Blacklist Volume IV

Page 43

Sweet Emma Cheung Theo emptied his stomach onto the pavement after a tube journey that was a few minutes too unpleasant. He wiped the residue off his chin but then wasn’t sure what to do with it now that it was on his fingers. Wipe it on the jacket. He stood bent looking at the pavement and nothing else, arm stretched out to lean on the wall of the station. The pavement looks quite clean at this time of night. Could lie down and have a nap on the ground. Kip on the clean ground. Clean apart from the fresh vomit. Perhaps move away from the entrance of Warren Street and more towards the 88 bus stop. Newsagent by there where you once bought salt and vinegar crisps. Vinegar stench behind the eyes. He moved away from the fluorescent lights and passers-by then spat on the clean pavement to purge the staleness from his tongue. Perhaps shouldn’t have drank that much at the corporate party. Don’t usually drink that much but it was all free. How much did Theo drink? 1xProsecco 1xGinLemonade 1xPinaColada 2xGinnTonic 4xPeroni 1xGinnTonic 1xPeroni Yes, perhaps he shouldn’t have drank that much. A small boy like him. Nothing plump about him. One of those silhouettes made out of negative space. Fingers shaped like bamboo. He spits again to rid the stale acid from his tongue but it does not go away. The pavement looks very clean in the light of this lamppost. Cross the road maybe. Home is across the road. He swills the puddle of bile from the back of his mouth: hint of carrot and coriander soup. Fragrance of ferment and beneath all of that a slight sweetness. Sweetness weaves through the filth, a single thread of delicious pink among browndirt cowboy. Sweet like pure. Sweet like her.

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