Arts + Music » Arts + Culture

Half-heard, Chapter 31

A weekly serial novel



At his house, he sat in his room and wondered: What else is there to know about the roommates? He'd been listening in on them for months by this point. Wouldn't learning more about them just make them less reducible to media-constructed paradigms of twentysomething-ites? Wouldn't all the incongruities, fluff and trivialities that fill in the 24-hour-a-day, continuously broadcasting person of substance make said person all the more difficult to get a handle on? Myles wondered if he paradoxically would just wind up learning more about himself in further investigating the interpersonal happenings of the neighbours. 

Why would he want that? What was there to know? Part of him didn't want to go to that night, because maybe their ensemble dynamism would slip in his estimation and he'd return with less wonder than he came with. 

He wanted Alex to remain the Deadpan Snarker. He wished those photos of him never happened. He wished he couldn't see his eyes in the photo. He didn't want to look into the unwitting, empty and elsewhere sunnyside eyeballs whose life was lost in libidinous oblivion.

He wanted Trevor to live on as the butt of every pithy witticism spoken. The lovable oaf on the perpetual, arduous quest for attention—negative or positive—who reveled in the disapproval and dismay his roommates launched his way.  

He wanted Welnot to remain uptight. The humorously unhumorous character who existed as the critical counterweight for the rest of them. The central figure, the lightning rod that is reluctantly burdened with the wealth of absurdity. But he didn't wish for him to fall apart and become some split-screw psychosomatic-level neurotic. 

He wanted Sarah to remain an Aesop, with her calming morally correct behaviour and discerning, watchful eye parsing the batshit household happenings. Not some regular party-pig lost in the plot with 500ml beer cans taped to her mitts and a bellybutton ring getting torn out by the frays of her sweater. He wanted to keep control over what he knew. 

The evening of the party, Welnot passed through the miasma of foul-smelling fog-machine solution and approached Alex in the hallway. Alex was drinking from a massive fake pineapple, barely able to make his way through the spectral corridor fog. 

"Hey, Alex?" "Welnot? Is that you?" he asked, rubbing his eyes. 

"OK, just tell me. It's over now," waving his hand between their chests breezily. "It doesn't matter, no one cares." He looked at the floor awkwardly shrugging and chuckling with B-movie level believability. "Was it you that decimated the downstairs bathroom?"

"Could I invoke 'Who smelt it dealt it'?" he asked, with his forearm over his eyes.

"That would imply you have something to hide." 

"Look, Welnot, guy, I didn't leave a turd in the bathroom. It was Trevor, you know he—"

"Don't you fucking try and pin this one on him too you urban haute bougie piece of—"

"'Haute?' Listen, Columbo, I was going to say Trevor always used to leave one in the toilet, remember? He'd drop one while the shower was getting hot, and then didn't want to flush and didn't want any temperature loss so he'd let it sit and unfailingly forget about the thing, and the smell would carry in the steam and stick to the walls."

"He who tells of it smells of it!" Welnot rejoined, the noxious smoke making him wheeze.

"Well, smart guy, Who denied it must be hiding it." 

"Who smelled it expelled it."

"Who noticed it floated it."

"Who reported it exported it."

"Who stated it created it."

"Who emitted it committed it."

"Who introduced it, produced it."

"Who knew it blew it."

"Who sniffed it biffed it."

"Who stated it created it."

"Who said it bled it."

"Who named it stained it."

"Who conceived it relieved it."

"Who released it secreted it."

"Who detected it ejected it."

"Who deflected it ejected it."

"Who confided it provided it."

"Who cited it... ignite-ed it?"

"Who rebut it cut it."

"Who blew the whistle dropped the missile."

"Ye who writ it, shit it."

"Who spotted it plotted it."

"Who rhymed it—" 

"No. Whoever it was that... made up the rhyme...they...committed the crime."

"If you are the next one who speaks of it, you most obviously reek of it."

Just then Trevor wheeled in the upstairs fog machine.

Add a comment

Remember, it's entirely possible to disagree without spiralling into a thread of negativity and personal attacks. We have the right to remove (and you have the right to report) any comments that go against our policy.

xxx - Deprecated in favor of GTM, above.