shatter :: wasp :: fresh bread :: sorry :: singed
This is possibly Brian beginning the facebook clan. Visit Brian’s Page, part I to see the prologue.
Wasps and Jam
Brian had been scratching himself during the night again, he could feel the marks running across his lower body, crossing the spine and threading their scrawling way into the curve of his stomach. Sleeping in the car was speeding his descent into childhood habits. There was a long scribbling line of angry red running up his forearm and disappearing under the frayed cuffs of his shirt, green thin-striped fabric. He didn’t remember falling to sleep, he remembered watching the cars. He’d been waiting for them to do something, to sink, to fly, anything. Now he is awake in the clear pale air of an early autumn morning. If this were a normal working day he’d be on his way to Greggs, smelling the fresh bread and ordering his usual; cup of coffee and sausage roll. Just thinking of those sausage rolls he gets a craving for them. That flaky singed pastry crumbling around his lips, the greasy wedge of grey-brown meat.
Getting out of the car was the challenge. It seemed he’d spent his life negotiating the moment before pulling the handle and encountering the same dull reality, but today it was a stranger reality. The cars had been parked on the bridge for weeks like stranded alien ships. As if building a hive of metal bodies, the human wasps stung each other in frustration, stuttering around each cold cell. He hadn’t wanted to be part of it, he’d protected himself in the car, locking the doors, staying very still.
But, he was ready, he had his vision; he had facebook. He checked on his phone in his pocket, patting it to reassure himself. It’s small rectangular bulk nestled next to his leg. He took hold of the handle and opened the door. The cars near him are empty, their glass shattered. They must have belonged to the sinkers. People are gathered near the bridge edge, a woman sees him and raises her arm, waving. Brian walks over. They are a group of five, the woman is blond with a single long plait whose end is in her mouth. She seems to be chewing it, gnawing it. With her are two children and another woman who is being patted by a bored looking man. She has her head in her hands. He arrives in front of them. Welcome, he says, Brian has arrived, he ends his welcome. The man looks at Brian’s shirt. The woman lets her plait drop out of her mouth to her side. It bumps off her and leaves a wet smear near her left breast. Oh yes, it’s so good to see you get out of that thing. The woman says, smiling wide. She looks like a chocolate shop sales girl. She is wearing a bright pink top, now with a dark splodge of spit. Brian would like to know your names? Brian says. Why are you talking like that? One of the children is asking him. Its a girl child. He tries out smiling. Brian is representing facebook. Facebook is keeping track of the bridge, and Brian is update provider on the state of Brian’s emotions as and when he experiences them. Oh. The child looks at the ground. The other one is a boy-child. Brian makes eye contact with the boy-child and smiles at him, he scowls in return. Oh god, we’ve stopped calling it that. The woman interjects. We call it Desert. It’s bad luck to say, she mouths, the bridge, anymore. The man shrugs. Brian is sorry, Brian says. Oh it’s okay, she smiles again. Brian is very very sorry. Brian is sorry. Sorry, sorry, Brianissorry hashtag. He realises they are all staring at him, even the woman has lifted her head up from her hands. She looks terrible. Brain swallows, wets his lips. Brian must calm down, he says, but very low so only he can hear.