and academy trusts; they were a roaring success weren’t they? Sadly, the only real change of any note effected by the specky shitbag, has been to the exam system.

 

Gove, like all Tories, think that a balanced curriculum should consist of Latin grammar, English history, trigonometry, rugger, Scripture, public oratory, flogging, sodomy and Kipling’s poetry learned by rote; all underpinned by shedloads of prep, with weekly spelling and fractions tests.  There’s no place for coursework in Gove-land; swotting and cramming the night before exams is back in style, which also seemed to push the buttons of Gove’s cretinously limited successor, the bovine Nikki Alexander, who is now also an ex-minister. Consequently students and educational professionals have the ogre of linear exams and the bizarre 9-1 results system to contend with. Most importantly, we have traditional British values at the core of every child’s education again, as the scourge of PC multicultural education has been slain by St Gove’s simple sword of British justice. How has this been achieved? By the brainwave of proscribing foreign literature of course! Now, in practice, this means schools up and down the country will be knee to throat deep in superfluous copies of Steinbeck’s no good pinko Commie tract Of Mice and Men, denying a whole generation of tall, thick lads from Dover to Carlisle, the chance to be nicknamed Lennie on the bus to school each morning.

 

Now, don’t get angry with me, but I can almost see Gove’s point. After endless exposure to the 136 pages of deceptively trite moralising in Soledad over almost 3 decades, I’m heartily sick of Steinbeck’s sentimental paean to male bonding, though I recognise many compassionate teenagers discovering the chaste Brokeback Mountain for the first time will continue to be deeply touched by both the plot and the characters. However, I don’t blame underfunded schools and overworked teachers for playing it safe, as the criticism lies elsewhere.  I’ve long moaned the reductive nature of GCSE Literature syllabi since the Tories expunged the wonderful 100% coursework spec in 1994. For the first few years of my career I taught Larkin, Auden, Salinger, The Tempest and many other quality texts, safe in the knowledge that 100% coursework allowed time for understanding to develop alongside writing skills. I was teaching kids to understand and appreciate, not to memorise or regurgitate. Though I will admit I worked with a certain percentage of brain donors who felt their learners only deserved to be served up stuff like Buddy or Kes, or as it is properly titled, A Kestrel for a Knave.

 

Comprehensive schools all across the north were awash with copies of the Penguin paperback with Billy Casper giving a v-sign on the cover. Everyone taught it and I was no different. Indeed, at the end of my PGCE year, a few of us travelled down from Leeds to Barnsley with a couple of borrowed video cameras to make an educational film about the book. One of the blokes I worked with Nick drove us down to St Mary’s School in Monk Bretton, which was the location, used in the film, while the other one Dave, a former actor and Man Utd fan, donned a red shirt and a bald wig, then stuffed a cushion up the jumper, to play the part of Mr Sugden, the PE teacher. At the time, I’d only ever been to Barnsley once; to see Newcastle win 5-0 in May 1983, unaware that personal circumstances would dictate I’d spend most of the 1990s in the S75 region.  During that time I found most Barnsley residents to be solid, salt of the earth types who couldn’t have been more helpful, unlike the caretaker of St Mary’s, who set his Alsatian on us as soon as Dave emerged onto the school field in football kit. We explained the purpose of our visit, but the caretaker told us to piss off and talk to t’Director of Education. We didn’t bother; we just skulked back up the M1 in a gloomy, deflated mood, as rain scudded across the windscreen.

 

I told that story to Ken Loach who directed Kes, when I met him at the 1999 Bratislava Film Festival. He was the guest of honour, where his monumental My Name is Joe was the star attraction. He was gracious and laughed like a drain at my story. I’d always liked his films anyway; from first seeing a repeat of Cathy Come Home to being passionately stirred up by The Wind that Shakes the Barley. However, I’ve not seen his latest and apparently most vital piece of work, I Daniel Blake, though I perhaps should have done on Thursday 26 January.

