Richard Pierce

Life

Day 157

Very very late for me today, and I’m missing Bake Off: The Professionals to write this. Another revelation from my rock ‘n’ roll life for you.

This morning I had to get a load of work done before setting off to work elsewhere for once. By the time I got home, I’d set a new record for steps in one day – 20.5k equal to over 8 miles walked; good effort. And now I’ve just finished the actions I carried home from today. That’s all. The rest is self-censoring.

Yesterday, I saw just about all the Radio Stradbroke team at the event they’d done all the hard work for in the Community Centre in Stradbroke. I just turned up, said a few ill-chosen words into a mike, picked up the last possessions a friend of mine had let me store in his garage since we moved (two sets of golf clubs) and came home. I have to say it was wonderful to see them all, and I did cry many a tear, because I do miss them, although the visit did confirm even more to me that we made the right decision to move out of the village. However much older we become, it’s still important to grow, and to follow the call to move on when it does come. And it came, and we did. I can never thank Stradbroke enough for what it did for us when the children were young, but that’s another chapter closed, as far as location goes anyway. And I got to meet B, one of our most avid listeners, and my personal Jiminy Cricket as I have taken to calling her, because she messages me during shows and never fails to keep me grounded with her lived experience and unquenchable thirst for life.

It’s like autumn today, even more so than yesterday. There’s a (no)confidence in Boris Johnson going on right now (well, it ended at 20:00), which, actually, the Tories as a party can only lose. If Johnson wins the vote, his entire party will have shown itself to be as morally and practically corrupt as he is; if Johnson doesn’t win the vote, the party, and government, will be paralysed for months to come. The real reflection of where we’re at will come with the by-elections on 23rd June, which I hope the Tories will lose. We will see, but I sense the Tories are a spent force – unless they decide not to have any more free elections in this country, something which definitely is NOT beyond the realms of possibility, unfortunately.

Be strong, be aware, keep agitating for freedom.

 

AGGIE’S ART OF HAPPINESS – CHAPTER 111

‘Who is she?’ Robert says. ‘I hadn’t expected a woman?’

‘Why not?’ Aggie says as breath floods back into her lungs. ‘You’re an old sexist.’

‘I apologise profusely,’ he says. ‘I just assumed it would be a man shooting.’

‘Obviously not,’ Anna says. ‘We can do anything better than men.’

‘It wasn’t really her doing it,’ Aggie says, and pulls the control device out of her pocket.

‘How?’ Anna says.

‘You are a dark horse,’ Robert says. ‘I knew it. Let me guess – an arm around the neck, and the other hand delving below her shirt.’ He laughs, a bitter dark laugh. ‘Sounds like a slightly suggestive playground game.’

‘I had to do it,’ Aggie says. ‘And look, here.’ She points at the wires trailing out of the box. ‘At least two more than Anna’s had. And it’s shny. Looks almost new.’

‘So it’s a recent implant,’ Zav says. ‘How did you know it wouldn’t explode?’

‘I took a chance. And, anyway, the other one didn’t explode. I think it just released an acid that destroyed that poor guy before from inside.’ Aggie is taken aback by the hand that pulls her almost off balance.

‘That poor guy?’ Marit scream at her. ‘That poor guy? What about poor Tom, my Tom, what about him? Is he just some nameless lump of flesh on his way to the mortuary with his head blown off? Doesn’t he matter to you? Shouldn’t he matter to you? You’re heartless, heartless, all of you, You’re cunts, the lot of you, playing destructive games.’

Aggie grabs her hands. ‘You broke our agreement,’ she says. ‘You assumed something no-one in a war should ever assume.’

‘It’s not my fucking war, though, is it? ‘ Marit spits. ‘It’s yours, and Dad’s, and Martin’s, and Valentine’s. Not mine. I shouldn’t have to suffer because of what you’re all doing.’

‘Because of what Valentine is doing,’ Robert says, gently. ‘And in war everyone suffers. I’m sorry. I’m really sorry.’ He takes Marit’s hands out of Aggie’s paws, kisses Marit’s hands, wraps his arms around her, hugs and rocks her. ‘I am sorry. Honestly, truly. But we can’t wind the time back.’

Marit pushes him away. ‘I hate you. I hate you. Why did I ever think you’d be able to help me?’ She sobs. ‘I had dreams before this. And now they’re gone. Done. Dead.’

‘It’s your mother’s fight, too,’ Aggie says. ‘You can’t just blame your father.’ She pauses. ‘And you can’t absolve yourself entirely either. And for saying that I am truly sorry, but you can’t avoid that responsibility. It’s all part of being a grown-up.’

‘What the fuck would you know about being grown-up?’ Marit says. ‘You’re just some lost girl pretending to be better than the maid you were born to be.’

Aggie shrugs. ‘I can’t stop you from thinking that, and I’m not even going to try. We all have lessons to learn every day of our lives.’

Marit looks like she’s going to say something when the blonde woman on the table moans, turns over onto her side and vomits onto the floor.

‘Where?’ Her eyes are open now, and afraid. ‘Who?’ She tries to sit up, the bile running down her chin, but fails.

‘It’s ok,’ Aggie says in a soothing a tone as she can muster. ‘You’re safe now.’

‘What is this place?’ There’s a light Scottish edge to the woman’s words.

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