by J. Bell

The clouds are flowing all around catching the red of our sleeping sun. It’s summer and the air carries a gentle warm freshness, birds littering it with shrieking sounds. I’m sat up here on Castle Hill, just chilling out doing nothing special. My hair is cropped and my smock dress is short and red, my boots the exact same shade.

Out of the long shadows comes a Lurcher, all gangly and sooty. I let a smile ripple my features and then the Lurcher leaps across me and slobbers his tough tongue across my soft cheek. With a cocked smile I look across the hill and see a silhouette skulking towards me. You and the Lurcher are like twins, only different species and therefore mothers. Your legs are long and exaggerated by those skinny jeans you always wear. Strands of unbrushed hair fluff-up the top of your silhouette. You leap across me and slobber your soft tongue over my other cheek.

“Did you enjoy your day?” I love the way your French tongue wraps the words up.

“Very much so,” I say as you get yourself sitting comfortably beside me, leaning back on your elbows and looking out at the turquoise sky and black land below us. I stare at you for a moment. You French gypsy. Je t’aime.

“And you?” I ask back.

“Me? I had a good day also. It went a little fast, you know?” You look towards me to check to see if I know. I do.

“Time is the enemy,” I say.

“Ah non. I don’t think so. Time does not exist. So it cannot be an enemy. My enemies are those who say to me that I must do things with my time. That I should have some purpose. But I am just an animal like my Lurcher here. We like to eat and we like to sleep and we like good company. Sometimes we like to fuck things, even inanimate objects. There is nothing else we need. There is no purpose. Time does not exist.” I lean across to give you a lazy kiss. We kiss for some time and then you sit up and prise your tin of stuff from a back pocket. You open it up and take out the backy and a rizla. I like to watch you roll up. Your hands move with grace and agility as you go through all the motions.

I lean back and think about you and your enemies and the way you choose to live your life. It’s like there is no future. Everyday is new and different. It doesn’t matter if there’s no work some days. We’ll just chill out together and taste the breeze, eat what we can and enjoy the sensation of sleeping with the sun on our shoulders, wrapped up together.

The way you talk about your enemies makes it seem like they don’t exist. But they are everywhere. They hate you. They hate you because you dare to take each day as it comes, because you accept that you don’t have a purpose. They hate you because you are happy this way.

“In the Japanese language there is no future tense,” I say.

“Why should there be?” You reply.

I shrug and pick at the grass.

“It is an interesting fact,” you say with a nod. “Language is a funny thing. But despite this, in Japan they mostly live in their futures, like they do here and in France and everywhere else.”

“Maybe they didn’t used to.”

“Ah yes. You might be right there,” you say with a soft smile before licking the rolled spliff and closing it up. “We shall smoke this and then maybe go back to the camp to dance some Tango, bonne idée, oui?”


You hand me the spliff and I put it between my lips while you find a light. The first stars are coming out. Your lighter sparks orange over our skin and it feels like we are in an old al fresco restaurant for a moment, just us, relaxing Argentinean music and a single candle splashing orange on our skin.

J. Bell lives in the countryside writing novels, short stories and comics.

  1. #1 by mariann on September 12, 2011 - 10:03 am

    I love this. Few words, yet depths of philosophy, which has given me food for thought. Thank you.

  2. #2 by Jennifer K. Oliver on September 13, 2011 - 2:27 pm

    Beautiful and wistful. I love the language and atmosphere of this piece—they go together so well. Nice idea with living in the moment, too. I think that’s something everyone can relate to at one time or another.

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