Insert Chassis Albuquerque: Chapter 10 - "Sensible Things"

Chapter 10 - "Sensible Things"
Taking the lifts (it was a very large lift, for people and wheelchairs and gurneys and down-and-outs, four or five young nurses climb in. They talk distractedly amongst themselves, clutching clipboards to their fine, young chests and all in starched white uniforms - like crisp, medical virgins awaiting their first slice with the knife, the first fatal injection, the first eager feel of a pulse beneath their benevolent fingers. How fresh, how fragrant they all seem in stark contrast to the staring creatures in the back of the lift that's: My alcoholic, lying father and his security guard partner, I and Ronald Ford, who’s heavily evolved in his role as a repeat, drug taking failure. Ford stands undaunted in his blue, makeshift hospital-issued gown, fastened only at the top behind his neck and that only ascends to just halfway between his thighs and his knees and who has the word “CATFUCK” badly stenciled and visible for all and sundry to see scratched into his arm – all that's visible behind all that hair are his staring, disordered eyes.
The young women momentarily oblivious, we observe them in admiring silence.
How they start when they spot us!
Immediately anxious, clipboards and notes are defensively clutched tightly and higher to their chests, as if they think we're about to attack and this effectual gesture will further protect. Collectively they all edged forward to the safety of the door of the lift, necks craning round to regard us, their pretty eyes flickering alertly and keeping us at steady, weary bay. There is uneasy, but gentle angst in those eyes.
"Ladies," my father says.
One of them, some young fun at the front of the group near the door, giggles and the tension’s broken.
And I quietly wrestle my father's arm at his side as he tries to salute them with a small, Nazi "Sieg Heil!" Thankfully no one notices this sudden, inexplicable impulse his entire life abounds with. One by one they turned their heads, turned away their swaying ponytails and bobbed hair, switching little asses twitching self-consciously as they conspiratorially lean into each other's bodies and shoulders. We hear their close, low, murmurings and nervous, muffled laughter - with such fine, haughty looks over their shoulders at us! other security guard held the door open for a moment longer when they exit. Leaning against the door faintly, he takes in their mingling, drifting scents. Likewise, we’re held in some kind of programmed, genetic awe as they walk off up the deep, echoing corridor, this fragrant insouciance; once or twice the placated women looked back over their fine shoulders to check and demonstrate light coy smiles that played across their fine faces as brief and sudden as lightning. Women, the subtle fragrance of light airy perfume and freshly washed hair, comforting virtues of beautiful familiarity lingering when all else was already gone, they slid into life and then slipped away again. His head pounding, awash with recollections and making him dizzy, the security guard, sniffing at the air in the lift, his voice quavering – he may have been crying a little - said: “Holy Jesus men, holy Jesus! You smell that…?”
And my father says the first sensible thing he’s ever said since I’ve known him: “Smell? Man, the only thing I smell is cunt…!” because my father maintained from an early age he’d developed the ability to smell when a woman’s menstruating. Still, we’d watched the young women in silence until we could no longer see them and the lift doors closed on us and wouldn’t open again.
We were trapped and at least 45 minutes pass before we’re rescued and released by a maintenance crew.
When I'm driving away, as I head off down the road, I spy Ford in the rear-view mirror, one hand held high, waving: “So long, so long dear friend…!” As if from the final scene in a movie, silhouetted and looming ominously behind his tall figure is the outline of the building Ronald Ford’s making a joke out of having decided he’d check into a drug rehab centerer called TOMORROW - for tomorrow, tomorrow we will learn the implications of going to hell.

Enjoyed Reading The Sundial Salesman? Head on over to your Amazon store to see what befalls Ealing Broadway...!