Monday, 4 June 2012

Three Steps to Heaven

Now there are Three Steps to Heaven
Just listen and you will plainly see
And as life travels on
And things do go wrong
Just follow steps one, two and three

Step One - you find a girl to love.

   The drunk poured himself tequila from a nearly empty bottle left over from Christmas. I bobbed around a bit, hopefully.
    “Go on.” I thought at his mind. “Ask me anything; anything at all.”
   “I wish I hadn’t lost touch with you Sharon,” he whined; his shaking hand clasping a battered snapshot. Gulp. Glug. Glug. Shudder. He emptied the wine(whine!) glass. “I thought we really had something going there at Uni…”
   Ping! A message alert from his PC. He clicked into Facebook. After a moment he started scrabbling in a drawer to find a battered and over-large old mobile phone. It felt like ages while he searched for a Nokia charger and plugged it in. ‘Ages’ is relative in this case – a half hour or so was nothing compared with the decades I’ve been stuck in this blessed bottle, but now I had hope and so the minutes dragged like decades till the green light came on and he tabbed through to the contacts menu.
   I love the Internet and all the modern conveniences. We’re an adaptive type, my folk. I have a kinsman who resides in a decanter in the poshest part of Surrey who calls himself Gordon because - well - because he’s a dry English Djinn. We don’t do multiculturalism. If you live in a country you ought to adapt to its ways. It’s only fair to the locals. But the Surrey people are either so comfortably well off and secure (or so squiffy all the time) that there isn't much to wish for.
   Anyway, that was Wish Number One.

Step Two - she falls in love with you.
   He hurried around the flat; choosing and discarding clothes for his hot date. Next came the shower and the preening and the deodorizing. Then on went the digital watch. Those things are so much more portable than those pre-Columbian South American stone calendars. Not more accurate, mind you; just more portable. Start checking out special offers in bottled water and canned food well before the 2013 January sales all I’m saying. Next he did the wallet check and a last brush-through of his hair and as he pocketed his new Blackberry he took another good long tug at the Tequila for Dutch courage. “I hope she’s there and doesn’t hate me,” he thought.
  That was Wish Number Two.
   He rushed out as soon as the taxi texted him to say it had arrived and I turned and floated and sank a bit in the bottle.
   They call it a ‘worm’ in tequila bottles though it is in fact a larval moth. In most cases, that is. I look close enough to the real thing and it was only by chance that that damned  priest grabbed for the nearest sealable container in his hour of need - and he only managed to reach that just in time. Five minutes later and his brain embolism would have saved my bacon and I’d probably still be swanning around Latin America, living high on the Gadarene hog and leading US Special Forces a merry chase hunting for chupacabras instead of letting them harass perfectly charming but highly illegal, highly alien tourists on safari down in Guatemala. Instead here I am: incarcerated way south of a cork that’s getting steadily further away from my earthly body.
   In my case, ‘worm’ is a pretty close translation if you want to look us up in, for example, Isiah and the Gospel according to Mark. Muslims don’t drink alcohol and they use a word from their own folklore for us. Curiously, worms don’t appear in the Book of Revelations at all where the word used is ‘dragon,’ though it’s pretty much the same thing. Revelations is quite accurate once you discard all that namby-pamby bowdlerization that pretends it’s all about strife within the First Century Church in Asia Minor and so on. You’re going to need rather more than a few cases of Perrier and some catering packs of Fray Bentos for that little party, let me tell you. 

Step Three - you kiss and hold her tightly.

  Oh, bless! Their first date in six years and they’re already on his sofa and at it like rabbits. Oh, and how about a nightcap? Guess what they’re sharing the dregs of before nighty-night?
   And that’s Wish Number Three.
   The British don’t do multiculturalism much themselves, thank the Lord. My Lord, that is: not yours. Most Brits only know a few words and phrases of Spanish: Ole. Vino. Oy, Manuel! That’s just about your lot. And a good thing too for my sake because otherwise Romeo here might have read the warning that Padre Garcia’s capture spell transformed the label into: especially the bit about (approximately) Terms and Conditions Apply. Especially the bit about three strikes and he's out. His loss. And yours, eventually.
   Lover Boy has a good body; what with five-a-side football on Sunday mornings and a couple of trips to the gym before work every week. Oh, I noticed the first signs of lung cancer but it’ll be years before it causes me any trouble and I can always relocate before it grows inconvenient.
  Oh, and here’s one last one for you; Hasta la vista, baby.
  He has good strong hands from all that weight training, and while Sharon’s sleeping I think I’ll guide them into the kitchen and find out what he keeps in his cutlery drawer.

Yeah! That sure seems like heaven to me.

In the UK, Eddie Cochrane’s music can be bought here, here and here, and you can meet those charming tourists here, here and here..

No comments: