Sold On Secrets
written by Max Rael

Waiting for lips
That no more lie
Dreaming of tongues
That cut no more.

Molly pulls up her knickers and wipes the sweat off her brow.  She feels used, but warm inside.  It's not the first time and it certainly won't be the last.  In a way, she needs it.  She needs the five-minute gratification of one of her most primal urges.  It doesn't matter who, where, or why.

Walking out of the club, she pulls her white puffa jacket tight around her body, to keep out the cold.  Thankfully it's not far to the bus stop and she doesn't have to wait long before a bus comes around the corner.

She has a funny feeling in her heart as she mounts the steps to the flat she shares with Mark:  something of a mix of trepidation and gorgeous joy.  Mark is a good friend, almost a lover, except without the sex.  They were both into each other, just never managed to get it together. She longs to see him, yet is afraid of another awkward conversation.  It takes her a while to get the key in the lock.  Not that she's that drunk, just the locks really do need changing.

The door eventually opens and she can hear the music Mark is playing; it is an old Carter bootleg.

"What are you doing listening to that old crap?"  she calls out.
"More than you'd ever understand."  He grins at her coming out of the front room.

They look awkwardly at each other for what feels like decades.
"Fancy a cup of tea, then?" the question seems to bring relief to both of them.  Mark doesn't particularly but feels obliged to say, "Yeah, go on then."

It is much like this every evening.  The main problem is that had either of them asked the other at the right time, they would have had a full loving relationship.  But, due  to the chronic misfortune of bad timing, neither had asked the other, when "Yes." would have been the answer.

Later that same evening, Molly wakes up.  Unusual for her,  usually after a couple of smokes she is dead to the world until the next day.  Her head feeling heavy, she gets up off the bed and walks out of her bedroom door.  Halfway across the green carpeted landing she stops.  Something is wrong.  A History Of Guns tape, "Sold On Secrets" is playing the track "No One Dies", nothing unusual about that, but the air felt wrong.  Marks' door was open, so she walked in.  There lying on the bed was Mark, a noose tied tightly, too tightly around his neck.  He held his penis in his right hand.  Urine covered the sheets.  His whole swollen face seemed contorted into a bizarre purple caricature of the one she knew as Marks'.  The only thing she could do was call Malcolm, who on hearing the news went into a state of catatonia that lasted twenty-seven years.

Whilst this is not a happy story, it must serve as warning to those who play on the pretence of relationship.  History Of Guns state in no uncertain terms, that being is doing, is living, is learning.  The day you stop learning is the day you stop existing, so WAKE UP NOW!..

After twenty-seven years Malcolm did.
And so must you.

(c) 1997