Since Zofia had asked Steve to go shopping for some breakfast food, bread, brioche etcetera, Steve walks off down the hill into town. He goes out in dark blue designer label jeans, an M&S roll neck tee shirt that constantly reminds him of his early post-pubescent years back in the early sixties (at least he hopes it was post-pubescent) and pre-tooth brushing and shaving he leaves. It's the dog days in the city and the country so he doesn't feel to bad about this. At the bottom of the hill he wanders into slim Marios cafe and begins reading the bookstall novel he'd taken with him, he's halfway through his cappucino and orange juice when his friend andy comes in. When he sees him he says that his girl friend Geet has acute otitus and the chemist won't sell him any drugs since the stuff required needs some doctors prescription and since Geet's an illegal he can't go to the doctor to get a prescription and besides the drugs also slightly hallucegenic and its already zapped six kids in the neighbourhood. He knows you and he will sell them to you, come on, she's in pain.
Steve gets up and forgets his shopping list and follows andy to the chemists. Where the chemist says no way. Then the chemists wife comes out from the back of the shop, who is a friend of Janets who is a friend of Zofie and knows you because you fixed her kid brothers computer for him and she is carrying a portable computer, she says hello mr Steve can you load this software on the pc. It's our small daughters birthday and we can't get it to work can you load it ? Steve says of course `but i've got to go to get the' . Andy treads on his foot and Steve offers to load the software. Andy falls apart with joy and runs off bearing the drugs. Steve gets dragged into the back room and is given birthday cake and wine wine whilst he boots the pc and begins to configure it. Its a horrible mess and he has to spend half an hour clearing out all the sales gimmicks before he can load the games software. Many happy returns Steve says to the little girl who answers with a `thanouk' through a third mouthful of coke and cake. They all sing happy birthday and another toast with orangeade this time. And as he starts up doom or monkey house the chemists wife gives him a glass of warm beer and will he show the little girl how to use the computer as they aren't very good with technology, and Steve watches the little girl play with mouse and joystick spraying the screen with coke as laughs with glee.
"well i'll have to be going because zofia wants some ...."
A phrase left unfinished forever because at that moment there is a commotion in the shop and all sorts of shouting, ordering and counter-ordering. Steve goes out to see what's going on and as he heads for the exit and freedom when he runs into the male members of the Mcree family and in the middle of the familial huddle old man Mcree, who has fallen off the waiting chair and whom they've brought here because they live upstairs and there's no need to bother the doctor if he hasn't got a fracture of the coccyx or something worse. Sam Mcree who works at the same company as Steve and imagines as a result that he's a friend , grabs him by his jacket and shouts (he thinks Steve is a bit deaf because Steve ignores him most of the time) `you know the old man is tough but the pavement is tougher, that's why you can't ignore the possibility of a fatal fall, since he turned puce and isn't even rubbing his crutch as he usually does...' This hasn't escaped the chemists notice who has phoned for an ambulance and two attendents. Steve helps them load the old man into the ambulance because the old man has wrapped his arms around his neck and then because the old man won't let go has to climb into the back of the ambulance. The doors shut behind him and he is being driven down the street too the hospital. The Old man lets go of his neck and crumples into a smaller emptier monkey like frame.
"Hey let me out I need....."
The ambulance man looks annoyed at him. "We can't stop here its the motorway and anyway what are you doing still in here." Then siren still blaring they arrive at the hospital. They drag the old man out and amidst screams and yells like some scence from a tv show. Steve wonders if they watch too much tv and as they pass through the emergency casualty entrance he reckons that they obviously do as he sees some Australian soap on tv and some doctor shouts "clear" and the patients body bounces around. They then pummel the chest a few times "clear" this happens two or three times then ther doctor says "no" and they pack up as the adverts appear on screen. It's they always die Murdoch tv - Steve thinks. The Old man meanwhile has been massaged by a young nurse (male) and electroshocked back into life. He's moaning "aaaaaaarrrrrrgggghhhhhhh". There is a huge crash outside and Mcree charges through the door, followed by other equally vile and horrible relatives. "He's alive" they all bellow in unison and shove a bottle of beer in Steve's hand. "Thanks Steve" They shout and ignoring the Old man whose still moaning on the table but is now being ignored by the medicals and also by his family and friends as they begin to party in the waiting room and generally upset those ill people who are sitting waiting and feeling sorry for themselves. Eventually somebody shouts "hell we've run out of beer" and they charge out, dragging Steve and leaving the Old man in the dubious care of the NHS. They drop Steve off at home and he's about to open the front door when he remembers that he doesn't have the breakfast food, bread, brioche etcetera that Zofie sent him out for.
Steve: the uncertainties of music
Steve, nature (1)
Back to Outwork 1
Introduction to the Hypertext Novel
Steve de Vos - London July 1996