The Crow Men Pt III ‘A toast to Ms Magic’ ~ René
The Crow Men Pt III
A toast to Ms Magic
The boys listened to Mina. And they accepted that she just wanted to get into a bed and sleep. They walked through East London like a Siamese triplet. Each one holding each other up. Even exchanging garments. Mina wearing Mike’s flashy cowboy hat and Jake chain smoking again. The road was straight. It lead them all the way back from Bethnal Green towards Stratford. They checked if each other was ok. And lit each others smokes. Mina didn’t smoke but always carried a stainless steel clipper that her ex-boyfriend had bought her. And she wondered if she missed him, and walked bare foot, still carrying the kitchen knife in her purse and feeling Jake shaking.
‘Oh come on mate. Its not like it was you rolling about on the grass is it.’
Strange chemical street asking, will I go over my dissertation allowance? Is smoking in a city as polluted as this like having your lungs fucked twice?
And teeth feeling new bruises, but still walking through London.
Jake didn’t mind the girl being between them. He even slapped her arse once when she said something cheeky.
‘Are you sure you don’t wanna, you know?’
‘Jesus fella, don’t keep asking, you know… I dunno…’ Mina said taking her clipper out again as Jake stopped and patted his chest pockets for a lighter, and made it make the ‘clink’ sound. She lit his cigarette and then said ‘wait wait wait’. She closed the lighter’s hood with her thumb, and manoeuvred it into and between her fore finger and index finger in the next flick.
‘Yeah…?’ She said smiling.
The lighter was upside down with the heavy end sticking up like a metal shark fin in her hand. Next, she moved her left hand back over it twice in quick repetition as Jake and Mike watched, catching the lighting wheel with her second sweep over and lighting it, then moving her hand back and turning it out again. She rubbed her hands together as if praying in front of them, then opened her palms to show that the lighter had dissipated.
‘Nice! Haha.’ Mike said, laughing for the first time in a long while.
‘Come on then Ms Magic, lets go home.’ Jake said laughing too, and understanding.
The fridge buzzed inside their flat. Its freezer door opened as Mike took out some scampi and Jake took Mina into the living room.
‘Nice place…’ Mina said slumping down on the sofa.
Mina wondered if she had spent her whole life walking here, as a drunk person does. It was just like the place she had imagined she would finally live in with Jacques. Her phone was in her pocket. Yeah right, she said aloud placing her head in her hands.
Jacques opened his eyes and looked up at the ceiling, trying to make out what the cats were saying to each other outside. He burped and tried to close his eyes for a few moments, before opening them again.
‘Can I get you one?’ Jake asked Mina hunting around in the corner of the large studio flat. She looked over where Jake was re-arranging canvases and painting materials in the corner that looked out onto the balcony. Yes. Just like this. Its Sunday and you have a dead line. I know when your deadline is because I’m more organised than you. And I love that. I love knowing that the skills I have and are teaching you slowly are a part of everything. And you turn around and ask me if you can ‘get me one’
‘Oh you’re not serious Jake? Really… REALLY?’ Mike said holding a bag of frozen peas beside the freezer.
‘Just… Alright, look, I need one. Alright? Please Mike…’ Jake said in more of a sigh than a communication.
Mina watched Jake as he dug a bottle of whiskey out from its hiding place in the middle of a fat roll of paper, and laughed. It seemed that nothing could stop her from laughing. She knew the men bickering in the room. They were Jacques and herself. She was Mike. Some kind of articulated Trojan with a voice that didn’t fit. Jake. Delicate in a quick way. But somehow more relaxed than his partner. Twice thinner than either of them. Someone who needs a glass of whiskey on a Saturday morning.
‘I’ll just cook the fucking peas then whilst you get pissed then yeah? Fucking – MORON’ Mike said throwing a pea at Jake, as he opened his mouth and tried to catch it, before sitting down next to Mina.
‘You can have that one’ He replied chucking it back at him.
Mike managed to catch the pea with his foot as he watched over the cooker.
‘Yesss. RONALDO.ON.A.FUCKING.STICK – MATE.’ Mike said lifting his arms into the air and punching the wall in celebration, denting it.
‘Fucking moron…’ Jake said before taking a deep swig.
A thumping came back from the other side of the wall where Mike stood and cooked.
‘Faaaaack off.’ Mike said beating it back.
Jake passed the bottle over to Mina with a smile.
‘I’d get you a glass. But I really can’t be arsed. And I think my hand is broken. Noooo wanking for meee…’
Mina spat her whiskey on the floor which made Jake choke on his as he gurgled it.
It was like this. She was Mike cooking peas. And Jacques still drank. Hiding them in his rolled up cargo paper as if that was more honest. Mina took another big hit and handed the bottle back to Jake. But things were too clear. She could even smell and see two people in the room who were exactly as she imagined it. She could smell the sizzle of food being cooked and watched. She could feel her bones. Hunger. The whiskey hitting her empty gut like a fishing hook. She wanted to know which fantasy would win. She closed her eyes and leant back on the suede beginning to cry, and then stopping, opening her eyes.
Jacques did the same.
Jake wove them both in silk a throw that he and Mike curled up in when watching TV. He made sounds to her that sound like shush. And she made them back to him, placing a finger on his lips. She placed a kiss on his forehead and said ‘cheers mate’
‘Well… Don’t cheers mate me. Its old steroid boy here who sorted shit out. Bit of a hunk ay?’ Jake said patting Mike’s leg as he dug into his plate beside them oblivious.
‘Its going to get cold.’ Mike said nodding at the plates he’d laid on the floor beside their feet.
Mina ate a few peas. And picked up one of the pieces of scampi, sniffing it, having never tried it before, popping it into her mouth as Jake watched her crossing his legs and arms.
‘Are you sure that the food is gonna be alright for you Ms Magic? Are you sure its fuckin, you know, alright?’
‘Its good Jacques. Its good…’ Mina thought closing her eyes again and squeezing their arms.
The triplet walked together like a stumbling movement of legs wrapped together in a throw, and flopped back on bed near the balcony side of the flat. The heat of their unwashed bodies was enough. And still, Jake didn’t mind Mina being in-between them. A Korean student slept beside a stoke-broker. And Jake shivered as he tried to sleep. They spoke of each other as the sun moved. Mike fumbling beside him for some breaded fish in the morning, shuvving it in his jaw and chewing on it. He turned back around and reached over Mina towards Jake, knowing that he wasn’t covered up properly, and then pulling Jakes body into Mina closing the gap.
Mina’s phone vibrated in her purse as she finally began to sleep, and occasionally felt Mike moaning in his sleep.
She wanted to pinch his nose as she smelt the acute colour of fruit juice on his breath, and he twitched every now and then. His muscles spasaming in some dog run sleep. Jake wanted to climb his hand around her crotch every now and then, which made her laugh as she placed his arm back onto Mike’s instead.
As the lecture ended she rushed immediately into the nearest toilet to check her eyes. Still there. She checked the time while digging into her purse and taking out a small wrap of mdma. It had been nearly three hours. But fuck it. Its Friday. And damn it. Stop ringing me. I am more tired than every lecture put together. And. I no longer care. I did. A while back. I used to-
‘Fuck it.’ Mina sighed, before hitting.