pat & morris 

chapter 1


Morris was assured that if Pat sat next to him and he could slacken his throat enough to squeak out a word or two, the night could end prosperous. Pat stood for a moment scouring the remaining unoccupied seats at the children's party. She knew that the seat next to Morris came without baggage and was the best option, she hadn't slept with him. So she wobbled over on two blisters and a corn plaster. As she sat, Morris' large adams apple audibly began bobbing up and down, fighting to lubricate that dry, rarely exercised and all too often tedious vocal box. They sat in silence, but for the bobbing apple, watching the four year olds squabbling over balloons and eating plasticine. 

Pat was tired of sitting in this bloody nursery, she felt like all her time recently had been imprisoned by the wood chip walls that lay behind the countless potato prints. She looked at Morris, he nervously swallowed, still struggling with his dry throat. He was a strange looking man, perhaps even attractive if you could get the right light on him. But, disappointingly he seemed only able to cast a dull light upon himself and Pat was not interested in giving him any direction. She turned from Morris, her eyes probing the room. Morris was relieved, he didn't really like been looked at and as he barely looked at himself, was always worried what people might see. He was sure she would have seen the nervous globules of water forming on his brow and again swallowed hard trying to muster some moisture to quench his throat. Why did his body distribute its water so badly? His throat was unbearably dry yet his forehead even under the slightest of duress willingly leaked. Morris clenched his hands, finding that they were also beading with sweat, and despairingly searched the room for any form of distraction.

Similarly to Pat and Morris, set apart from the nucleus, the room was littered with other losers clung to the outer edges. They all bore the same scars and had single parent stapled to their foreheads. Pat, Morris and the losers, united by misfortune, sat obediently and observed the successful parents, the parents still in union. These creatures that stretched out with their children in the centre of the room, had a sense of belonging and appeared to know what they were doing. As they spoke and interacted with the kids they appeared to deliver each syllable, each gesture, with an exacting resonance that served as an example of good parenting. The losers took note, but doubted their ability to ever achieve such a utopia.

"Getting late," Morris' hunk of an Adams apple finally spoke. 

"What!?" Pat returned without breaking her gaze from a sickly loving couple, arms stretched out, playing
 'I love you this much!' with their already overweight, slightly skew-eyed daughter. 

"I said its getting late!" Morris tried to put some urgency into his voice, but just ended up barking, his vocal eruption making a boy jump, pop his balloon and break out into a hellish wail. 

Pat took off her shoe and realigned her corn plaster. She acknowledged Morris with a nod, then inhaling she eyed the bawling boy. If she fucked Morris tonight that would be the last safe seat in this nursery gone. The boy sniffled as an awkwardly angled man attempted to console him. Pete, this angled nub of flesh, was comforting the boy with all the tenderness one would show a contagious dog. He stood high above the child gingerly patting its head as a foil to his true motivation. His true motivation was to gain a good vantage to eye ball Pat's large chest and make himself available. Pat was onto Pete and teasingly breathed in lifting her breasts to their fullest. She then deflated her bosom and smiled chillingly, willing him back to the far seat he had ungainly stepped across from. Pete chose to ignore her displeasure and cracked an eager smile, but his gaze was broken as one of the perfect people with a little too much urgency pulled the boy away. Pete, baffled, tracked the child then realising it wasn't actually his son, recoiled to the far corner. On route he cast a final hopeful glance in the direction of Pat. Pat ignored him, he got some last week and hadn't impressed, she pulled back on her shoe and got to her feet.

"It is late, you get yours and I'll…" Pat didn't need to finish her sentence, the whole nursery knew what was about to unfold. A gasp of disappointment broke from the back wall that Pete now occupied along with four other stray single men. 

"I could get a film?" Morris muttered, applying a touch of innocence to what might ensue.

"If it pleases you." Pat's back grunted, she never saw the need for charades and wasn't concerned with others opinions of her. She was sick of this building and happy to sully the last remaining seat and never return. 

"Janice! And you Paul." Pat waved the two kids out from the party and brushed Janice down as though she had been playing in dirt. Paul faltered looking for his dad. Morris, who had sheepishly manoeuvred towards the door in an effort to escape the eyes of Pete and the other starved men, beckoned his son out.