VISIONS: Excerpt from ‘Pesquero’ by Jinnwoo

VISIONS: Excerpt from ‘Pesquero’ by Jinnwoo

 

Excerpt from working copy of ‘Pesquero’. Unpublished.  

 

 

I thought about Jack.

The time I made him wait so long that he missed the last bus.

He had to sleep in my single bed.

Compressed between me and the radiator of my teenage bedroom.

Burning his back all night. 

 

I thought about listening to morning radio in Jack’s bed.

Hearing the original ‘Love Story’ by Taylor Swift 

for the first time on the Terry Wogan show.

Then buying ‘Love Story’ by Taylor Swift on CD single.

For Jack, as a gift.

Because it became a thing. 

 

I thought about Jack proposing to me in his house share.

Wearing just pants and socks. 

One knee, by the bed. 

Then a breakfast of baked beans on toast, 

all supermarket brand. 

Bean juice on his chin.

 

 

I thought about sitting on a train with Jack.

A weekend break that he had paid for.

Picking all the skin off my knuckles. 

Because I was having an attention seeking panic attack.

But Jack held my bleeding hand anyway.

Cat Power on my iPod because I wanted to be sad.

 

Jack cutting a Mars Bar into pieces so we could pretend it was ‘Fancy chocolate’.

Jack doing wide-eyed impressions of Shirley Bassey and getting the words wrong. 

“Hey, Big Finger”.

Jack drunk ordering burgers, 

and then being sick in the bag of burgers 

before we could eat them.

And me being a little bitch about it. 

 

 

February 2021

 

Dianne was a retired Mermaid Model. 

 

The vacant room was in the basement.

Small but fine.

Full of boxes marked ‘books’, ‘clothes’, ‘bathroom creams’ 

that belonged to the student moving out.

Dianne said to pretend the boxes weren’t there.

That the carpet underneath was brand new.

I could see that it wasn’t a new carpet from the parts still visible.

Made a mental note not to trust mermaids.

 

She pointed to the 2 closed sets of curtains in the room, 

and explained that there were no windows behind them.

That they were hung to create a sense of being ‘Above ground’.

She’d learnt the tip from a friend who also had no windows.

Another member of the windowless community I was being invited to join.

The underground people.

I pulled back the fabric to confirm.

Just bricks.

 

Dianne gave me her number and told me to call if I wanted the room.

She’d hold it until the end of the week.

I imagined calling her. 

The phone ringing, and her answering a shell.     

 

I called my friend Hannah on the way home and told her about the room.

Hannah felt like it would be better for me to be somewhere with windows.

I told her “We’re not all kings, Hannah.”

 

The almost-snow had turned to rain.

I walked home towards the old flat. 

Thought about how I wanted to tell Jack I’d met a retired mermaid. 

Then thought about how Jack wouldn’t be back at the old flat.

 

Because he didn’t live there anymore.

 

I had 3 weeks until I couldn’t afford to live there either.


Jinnwoo is the pen name for Ben Webb. An artist, musician and writer based in Brighton, UK. He has published 2 books to date; a collection of 1 and 2 scene plays with cut out paper doll actors titled Little Hollywood (11:11 Press), and a novella POLO (Expat NY Press). He is currently working on his third book, a novel, Pesquero. He has produced 2 solo records, and 3 records with the English Folk band Bird in the Belly (GFM/Cargo Records). His instagram is @iamjinnwoo.

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