The Burning Bush 2, issue six, February 2014
James O’Sullivan Profiles Robbie washed the filth from his lips. His hands ran over his face, letting the steam take the place of that odour – fair before but always foul after – deep within his nostrils. It was warm. It was cleansing. He almost felt clean. - You should change your picture back. That’ll do. - What picture? - Your profile picture; you’re hotter in the old one. Three fucking years later. But ya, change it. - Controversial. If I change it back it may imply that I value your opinion. - I am an expert on such things. - Well the fact that you appreciate my hotness in the first place proves your expertise in the area, I suppose. Dogs love their bellies rubbed. - Of course – I am a connoisseur. - So it’s decided, I’ll go back to the old photo, just for you. Four o’clock. Sorted. - Just for me. That’s not how it started for Robbie and Val, that’s how it continued. It started like it always starts, in a grubby two-and-a-half bedroomed semi-detached, with a cup of tea, crisp sandwich and the lingering taste of tobacco. - Just looking at your pic. I’d totally tap that. Savour the best bit. - Only ten? You just spending your days looking at photos of me? Can’t imagine how you get any work done. - I don’t. - I am very distracting I suppose. - I’d go to town on ya. - There’s a fine line between complimentary and sleazy! - Ye gals and ye’re lines. - What’s that supposed to mean? - Ye think everything sits on a fine line. The world would be a better place if people ignored fine lines and said what they were thinking. - Well there’s clearly no fear of you keeping your thoughts to yourself. - Nope. If I did, they’d die with me. Fuckin Spinoza here like. A stupid fuckin thing to say, but any chance for the one-liner. The one-liner. The coveted instrument of the unoccupied. The full words made up for it. We’re intelligent and sophisticated – full words intelligent and sophisticated. Fuck, we use whole fucking sentences most of the time! I didn’t even like her, but there was that draw, ya know? That fucking draw. Christ it makes me sick – before, during and after. You’ve an itch that you need to scratch, but you don’t like touchin skin and when ya do your stomach is fucked afterwards until you take a shower and be on your own for a bit. Your fucking fingers make ya gag. But when you’ve that itch, Christ it’s all ya have. Your bones itch, and that fucking screen is married ta ya.
Published on Feb 8, 2014
Issue #6 of the Burning Bush 2 - an online journal of poetry, fiction, interviews & reviews. Edited from Dublin & Chicago.