Stories

Derek – E.F. Fluff

I was leaving Heuston Station when I saw it.

The beginning roll through the high slate walled outskirts. Dry in places – seeping wet in others. I looked up for just a second – just enough time to see

Derek

written in Tip-ex or gloss on the outface of a brick. It would not have stood out if even a single other piece of graffiti was within six feet of it. Letters thin but not enough to be spidery – uneven in their pace, there was a clinging there-ness to them. Nothing else not even a crude chalk penis lay close

Derek

was there – snatching your attention – all of it. The momentary glance then the momentary gritting of teeth. That shiver of annoyance as reality just…

Derek

It stood a profound statement of a man’s existence – there on the strange blue-black navy walls. So there it was as if the train paused for you – for it to burn itself into your subconscious.

Whatever he accomplished – whatever he did – here on this wall in brilliant white – he would always be –

Derek

Time and man would crumble – but Derek would be here. There. On that wall.

I quickly grew to hate him.

It was all I could do drag my mind from the image of the letters on that wet-dry wall. Music and a notepad didn’t help. Nor did tattooing.

Derek

It was there when I closed my eyes, there when conversation lulled and lingering there in the darkness when I lay awake against the perils of sleep.

Derek.

Later – done with my ink for the day – I would retreat to the bowels of Dublin – to partake of the addiction that joins us. Drinking just to drink just to see people just to drown out the preceding day.

Pints become shorts, and shorts become pints. And when I closed my eyes…

Derek.

When asked – I tried to explain what was troubling me. I couldn’t translate it properly – my senses were dulled – they weren’t the type who would understand…

Derek.

A walk home in the spastic-spit-spat of Irish weather – the cold brings the blackout and there is a memory of a chipper, possibly – a taxi I argue with, and I’m stumbling along mutter-grumbling pausing to look around in the abrupt drunk fashion at imagined sounds and slights from the shadows.

I don’t remember the fence – but I think that’s where I cut my hand. I remember intent and shadows – the mumbling of one and ducking into of the other. The sort of legendary wandering feet a drunk gets – I made it here – there, I’m not sure how but I’m here anyway.

When reality finally nudged me with its elbow – the whooshing air of something large passing. I found myself standing at that wall – an old one Punt coin in my left hand, a lighter in my right. The action was repetitive – I would heat the coin – burn my fingers – swear then quickly scrap at the wall. The only sounds I was aware of were the rain, the coming train and my own voice repeating,

“Fuck you Derek – Fuck You Derek”.