It’s been a while since I’ve seen Christian. My excuse is that I’ve had a lot of other shit to deal with over the four or five months since I came back from Italy. You already know what I’m referring to.
Sometimes it’s easy to forget that other people’s lives continue in parallel with your own, and that as we are concentrating on negotiating life’s twists and turns and dark alleyways, they too might be hitting their own metaphorical brick walls.
The last time I visited Christian he was playing house with a tall, muscular, black Adonis. His art and graphics business was going from strength to strength, thanks to introductions from a certain Italian gentleman of our acquaintance.
I wasn’t entirely surprised to get a call from him yesterday in the middle of the day. He didn’t say very much that might have given me a clue about his state of mind, but there was something in his slurred words and the tone of his voice that warned me that he was once again wallowing in the darkness of self loathing, into which he periodically descends.
At around four I left the office and drove the four miles to his dock-side apartment. Christian lives on the eleventh floor.
“What do ya want?” was the aggressive voice that came at me over the intercom when I pressed the buzzer.
“It’s me,” I said.
“Yeah-h-h-h..... and this is me, bitch. What da ya want?”
“To come in. I told you I’d visit after work,” I said.
He grunted something inaudible and a second later there was the electronic buzzing as the security catch popped.
When he opened the front door he was partly dressed in a short red and black silk Kimono. I say partly, as it was draped over his shoulders, but was left wide open at the front, and he wasn’t wearing anything beneath.
“Nice to see you too,” I said to his dangling alabaster penis. He squinted at me through bloodshot eyes, his usually hairless chin untidy with at least a weeks growth of fine blonde stubble.
Christian has always bordered on being OCD when it came to tidiness and personal cleanliness, but today he looked as though he hadn’t washed for days, and the apartment looked as though he’d thrown a party for a hundred chimpanzees and they’d gone leaving empty wine and vodka bottles, half eaten pizzas and Chinese take away cartons on every surface. There was also the unmistakable aroma of marijuana, vomit and stale sex.
Throwing himself down on the only clear seat, he picked up a dark-blue glass marijuana Bubbler, reached for his lighter, flicked the wheel, sucked in the vapour at the mouth of the tube for a few seconds, holding in the smoke, before letting it out in a slow trickle. Then he held the Bubbler out to me.
I shook my head and patted my bulging belly. “I don’t do that any more,” I said.
“Disgusting, isn’t it?” he said, catching me looking around the messy room. His upper lip twisted into a facsimile of a sneer. “But frankly, my dear, I don’t fucking care anymore.”
He took another hit from the pipe,then sat back on the seat, his knees wide.
“The stinking shit got out of bed last week, after he'd spent all night buggering me, packed his things and walked out.”
“Why? I thought you two were happy as a couple of magpies.”
“He got tired of fucking me, that’s what.”
“Of course that’s not the reason he gave while he was packing his leather pants.”
“Oh?” I said again.
“The fucking black bastard came out with the old chestnut that he wasn’t ready to settle down, and that life was too short to be tied down. But I fucking know the slimy, fucking bastard was already stuffing his big fucking cock into some other fucking asshole somewhere. I asked him straight, ‘are you fucking someone else?’”
“What did he say?”
“ ‘No-one in particular’, that’s what he said. Of course you know what that means…? It means the slut is sticking it into any fucking hole that’s available. I hope his ass bleeds and his fucking cock withers. To hell with him and all his kind, that’s what I say! Since he went I’ve sucked at least a dozen cocks - a different one every day – sometimes two a day.”
“Christian, you need to be careful?”
“Who gives a god-damned shit anyway.”
“I do. I don’t want to see you catch something nasty.”
He took another hit from the tube and drew his legs up under him.
My eyes settled on several untidy lines of white powder on a small table against the wall. This was something new. He’d snorted coke a few times before and I’d tried it once or twice, but from the look of the empty plastic bags and the little silver straw lying in the powder, he was no longer an occasional user.
“How long have you been like this,” I asked.
“Ah-h-h…….about two weeks - give or take. You sure you don’t what a hit? It’s good stuff. Primo shit. I got this guy who only deals in the best powder. He can get anything; uppers, downers, snow…. I wouldn’t trust him though, he’s a criminal. I mean his prices are criminal. The bastard held me up for seven grand the last time.”
“Seven thousand! That’s a bloody fortune.”
“Hell yes! But I was throwing a party, and you can’t have a party without the right amount of flakes. It’d be uncivilized.”
“I mean that’s a lot of money to stick up you nose.”
He sat upright, the sneer back on his pip. “Don’t come all high and mighty with me. I know things you know….!”
“You’re a fucking cunt - you know that?”
“Why so complementary?”
“Well, I don’t see you for months and now you sweep back in and get all judgemental and shit.”
“First of all I didn’t swoop, you called me, remember. And second I’m not judging you - I’m just saying that you can’t afford to throw away all that cash.”
“Don’t you worry your pretty, little head; there’s lots more where that came from.”
“Not if you don’t go out and do the work there isn’t.”
“I bloody do my best work when I’m high.”
“When was the last time you did any work at all?”
“Don’t lecture me woman, you’re not me fucking mother.”
There’s more, but I just heard the front door opening. We are going out to dinner with some friends of his. Frankly I could just as easily stay in and wallow on the couch with my big belly.
I’ve been suffering a lot with heartburn recently and the baby is starting to wriggle around in its cage.
Only another three weeks and I can give up the daily commute.