Digital Ischemia


Cold Call: Day 4

A series of telephone conversations where truth comes away in layers – begins at Cold Call: Day 1

SìMON: (D) Hello.
LACRIMOSA: Ah, my serial cold caller. How’s things at the hospital?
SìMON: Fine.
SìMON: My mum’s moved ward again. Mrs McIver’s still AWOL. This is the new normal.
LACRIMOSA: Your mum?
SìMON: My aunt. They look similar. They’re sisters.
LACRIMOSA: Are you easily confused by older women?
SìMON: Aye, put that in my preferences.
LACRIMOSA: Flustered by threesomes.
SìMON: Sticky threes… Er, I mean dialling the number three. How’re you?
LACRIMOSA: Well, obviously my number hasn’t changed. Has anything? Plastic tat all still intact. Oh, I looked up the moon last night. I mean I looked up at it as well.
SìMON: Good clear night for it – nearly full.
LACRIMOSA: So I found out—I never understood why you couldn’t see a new moon.
SìMON: Because it’s in line with the sun so there’s no reflection to see. Although obviously your retinas are toast if you’re looking at the sun.
LACRIMOSA: OK, so I’m an idiot. Do you know about stars as well?
SìMON: No, but I did a search for ‘Fetish Warehouse Linlithgow’ and it doesnae exist.
LACRIMOSA: Did you take off your ‘safe search’?
SìMON: You mean my search results are all child-friendly?
LACRIMOSA: Did your parents set up your internet for you?
SìMON: My father is frighteningly no’ bothered about internet security.
LACRIMOSA: So that’s your rebellion?
SìMON: What?
LACRIMOSA: OK: flustered by mother, latent rage about father. Interesting.
SìMON: Er, I need to go.
LACRIMOSA: No doubt.


Cold Call: Day 3

A series of telephone conversations where truth comes away in layers – begins at Cold Call: Day 1

SìMON: (D) Hello. It’s me: Simon, Sìmon, whatever.
LACRIMOSA: You’re calling from a different number.
SìMON: You werenae answering the other one.
LACRIMOSA: Ah, the stalker’s logic. What’s going on out there in the world?
SìMON: No idea.
LACRIMOSA: The line’s too clear for you to be calling from the European Space Station.
SìMON: Spaceman Spiff spirals into a terminal retrograde orbit of the planet Zaikon, his thruster engines vaporised by rebel Xanthamum fighters…
LACRIMOSA: Oh, I love Calvin and Hobbes – so brilliantly bittersweet.
SìMON: I love how in this six-year-old’s world his thoughts came out pure philosophy.
LACRIMOSA: I learned the word ‘trenchant’ from that. What was the deal with the merchandise again?
SìMON: Bill Watterson was—is a man of deep principles; he just wouldnae sign aff on any. It was a feature of the materialist world he just couldnae abide.
LACRIMOSA: The plastic tatterers must’ve been all over him, slavering.
SìMON: Tatterers!?
LACRIMOSA: Plastic tat – our plastic, toxic world. I used to work in a lab where they were researching bacteria that would digest plastic – biodegrade it to something harmless. I wonder what happened to that?
SìMON: Probably realised bacteria that could eat plastic wouldnae stop there. You know, they’d froth everywhere; they’d be at everything plastic. Bacteria don’t know what we still want and what’s waste.
LACRIMOSA: Right enough: suddenly your phone’s dust, your furnishings are crumbling, vehicles and buildings melting. Actually, that’d be brilliant…
SìMON: Did you wear a lab coat?
LACRIMOSA: You just couldn’t help yourself, could you?
SìMON: I held myself back a whole thirty seconds!
LACRIMOSA: If I tell you that, and about the safety goggles, I’ll have to charge you.
SìMON: Whouf, steady on.
LACRIMOSA: I was just enjoying my post-apocalyptic fantasy but you had to ruin it.
SìMON: If I could flee up to the moon and leave this shit heap behind…
LACRIMOSA: What’s your work?
SìMON: Security.
LACRIMOSA: That was succinct.
SìMON: It wasnae a tough question. And that’s all there is to it.
LACRIMOSA: Must be dull if you’re moon-gazing and blethering on the phone.
SìMON: That’s what you get paid for.
LACRIMOSA: Aye, time’s up.


