Sunday, 10 March 2013

The Angels of Sandyway Beach: Part 3




Clive Otterman was not a shy man, nor a man who had been known to be the crazy one in a group. He was just a guy who, it could be said - had lived, and then one day when he was long dead someone would say, 'I wonders what ever happened to that Clive Letterman?' then the guy who asked the question would sip his drink and forget why he asked.

Now to be forgotten ain't a bad thing, it ain't a bad thing at all, but each of us would like to think that maybe just once in a while someone would have a thought about you and perhaps smile or even shed a tear that you were long gone.


There was a box under Clive Otterman's bed where he kept his quiet desperation. It wasn't something that he took out in public to be stared and pointed and poked at, nope, Clive's desperation was kept well buried and he found that bringing it out in the middle of the night was the best solution.


Each of us lives a kind of desperate life, unless you're real stupid and you don't question a single thing (there are folks who say that not questioning is the happiest way to live, but I would have to question that - yeh, that was me being ironic). What I'm trying to say about Clive was that he could get a little addicted to feeling desperate and when he wasn't feeling desperate, he would start to worry about not having something to worry him - wow, when you start down the irony path, it gets hard to put the brakes on.


Desperation fuelled him, he needed to worry to work, or move, or do things which meant that when he was happy, he was the laziest sonofabitch that ever sat on his bee-hind.


I guess what I 'm really trying to tell you, is that Clive was born with his collar turned up, his head down and was just spending time waiting on his death without hurting anyone else or himself. You'd think that life would say that was a reason to leave the poor sucker alone and let him get on with it - but you'd be wrong. Life had put a tick next to his name the way the Revenue people do and that could only mean one thing - trouble.


The night that Clive and Tommy came together in the universe, I guess the planets were in some sort of weird alignment but come together they did.  Clive had been down on the beach filling his lungs with good sea air before he planned to go too bed when he heard a gunshot and a man shouting 'We'll I'll be...' in a manner that suggested that the man’s nose was bleeding.


Clive ran to the little boat house on the beach expecting to find a dead lover and someone with a revolver standing over the body. Instead he found Tommy who had just shot the tip of his nose off with his careless use of a firearm.


"We'll I'll be, if tat ain't the weirdest ting...,"  Tommy was talking through his bleeding nose and it made him sound comical.

"I was so sure there weren't anymore bullets in the ting..."
"Seems you were wrong," said Clive forgetting about his quiet desperation for a few minutes.
"Do you see the end of my nose anywhere?" Tommy asked.
"Well there's a question I didn't think I was gonna be asked when I got out ma bed this morning," said Clive who looked down and found the end of Tommy's nose.
"Is this it?" Said Clive proudly holding the nose tip aloft.
"Dat's an olive, I tink," Said Tommy who wasn't about to have an olive stitched on to the end of his nose.
"Then I guess you blew the end of your nose to the four corners of this room."
"Are you saying ma nose has vaporized?" Asked Tommy.
"I guess I am, by the way my name is Clive, Clive Otterman and you are?"
"In a lot of pain," said Tommy in a sort of smarty pants way.
"I'm going to take you to the hos-pee-tal right now and then we are going to become good friends, I can feel it," Said Clive in a genuine way.
"You would do dat for me, take me to the hop-i-tal?" Said Tommy with tears in his eyes. 

And so that was the night that Clive and Tommy became the best of buds, although it wasn't going to be an easy friendship nor a particularly uneventful one but then Angels and their friendships never are.



bobby stevenson 2013


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