Friday, April 21, 2006

A special day

Of course I’m very excited. Of course I am, how could I not be? I’ve gone to such lengths preparing for this. When I think of meeting her my head literally buzzes.

When I get to where I know she will be there is already a huge crowd of well wishes amassed. I’d taken this into consideration, it just means that I’ll need to be utterly ruthless if I want to get to the front, if I want to be within touching distance, close enough for her to touch me, to take my hand and look me in the eye, and me into hers.

I am so excited.

“What was she really like?” they will say, “Was she normal?” they will say, “Did she seem genuinely interested to meet you?” they will say. And I’ll reply that she was just a nice old woman that seemed a little distant but that was understandable, after all, who was I?

I start to work my way forward. The first couple of rows are easy, less compact groups of elderly woman and young families. I weave between them, even apologising occasional, but still pushing forward none the less.

It is a very special day. They say that the country has fallen back in love with her, especially following the ups and down we have been through with her family over the years, starting with the death of her daughter-in-law and her apparent lack of regard for the Queen of Hearts. You can’t blame her can you. If anything it made her more understandable, more like one of us. You cannot seriously like everyone in your family can you? Particularly those that are brought in at a late stage and then seem to take over with little regard for propriety. Then there was all that trouble with her Grandchildren; they never seemed to be out of the press.

No, she is just as normal as you or I, a Grandmother with a dysfunctional family. How thoroughly normal and modern is that?

I am getting to the more hardcore fans now. Tightly packed in, they have been here from either very early in the morning or even since last night. I stop apologising and just force my way between people, ignore their protests and comments. No one really gets violently annoyed; it would not really be appropriate, not today, not on this special day.

I can feel it hard in my trousers; I am very excited by this you see. I have never had a chance like this before. As I push through I am sure they feel it as well, long and hard, but they say nothing if they do. Well, it would not be the done thing.

I get as close to the front as I can for now, which is just a single row from the cordon erected by the police so that when she passes we don’t all rush forward in a single moment of group madness. A mass of citizens trying desperately to be near her; for if we are near her then maybe some of her greatness will brush off onto us and elevate us from our humdrum lives.

I am starting to shake, another physical manifestation of my excitement.

It is surprisingly quiet in the crowd, the anticipation is tangible, and it has a smell, a sweet smell, like the marzipan that my own Grandmother used to make. That is until she died of an infection she caught in our local rundown hospital during a routine check-up.

She opened that hospital only a few years previously; not my Grandmother of course, I mean her. They say that she probably thinks the world smells like fresh paint. The room my Grandmother died in did not smell like fresh paint. It was sickly grey, chipped and peeling, as if the building itself was dangerously ill and severely lacking in care and attention, which it was. Not that she would ever see anything like that herself. Fresh brushstrokes for her.

Suddenly someone next to me, an over weight and exceedingly unattractive young woman shouts in a thick regional accent that she can see her, she’s just a few people away from us. This strikes up fevered debate on what she is wearing and how elegant whatever it is she is wearing, looks.

My moment is coming; I ready myself to push forward. I can hardly control it now; I plunge my hand into my trousers. This is going to be magical. No one is paying me any attention; all eyes are on her.

Wait, wait, wait, wait. She is no more than three metres from me. I drive forward, stepping on a mans foot as I do. He instinctively apologises, how utterly British I think.

She is right in front of me, I hold out my right hand and she says; “Thank you for your kind words”. I haven’t said anything. I hold out my right hand and pull it out of my trousers with my left hand.

She does not see it at first. She is not really even looking. There is a cold dead look in her eyes; she is on autopilot. She is simply going through the motions like a factory working drilling holes in the same place in identical looking pieces of metal day in day out.

I hold it up to her face and she finally sees it. Her bodyguards now alerted rush for me. Her eyes light up.

“Happy Birthday your Majesty” I say and I fire.


Anonymous said...

How is it that no one has yet to comment? You are a delightfully naughty little monkey, dear Herge!

I have missed you terribly and I find that visiting you again is a lot like reading a rather intense novel while on vacation. You check into your hotel, after a rather long flight, maybe take a shower to getting the feeling of other people's breath off of you, change into some soft and cozy, dig into your carry-on to retrieve your book - as you were just getting to the good part - only to find that you left the thing on the plane. The rest of your vacay you contemplate repurchasing the book, but you don't. On the flight back you hope that maybe someone has left a copy in the seat-front pocket, but no. The you arrive home, the days pass, and you get on with your life. You wonder about the charaters, the plot, how it all worked out - usually on rainy cold afternoons (we have quit a few of those in Alaska) when you have nothing else on your agenda and you can allow your mind to wander.

It pleases me to know that you are still producting quality work. I have a few mintues left in my work day, and I shall spend them catching up with your unique brand of genius.

take care,
AAK, not to be confused with Aas

Herge Smith said...

Pleased to hear you're still out there AAK!

No one visits me anymore - I guess because I went a bit AWOL for a couple of months.

Glad you like my latest direction. I like the idea of very brief stories very much, I hope everyone who reads them gets what I'm doing - you obviously do.

A special day is my own reaction to the retarded state of our nation. I swear the media are manipulating the general apathy towards the Queen to make it seem like we are all happy little subjects.

Shooting is too good for her.

Fuck leech.

Anyway, as I said, glad you're still reading.

Anonymous said...

Ins't it amazing how one sentence, "I swear the media are manipulating the general apathy towards the Queen to make it seem like we are all happy little subjects." can be true on this side of the world as well.

I find it all very difficult to handle and I admire your willingness to vent here. Not everyone has a creative outlet - or even the ability to produce creatively, so the majority of us just ignore what's going on outside of our bubbles as a way of coping.

Anonymous said...

BTW - lonely lemon touched me.

I used to hate college composition classes where you're read a short by a considered great, and then express in no more than five, but no less than two, pages what the author "really" meant. I found it insulting insulting that people who could barely be bothered to read the assignment could be praised for their insight into the author's motivation - forcing metaphores in places where there very likely were none.

That being said - I can't say what you were thinking when you wrote the lonely lemon, or what it meant to you, only what it meant to me. Actually, I can't really tell you that either, as the explanation will take too long and I am about to disappear into the cosmos again, but I can promise it meant more to me than sugesting that it is time for you to clean out our produce.


Herge Smith said...

Cool, then you got it.

turboslut said...

Even though I am British I am certainly no royalist. I loved it. Thanks for making my day. T xxx

MHN for short said...

Pretty annoyed with your countrys' media?

Would Grandma have stopped you if she were alive? Propabaly not, she'd have oiled your gun for you. ;-)

Herge Smith said...

MHN - I know I know, your country's media is far worse. Thing is though I expect crap from your media, ours I don't usually, certainly not the quality outlets - but this last few days have been dreadful.

Turnbo - you are welcome.

Faltanus said...

by all of this, we are to understand that the main character pissed on her - right?

MHN for short said...

Our media is why i watch mostly the Food Network. I can't stand the news anymore. "If it bleeds, it leads." has always been the motto. They were running a story of a little boy who "wandered" away from home for three days. A new little kid goes missing and the first child is forgotten.

Of course, if these parents would keep their kids on a leash, like I do mine, they'd never lose the little buggers.

Love ya! m.

MHN for short said...

They ran the story for 3 days, the first kid is still missing. (to clarify)