Cold Call: Day 2

A series of telephone conversations where truth comes away in layers – begins at Cold Call: Day 1

SìMON: (D) Is this the, er, Fetish Warehouse?
LACRIMOSA: Oh, aye, sorry: I thought it was an internal call.
SìMON: I wouldnae like to think what ‘internal’ means in your line of work.
LACRIMOSA: You’re not into surgical stockings?
SìMON: No’ when my aunt’s wearing them.
LACRIMOSA: I’m so sorry. How’s she doing?
SìMON: No change. I’m just away up there the now.
LACRIMOSA: Bless her. And Mrs McIver?
SìMON: No idea. If you’re still no’ her then I’ll have to start checking tea rooms.
LACRIMOSA: Well, we don’t really do scones, so how is it I can help you?
SìMON: You should: Mrs McIver’d be your top customer. It sounds awfy quiet. Maybe you need some ‘mood music’ playing? Attract some customers?
LACRIMOSA: What mood would that be?
SìMON: Er, thrash metal?
LACRIMOSA: Very good.
SìMON: What was that?!
LACRIMOSA: I think that’s a peacock.
SìMON: And what the hell is that?!
LACRIMOSA: It’s not a euphemism. Just the standard ornamental bird thing with the big feathers.
SìMON: I don’t think folk should be interfering with massive feathers with the birds still attached. I think that’s animal abuse.
LACRIMOSA: (LAUGHS) No, nothing to do with fetishes—well, I hope not—nothing to do with us, anyway.
SÌMON: I didnae think Linlithgow was so exotic.
LACRIMOSA: It’s not a standard pet, is it?
LACRIMOSA (CONT’D): Aye, there, it’s calling again.
SìMON: What’s it saying?
LACRIMOSA: They sound like Penelope Peacock—Pitstop, don’t they? Or am I confusing them?
SìMON: You’re confusing me.
LACRIMOSA: Haielp! Haielp!
SìMON: Er, OK.
LACRIMOSA: Right, I’ll stick to inanimate fetishes.
SìMON: Anything happening in the world of whips?
LACRIMOSA: BOGOF on the cat o’ six tails.
SìMON: Other three fall aff?
LACRIMOSA: Worn out. Blunt.
SìMON: Second-hand? Is that hygienic?
LACRIMOSA: Some folk like it.
SìMON: I got a bunch of daffodils to take up the hospital but—aye, there’s six, so they just look dodgy now.
SìMON: I’m not made of money.
LACRIMOSA: Tricky steal from your neighbour’s?
SìMON: I actually nicked them from my aunt’s garden.
LACRIMOSA: I honestly can’t decide if that’s sweet or twisted.
SìMON: You’re the expert. So, I’d best get my sweet, twisted self up there afore they die.


Cold Call: Day 1

A series of telephone conversations where truth comes away in layers.

LACRIMOSA: Good morning, Fetish Warehouse. How may I whip you?
SìMON: (D) Er, is that Mrs McIver?
LACRIMOSA: McIver, McIver; no, don’t know that name. Does she go by anything else?
SìMON: What do you mean?
LACRIMOSA: Does she have a ‘professional’ name?
SìMON: Oh, no, I really don’t think so.
LACRIMOSA: You’d be surprised.
SìMON: Sorry, who did you say you are?
LACRIMOSA: Fetish Warehouse, Linlithgow. Open twelve till nine, for all your pleasures and pains.
SìMON: You’re joking?
LACRIMOSA: No, not here; no fun; just the serious business of pleasure and perversion.
SìMON: You still never said who you are.
LACRIMOSA: Twice now: Fetish Ware—
SìMON: No, you: what’s your name?
LACRIMOSA: Oh, right: Lacrimosa.
SìMON: Fancy.
LACRIMOSA: Means I bring tears to your eyes.
SìMON: I’ll bet.
LACRIMOSA: What’s yours? Name, I mean; we’ll get on to your preferences.
SìMON: Er, Sìmon.
SìMON: Sìmon. It’s, er, it’s from all over eastern Europe really. But I’m just from Stirling.
LACRIMOSA: That must’ve been a treat at school.
SìMON: No’ as much fun as yours.
LACRIMOSA: How’d you come by it?
SìMON: My mother had some mad continental ideas.
LACRIMOSA: And your father?
SìMON: Forfeited any say in the matter by passing out. He was still getting gas and air by the time mum had chosen my name and was on to tea and biscuits. Claimed he was overcome by the fumes of her slathering herself in lavender.
LACRIMOSA: Bless. And who is Mrs McIver to you?
SìMON: A friend of my aunt’s. She’s no’ well—my aunt—and I’ve to tell Mrs McIver her ward number so she can get the bus up.
LACRIMOSA: Oh, oh, I’m so sorry. The number here is 8433. Lots of folk misdial – well, they over-dial – I don’t know, they seem to have sticky threes. So maybe you’re after 843 something else?
SìMON: That’ll be it. Although I’m disappointed if Mrs McIver isnae one of your temptresses.
LACRIMOSA: Temptresses! You should tell your aunt; might give her a laugh. I mean, I don’t know if she’d find it funny.
SìMON: Probably would actually. Probably wet hersel’ laughing at me for a numpty.
LACRIMOSA: I hope she feels better soon.
SìMON: Thank you. Thanks for the… tears.
LACRIMOSA: You’re welcome, any time.
SìMON: Oh, OK. Bye.

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