(c) Jamie Hamley

CREATIVE Crystal Jeans

NWR Issue 103

Split Me In Two, Gareth Moon

He asks me if I keep a diary still.

‘God no. No. I don’t know why I kept one at all.’

It’d been the child psychologist’s idea. But I’d never tell him that.

Dennis shifts the tobacco around the Rizla with his black fingernail. He sprinkles some skunk over the top, his jaw slack. ‘I had a look at some of mine the other day,’ he says, rolling the deck into a fat lumpy tube and licking it shut.

‘That’s a tampon,’ I say.

‘Yup.’ He pokes it into his mouth and lights up. ‘I looked at the one from when we were fourteen.’ He closes his eyes and slowly shakes his head. ‘So fucking embarrassing.’

‘What’s so embarrassing?’

‘That crush I had on Gareth Moon. Remember?’

I stretch for the spliff he offers, nodding.

‘I won’t go into details – I know it makes you uncomfortable – but God, the filth that went through my mind!’ He shakes his head again, this time in disbelief. ‘Pass me that whisky, would you, Kev?’

I pass it. I like the way it sloshes like a full stomach when he tilts it to his lips.

‘So what’s the big deal?’

‘Well, it all went in the fucking diary. Every time my heart fluttered for him. Every wank, practically. And I drew these little pictures too, these diagrams of what I wanted him to do to me, you know.’

‘Lovely.’

He takes another glug of piss-coloured whisky. ‘And, uch, it wasn’t just sexual. I actually thought I loved him. Loved him.’

‘You cried about him once.’

‘I know! Because that dick from art class, what was his name? Joseph. He said he saw Penny Small wanking him off in the park. That killed me. And I used to write in my diary, I used to write “I love him so much I’d die for him” and stuff like that.’

‘Didn’t you write a poem about him?’

‘No. That was MoMo with the harelip. Ha! I forgot about him. No. For Gareth I used to write my name with his surname. Dennis Moon. To see how it would look on paper.’

‘That’s really not that embarrassing. Really.’ I’m thinking of my own diary, about the maroon stains splattering April.

‘It is though. And those diagrams! God. There’s this one picture, yeah? – Oh, it’s awful – there’s this one picture, drawn in red Biro. And it’s practically stick figures it’s so bad. And in it he’s doing me, you know, up the – ’

‘Yes, OK,’ I say curtly.

‘And though the drawing’s really childish and simple, I made sure to draw his dick and balls in real detail. Like, veiny detail, you know? With moisture clinging like – like dew drops. And wrinkles in the ball sack. And that seam – you know that seam? On the balls? That much detail. And little squiggles and lines to represent movement. Like you get in The Beano. And there’s a speech bubble coming out of my mouth, saying – this is so awful – saying, “Split me in two!”’ He shakes his head again, but there’s a smile on his lips.

I suck on the spliff. I don’t speak for a while. Dennis takes this time to drain the whisky bottle. He drops it over the side of the bed. It falls onto the edge of an overspilling ashtray, catapulting ash and butts onto the bedroom floor. Neither of us takes any notice: Dennis’ bedroom is an assault course of fag ends, clothes, dirty socks, empty lager and cider cans, vodka and whisky bottles, and carrier bags of sick. The bed he’s lying on, stretched out like an Egyptian princess, has probably been pissed on at least twice this week.

‘Why don’t you burn them all then?’ I finally say.

‘Burn them?’ He arches his eyebrow in a way that’s so gay it’s a caricature. ‘Would you burn yours?’

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