Old Dogs Don't Eat Pomegranates

A short novel i have began to write. I want to see where this takes me. I know what i want to happen. All i need to do now is make it so.

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1. New years

On the roof top of the grandeur hotel, laughter, light and music rang across the slowly darkening skyline of California. Couples, like Tom and Janet Davidson who were showing off the pictures of their two twin boys – who they had neglected to take with them on a new years eve party. Couples like Morgan and Aggie Thorn, who weren't on speaking terms at the moment because Morgan was thirty two and still had the appeal of youth, and an acting career still going strong, but was also boring, and because Aggie was forty and hadn’t aged well since they met at the Salvador Dali expedition in Bruges.

But there were people who were single dotted amongst the crowds. Lilith the twenty something librarian who was conscious of water retention and the calories in her wine even though she managed to fit into her little black dress. Roy, the oldest, wisest, and god-darn drunkest of the whole  hundred or so people. He was perched on a bar stool telling people about what women want, and what they need and the difference between the two.

"You see, they want money." His rum and coke sloshing over his hand. "But they need protection and security. So they go for what they interpret as this. Fucking moola." He stroked his considerable beard and sighed. "But they also like passion, passion can be confused with love, hate and violence." He then regaled the bar tender about the various forms of domestic abuse out in the wide world and how on new year's eve some where a woman is being thrown down the stairs.

Sparse conversation was kept in steady flow by the more confident and interesting people. No, not the Davidson's. As much as people tried to not show it, not a single man or woman could give two shits about the ugly offspring of Tom and Janet.

"In this picture they have matching sailor suits." Janet told a bemused Morgan Thorn who was getting agitated. "And they went in a little boat on holiday it was so cute" Janet made cute sound like a word with near infinite dollops of the letter U. Morgan got up and went to the bar. He had to fight the urge to say the ship wouldn’t have had room for the two little butter balls. Because, the twins, as Janet and Tom called them, were plump little buggers. Or what Morgan now though as, basket ball sized.

He skirted around Tom but still had to brush by him, the party was so big moving wasn't an option; rather you pushed and pretended you were sorry when someone dropped their cocktail. Toms Armani suit was like silk bushing against the off the rack flea market suit Morgan was wearing. It's like when a poodle passes a rat, the immediate comparison is clear. Morgan hoped Tom fell or the roof and broke his ass on the pavement thirty floors down. "Watch it." Was all he said to Tom?

"Sorry." Tom murmured. His eyes fixed on something far across the rooftop. Janet shook him from his days and took him to the next unlucky basterd with a pair of eyes and ears and no interest in their children. But as they told the story this time. Tom was far less engaged.

Lilith Bowers stood from a far and though about how she would walk around and manage to hold in what she thought was a beer belly. She had been on holiday and on returning found she had gained roughly seven or so pounds. But how could this be? I didn’t eat much? I walked around? What did i do wrong? Then she remembered. That damn Danish roll. Fuck! How could she be so stupid. It wasn't on her diet plan!

She looked at her drink. Her red finger nails scratched the glass, then she poured it over the edge of the roof top and made it look like she had drunk it by swaying a bit. She would pretend she was a light weight and couldn’t take her drink. But of course she could. How do you think she copes with a weight gain of more than a stone?

"But they need to be listened to. My god why don’t you yong'uns understand that, i live in the sunset hotel; i didn’t get there by not listening to a goddamn word no one said. For Christ sakes." He was on his third rum and coke. But he had had three tequila shots before this and a beer or five on the way. He was what his dad called ploughed like a farmer's field. His dad wasn't very good with sayings, but he remembered that one because his father was ploughing the field of their farm, and low and behold somehow, through a mix of stupidity, and being a drunk, he ran himself over, spraying blood, guts and eye juice all over the corn crops. Roy still can't look at green giant sweet corn without needing to throw up. "God-damnit! Women are people to."

"You ok old timer." Morgan asked as he sat down and ordered a scotch.

"Old timer, call me old timer. Yong people, know fuck all about anything. You, boy." He pointed at Morgan who was a good forty years younger than Roy. "You know what you need?" Roy was a merry person when he was drunk.

"Surprise me."

"Sex. I can see it. You are on one hell or a dry streak, and your married, damn, what did you do to rub your women the wrong way, well, i guess you aint had a chance to-"

"I have not done anything, she's just being a difficult. Saying we never go out, and i don’t want to talk. Wait." He sat up. "Why the fuck am i telling you anything."

"Because i got ninety-nine problems but a bitch aint one – Jay Z." Morgan laughed mildly. His interest was piqued. "First off, shave that fucking sad attempt at a beard, im older than you and by Christ i never had stubble like that, women don’t want that on their skin, they like it smooth and easy going."

"Noted."

"Next, stop being a smart ass. Im known as Roy Stevenson mans man, not Roy Stevenson, notorious dick" Most of Roy's advice, Morgan would soon know, revolved around the idea of not being a smart arse and being as pleasant as could be. Roy's old lined face seemed younger, his speech less slurred. Now it was directed at someone with interest in what he said he was on a roll.