 

There have been truly magnificent compromises going on behind the scenes among the fanbase at Newcastle United, which has resulted in a cordiality not previously known breaking out between NUST, the club and NUFC Fans Utd; indeed all 3 organisations are working together, and not just in the Fans’ Forum either. Although I’m still disappointed that there isn’t a place reserved for a specifically LBGT member, rather than just an “equality” representative, I won’t create a stink about this. More importantly and most significantly, this triangulation of congeniality has coalesced to support the work of the Newcastle West foodbank, on whose behalf the showing of I Daniel Blake took place at the Tyneside Irish Centre. As any sane person knows, foodbanks, soup kitchens and all the other voluntary organisations, running on donations to plug the gaps where the Tories have ruptured the cradle to grave concept of the Welfare State, should not exist in 2017. The fact that they do, and provide such a vital and lifesaving role for the vulnerable and impoverished, are a shameful stain on those entrusted with running society. However, I am a pragmatist; I may disagree with the concept of charity, but I won’t let people starve or suffer in despair if I can help it, so I’m donating to this cause. No quibble, no argument; this is one initiative that is beyond criticism.

 

The main reason I wasn’t at the film was sheer exhaustion after work; the older I get, the more of a toll education takes on me. I’m not complaining; it’s an honour to do the job, but it does deplete my energy levels. It may not be much of an excuse for my non-appearance, but it is more of a one that simply not being bothered, which is why I won’t be at Newcastle’s home game against QPR on Wednesday 1 February. There are plenty of tickets left and I really should be there to firstly support my team and secondly to try and flog the last few copies of issue #14 of The Popular Side, but I’m probably just going to watch it on the telly, hopefully roaring the team, the manager and any new signings, on to victory, as the promotion race gets very interesting indeed.  Don’t get me wrong; it’s not an antagonistic gesture of disaffection to stay away. I was at the Birmingham replay with Ben and Ginger Dave and thoroughly enjoyed it, especially the latter part of the first half. I’m simply reflecting on my age and other priorities that are better served by not spending £30 on a ticket and possibly a similar amount on gargle.

 

You see I have a new project on the horizon; early February will mark the launch of glove magazine, whereby by long-harboured ambition to produce a lit zine will be realised. I’ve managed to persuade 20 of the finest contemporary poets and short fiction writers on both sides of the Atlantic I know to share some of their work in this venture. We’re talking:  Michael Keenaghan, Gwil James Thomas, Terence Corless, John Grochalski, Christopher Iacono, Josephine Allen, Jason Jackson, Jim Gibson, Joe England,

Mark Beechill, Ian Parris, Martin Appleby, Ford Dagenham, Anna Wall, Emily Richards, Rob Plath, Ron Gibson Jr, Jared A. Carnie, Wolf Orff and Chris Milam. Small steps at first though; I’ve only had 120 published. That’s costing me £150, so plus the postage for the contributor copies, I’m looking at an outlay of £180, which is why I’m selling glove at £2 from me in person, or £3 via PayPal to iancusack@blueyonder.co.uk Because the margins are tight, I can’t give free copies away as, if I don’t break even, it’ll be a one-off issue, never to be repeated.

 

Obviously I’m not giving up my non-literary writing activities; this blog will still be updated once a week, I’m intending to edit the Benfield programme until the end of time and I’ll continue to write for any fanzines that will publish me. However, one publication I’m going to take a back seat with is The Popular Side. I’ve compiled, edited, advertised and sold all 14 issues of the fanzine since August 2014, publishing 85 different writers in that time. I’m going to do the final issue for this season and then hand over control to someone else. This isn’t a kneejerk decision or one bound up in bitterness, though I must admit Biffa from www.nufc.com refusing to mention the fanzine on the website, because he doesn’t regard it as a Newcastle United related publication, was a massive metaphorical hoof in the bollocks. I don’t really mind the fact that hardly any of the contributors are interested in selling and only a few, notable exceptions are prepared to take some to distribute (for which I’m eminently grateful). A load of folk seem only concerned with getting their name in print and a copy through the door, which has always seemed selfish to me.

 

That said, they aren’t the reasons for my imminent departure. Basically, I’ve used up all my energy and I don’t think I can take the magazine further forward. The founding principles of an A5, cost price, no advertising and no website old style fanzine are well established and I’m sure there are people out there who can do a better job than I could, so they are welcome to try. I’ve already got a couple of names in mind.

 

Personally, I know I won’t be missed by the overwhelming majority of NUFC fans, as they’ve never heard of me. If everyone is getting along fine and the club are doing well enough on the pitch, nobody needs an instinctive contrarian around to muddy the clean waters that the rest of folks are plain sailing along.