Digital Ischemia



Filed under: Shorts — Tags: , , , , , , , , — Teepwriter @ 17:46

Water trickles over Gilbert’s ample flesh. He’s beyond cuddly but it’s not what you’d think. He halts the soap between his shoulder blades.

The caller is neither prepared nor equipped to meet a large, wet, naked householder. The caller is a shrivelled 22 year old guy who looks 47 due to nearly a decade of nicotine and alcohol abuse, physical labour and sleep deprivation; all self-inflicted.

“Eh, ur, sawry te boather ye, but I was daein’ a quote fur yer neighb–”
Gilbert interjects, “what’s your business?”
“Eh, clean yer roof, redo yer slabs, lift–”
“–What’s your business name?”
“FN Landscaping. Like I was sayin’, that tree–”
“–You have a website?”
“Eh, naw, youse can get–”
“–A mobile?”
“We’ll be roun’ on Tuesdae if yer–”
“–You won’t.”
“Oh, aye, we–”
“–You chose to ignore my sign.”
Gilbert stares at his doorbell. The doomed but oblivious caller follows his gaze to squint at a little plastic plaque: no sales.
Gilbert rattles on. “FN Landscaping. Be ready for a FN shitstorm of…” He tips his dripping palm to an imaginary CCTV camera under the eaves. The construct expires.

Of course he’s alone. The caller legged it after six words, some mileage he’s going to get out of telling the boys about this nutter.

Gilbert squeaks back into the shower tray. His ire dissipates. He turns on the water and succumbs to deep sadness. Water trickles over his face, diluting his tears. He’s still reacting.

In 2007 the doorbell rang while he was in the midst of wiring a light socket over the shower. Returning from the pointless distraction, he unwittingly missed a loose end. Later, the way freak accidents happen, his wife and daughter ran squealing to the shower. Making it a competition tricked the lassie into wanting to get in. They grabbed the hose simultaneously; the current reinforced their grips indefinitely. Their shrieking sounded like part of the game. For a wee while.

These bells are not imperatives.

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