July 13, 2009

The Engagement

by George Anderson

We left late & tossed in the back
a case of VB,
together with an intense desire
to get hammered, to get wasted
during the night, which was not
altogether unreasonable
considering it would compress time,
& help us forget the wild horse of a week
which sped uncontrollably beyond any
notion of reconciliation. This much I

Know. I certainly wanted to come.
I wanted to meet the girl’s parents.
I was looking forward to sailing with Pete
the next day up to Ulladulla. Dragging a
line a metre from the sea floor in search of
Flathead. Suffice to say the beers sank

Fast & I was my expectant self: cheeky.
Quarrelsome. Bent on self destruction.
Never make it to 40 mode. I recall like
a thick fog arguing with the bride’s mother.
She reminded me of a witch. I asked her if
I tied a large stone to her chest if she would
float. The blood curdled in her. She screeched at me.
Her dark eyes splitting from her skull. Her boyfriend
laughing in the kitchen with his arms folded.

The following morning I wake on the lounge. Pete
reckons it was a top night. Asks how I’m feeling.
Fleshes out a story, how about 3 or 4 in the morning
I was crashed out, laughing hysterically on the ground.

Laughing uncontrollably. Laughing at everything and
at nothing. He tried to heave me up. Too heavy.
He said I was content to remain on the ground &
laugh. ‘Tell Stacey her mom is not a witch’, I say.

Is that an apology? Bob asks.

‘No, I don’t believe in witches.
How’d Dave & Stacey fare anyway?’

They’re still sleeping. Stuffed.
They aren’t getting up any time soon.

‘Good. Where’s those fishing lines?’


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