Tom had got a champagne. But for the first time in his five year marriage with Janet, he didn’t get her a glass. He had two drinks though. The other was for a particular forty year old woman who was pouting in the corner, with the most fantastically sexy eyes.

Agatha was slim and had a look of her that she was far out of Morgan's class. Tom sat by her and put the drink next to her. She turned with a smile expecting to see Morgan, ready to talk things over. Instead there was a chubby but kind faced man with a receding hair line offering her more booze. Why the fuck not. She smiled and took the drink.

"And you are." Tom asked.

"Aggie" She said putting her glass forward and touching it to his before downing it all in one. Tom did the same.

"Tom."

"You're married." She observed. "So are you." He did the same.

"Do you hate your wife."

"If that is what it takes to get a kiss form you, then yes,  i hate her." That was good enough for Aggie. She smiled, handed Tom a key to her room and went off and told him to follow her in a few minutes. Tom was mildly aware that he was blushing. That his pulse was racing. And the begging's of an erection were forming in his nether regions.

Aggie slipped into a more comfortable see through night dress. She was radiant in Toms eyes. And in the light of the moon, she was radiant to others as well. As tom walked in they wasted no time with chit-chat. He had spent that last minute ducking out of the way of his wife and getting to the room. He had undone his shirt and had started on his slacks before opening the door.

Morgan and Roy had been talking for ten minutes straight. Roy telling him the various ins and outs of dealing with women. Both oblivious to the fact that Aggie was doing the dirty with a guy with two butter ball twin babies.

"Women need excitement, but niceness. You know the saying, that women go for the bad boys, yet settle for good'uns. Well, it's true. So having a mix of both, being unpredictable and yet not too unpredictable, because in a sense being unpredictable could become predictable." Morgan tried to get his head round that one. "Love and lust are confused. You can be in love here" h pointed at Morgan's head. "Here" His heart. "And lastly, here" He pointed at the crotch of Morgan's cheap trousers that were slightly off colour and didn’t quite ,match the jacket even though they were sold together.

"So, i need to love her in all three places, shave, be good, unpredictable, and stop being difficult, talk about my feelings and be sensitive form time to time." He summarised all Roy had said. "Fuck that's a lot to do."

"If she's worth it, you'll do it." She was worth it. She was the best woman he knew. Loyal (she fucking some guy behind your back) had only eyes for him (but will settle for slowly balding business men when you're not there to satisfy her). And most of all she loved him. Even though she is calling out Morgan's name while Tom pumps away at her its more out of habit than any feeling for her husband. But Tom doesn't care. Since the two butterball twins were born he wasn't getting any.

And just at the moment Tom and aggie were getting their freak on. Lilith was getting her hunger on. She was slowly getting more and more peckish. It started like a little seed in her stomach. But then it grew. It grew and grew until it heaved at the sides of her guts. Feed me. It screamed. Feed me. But she had her calories today. Feed me. And there wasn't like she didn’t have fat on her bones. Feed me. And she could stand to lose a few more pounds.

Simultaneously the end of Morgan's epiphany came, Lilith keeled over and hit her head on the table, and Aggie and Tom both reached the top of the mountain after ten minutes climbing. All of this happened and there was still five minutes till the new year's sounded and the fireworks began. Janet forgot that her sons were the only thing the people hear should think about and turned and saw Lilith collapsed. Thankfully, though she was an annoying woman, her twins were signs that she new mal-nourishment when she saw it. And it turned out Lilith was the pictures of mal-nourishment.

She and four other people helped Lilith to the table and gave her food. Regardless of the fact that all that was there was the meagre nibbles of cheese, olives, and arrested nuts to complement the lashings of alcohol being drank. Someone ordered an extra large pizza. Roy came over and took over from Janet so she could find her husband.

"I don’t want to eat." Lilith protested.

"Do it for me."

"Ill get fat."

"You are the most beautiful woman i have ever set eyes on, a bit thin for my tastes, now get some food down you if you want to make it to next year."

Tom and Aggie got dressed. He left first. They didn’t look at each other. Not so much as a 'thanks' from either of them. What they were feeling now was shame. And as the final minute clocked down, Janet and Morgan were looking frantically for their counterpart before time came for new year's mass kiss.  People were pairing up left right and centre. Even Lilith and Roy found someone, well, each other. Across the three minutes they were talking they gained an instant connection.

Aggie found Morgan. Tom found Janet. And as the clock struck twelve everyone embraced, kissed and laughed, danced, sang. And as time went on, more people went home. Morgan and Aggie to work out their problems. Tom and Janet to feed there to butterball children. And Roy and Lilith to eat, and maybe even breakfast. It was a good night. Though sin wasn't escapable. As the new year rolled in, California gained a new light to all those whose lives took a different turn. Those interweaving moments, in turn teaching each other about love, youth, and human nature.

Those moments will make and break these people. The human mind is built around obsession. Hate. Lust. All of which we confuse for emotions. And as these people indulge in their addictions, whether it be sex, drugs, rock and roll or anything in between, we all know deep down. It won't end well.

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