Wednesday, 22 February 2012

The Ballad Of Kikuyo Shiraishi

"Thank you for coming over, Mrs. Shiraishi. I realise this must have all come as a bit of a shock to you when we spoke on the phone. A good kind of shock though, I hope!"

"I'm still confused. I don't understand how any of this is even possible?"

"Please, if you'd like to take a seat. I’ll explain everything to you."

"Okay?" she says, taking a seat.

"First, let me just start by saying that thirty-six is no age to be widowed. No age at all. And nor is it any age for a man to leave this earth. Which is why your husband hasn't left this earth, Mrs. Shiraishi."


"Please. Allow me to continue. I have a gift, Kikuyo. May I call you Kikuyo? Such a lovely name."

She nods.

"Well Kikuyo, that gift is that when I look at a person, I don't just see their face and body, I also see their soul. And in that soul, I see all the faces and bodies of everyone they've ever been since the beginning of time. So when this stray cat..."

She turns her head to look at said stray cat. "When this stray cat turned up on my doorstep, I immediately recognized it as the husband of the beautiful woman who lived across the road from me."

And just like that, Kikuyo Shiraishi throws herself off her chair and at the cat. "Oh my darling! How I've missed you!" she sobs into the comforting abyss of black fur.

After a few minutes, she composes herself and asks, "What now?"

"Well I have another gift, Kikuyo. Handily, I understand the language of cats."

"You do? Oh what is my husband saying to me? Please tell me!"

"He’s saying he's thirsty."


"Yes, and he'd like you to feed him."

I gesture towards her breasts. She looks down at them, then back up at me and then the cat as her hands hover in front of her blouse.

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Water Crawling Out Of Me

I have this boat. No one knows I have this boat. Not even my wife or the vicar. Each morning, come rain or shine, I wake at 5 and sneak out of the house. Barefooted I pad down to the harbour, pebbles and dirt nestling against my feet, to steal a few precious moments alone with Her before the village starts to stir and I have to trudge back to the house to get ready for work.

"Think of me when you're next inside of her!" she used to shout as I reluctantly turned my back on Her to make the short but painful journey back. "Think how you could be inside of me instead. The Isle of Wight, France, Guernsey. Wherever you want to go, name it, I can take you there."

These days her offers are made in barely audible whispers above the sound of water crawling out of me.