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It all comes crashing down…

.. my bravado – my “Oh your not intimidating me Mr Talx…” – my detachement has just got re-attached.

Flavius – has just posted a simple picture of a house to the Pool site… and now my nerve has gone and I’ve been drinking and I’m scared – this is the night before I meet the man who has been stalking me – and I’m tired and lonely and all I can hear is the wind hitting the outside of this crappy little caravan and Travis snoring and I’m really scared.

Its is a picture of Lucinda’s house.

Her dad’s house.

I went there once – not 15 years ago as Flavius says – but maybe 8 – turn of the century time.  It’s in North East London, suburbs… we’d been clubbing in town and she insisted we went back there afterwards… we were up in town and had run out of options.  She didn’t want to go at first but then resolved, took a breath and it became the only option.

It was turning dawn when we got there.  It smelt musty.  She clamed up.  We went straight to her old room and slept – or tried to – she wrapped her arms around herself – no – she put on pajamas, of all thing,s and wrapped her arms around herself and we slept on a single bed.  I ground my teeth and listened to the birds…

And then I woke and she wasn’t there.  Her room was part teenage kids room and part box room, everything felt, musty – dust covered – I didn’t want to leave the room… the voices carried on, Lucinda’s and a man’s – at once deep and whining, almost pleading.  She came through and asked if I wanted some pizza.  There was a shit little b&w TV which she turned on and tuned to 1000000 years BC with Raquel Welch and the lizards.  She left the room, more voices, I’m chewing cold pizza and watching the fur and cleavage through the snow of static.

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She returns.

Who’s that?  My dad… you want something to drink.

No registration that anything is amiss.  She watches TV with me.  I put an arm over her, moved closer, she took it off.  Went away.  Voices.

It goes on like this.

Finally I’m getting uncomfortable and irritable, this is a side of her I never knew about , never wanted to see.  She is sexy, confident, wild – directed – all those good things – I don’t want to sit is this fusty museum to her childhood filled with broken dolls and packing cases.

She suggests we leave moments before I do and we start to stalk out.

I glance through the rest of the house.

It a vault.  A timelocked vault of 1970s decor and furniture and fixtures.  Frozen.  Covered in dust and frozen. Pictures of nothing on the walls – it doesn’t make sense.

1970s interior

I look into the lounge, the wallpaper hits my tired eyes, they are drawn to a photo on the mantlepiece.  The frame is new and free of dust.  It’s a blank and white photo of a woman with dark hair gazing at the camera.  Her head is cocked and she smiles gently… knowingly.

Lucinda’s mother.

We leave and head for town.  The tension is gone – Lucinda’s behaving as if she’s passed a trial, overcome an ordeal.  She’s charming and laughing by the time we get on the train, we pick up some wine and soon she’s a little drunk and sits on my lap kissing me.

We never talk of her father’s house again.  She visits sometimes (that’s her car in the photo) but without me – it is an unspoken understanding between us.

I haven’t thought about that house for a long time.

No until tonight.

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