Thursday, July 22, 2010

Five women: #5. Gemma (Hounslow)

Short, slim, pale, blonde, lives in Hounslow, not my type, parents from Cornwall, maybe working class or lower-middle, a bit of intelligence and culture (she’s just read The God of Small Things), a piercing through her tongue (I see her playing with it and it makes me queasy), feisty, bored, finished university recently (pharmaceutical chemistry), wants to be a forensic scientist (I do too!), may do her Masters next year, quiet, cheeky; me and her, apart from Michael (who doesn’t count; he may as well be), Eng (Malaysian – though to everyone else he says Singapore, twenty-three, can’t understand a word of his English and I practice my kick boxing and smattering of Indonesian on him) and Sarah (blonde, early thirties, a bimbo but not a pretty one but certainly one of the most stupid, empty ones I’ve met, just past her prime, doesn’t know what to say; Hugo and I were discussing theatre – Shakespeare to Orton via Wilde – we attempt to bring Sarah into the conversation, she says Starlight Express and we ignore her) are the only two under the age of fifty-five, and that’s our only bond (along with hating our jobs), and it’s enough (to form a relationship of some kind, even if it just involves piss-taking, joking, drawing pictures on the ‘dead filing’ folders – gravestones, knives, a dead mouse, a gun, plays on words – loving the smell of the black permanent marker, and the screeching sound of it, and surly, sexy looks I’m not quite sure what the meaning of is). I don’t know, I’m starting to like her.

(2000, London)

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