Blink, blink. HOSPITAL. SILENCE.Ten days old, carried in the front door in hismother’s arms, first thing he heard wasBobby Dazzler on Channel 7:Hello, hello hello all you lucky people and hereally was lucky because it didn’t mean a thingto him then..
. A year or two to settle in andget acquainted with the set-up; like every otherwell-equipped smoothly-run household, his includedone economy-size Mum, one Anthony Squires-Coolstream-Summerweight Dad, along with two other kidsstraight off the Junior Department rack. When Mom won theLuck’s-A-Fortch Tricky-Tune Quiz she took him shoppingin the good-as-new station-wagon (£ 495 dep. at Reno’s).Beep, beep. WALK. DON’T WALK. TURNLEFT.
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NO PARKING. WAIT HERE. NOSMOKING. KEEP CLEAR/OUT/OFF GRASS.
NOBREATHING EXCEPT BY ORDER. BEWARE OFTHIS. WATCH OUT FOR THAT. My God (beep)the congestion here just gets (beep)worse every day, now what the (beep beep) doesthat idiot think he’s doing (beep beep and BEEP).
However, what he enjoyed most of all was when theywent to the late show at the local drive-in, on a clear nightand he could see (beyond the fifty-foot screen wheregiant faces forever snarled screamed or makeincomprehensible and monstrous love) a pureunadulterated fringe of sky, littered with stars no-one had got around to fixing up yet: he’d watch themcircling about in luminous groups like kids at the circuswho never go quite close enough to the elephant to get kicked.Anyway, pretty soon he was old enough to berealistic like every other godlessmoney-hungry back-stabbing miserableso-and-so, and then it was goodbye stars and the softcry in the corner when no-one was looking becauseI’m telling you straight, Jim, it’s Number One every timefor this chicken, hit wherever you see a head andkick whoever’s down, well thanks for a lovelyevening Clare, it’s good to get away from it allonce in a while, I mean it’s a real battle all the wayand a man can’t help but feel a little soiled, himself,at times, you know what I mean? Now take it easyon those curves, Alice, for God’s sake,I’ve had enough for one night, with that Clare Jessup,hey, ease up, will you, watch it — Probity ; Sons, Morticians,did a really first-class job on his face(everyone was very pleased) even adding ahealthy tan he’d never had, living, gave him back for keepsthe old automatic smile with nothing behind it,winding the whole show up with anice ride out to the underground metropolispermanent residentials, no parking tickets, no taximetersticking, no Bobby Dazzlers here, no down payments,nobody grieving over halitosisflat feet shrinking gums falling hair.Six feet down nobody interested.Blink, blink. CEMETERY.