[Bad Taste, 638 words, Genre: Dark Humour/Realistic Fiction]
* Image courtesy of Dirk de Bruyn
It had been a long time. These two friends; Edward and Alvin, hadn’t seen each other since high school. It was a lifetime ago and in that lifetime, they had each done different things. They had lived lives completely separate from one another. And each of them was completely clueless to the life that the other had led. What had brought them together was that they both found themselves in a foreign city. The foreign city was a depository for sin and degradation of humanity located in the heart of India. How had they both found themselves in a place like this? It was anyone’s guess really. But the rich tapestries of life had brought them together once more. From a lifetime ago as they used to escape the monotony of classroom tasks, to the underworld of society.
They found each other in the same location through social media. And through social media they decided to reconnect with one another. Probably not the best of ideas, however life was a steep learning curve full of faults and failures.
They met at a bar and began drinking… Drinking quite a lot, it was fuel for the fire of conversation. Each beer that they consumed would throw them into some unexpected topic. Questionable topics, topics of resourcefulness, topics that encompassed the world in its global conflicts and what-not.
It turned out that Alvin had spent the first term of his life, outside of high school, in the military. As a rifleman, he had been deployed and had seen active duty. Edward had spent his time in drug dens, seeing the filth and slime of humanity rise to positions of power. There was something that both of them now shared because of their worldly experience. And that was a jaded world view. They ordered whiskeys and just like their lives, it left a bad taste in their mouths.
The conversation turned to the obscure and obtuse. With each drink Edward and Alvin ceased caring about the world and their surroundings. More drinks piled up, each successive drink creating a fog between social standards and the primal nature of our apelike ancestors.
The conversation began to run dry… Edward could feel it. Like the last drops of water in a bottle shared between two survivors in the middle of the desert, something needed to be said.
“I’m a paedophile…” It was Edward. Why had he said it? Why had he uttered those words? The conversation, yes! The conversation… It must have been running dry.
“What the fark are you talking about?”
“Well, I’m not exactly a paedophile, I just want to be sometimes…”
“Oh, I get it! Teenage girls in their short skirts… Yeah, it does it for me too.”
“No, I mean the little ones.”
“The little ones!” Alvin spat out the beer that he was drinking as a small portion of the liquid went down the wrong hole.
“I’ll never do it but…”
“I hope bloody not!”
The conversation kept on going on like this for another half an hour until they both got fed up with each other. Edward helped Alvin into a taxi and they both parted ways.
The next morning Edward woke up to the horrible memories of the previous night’s conversation and began clawing back at it. Wishing that he could change the past. What the fark could he have been thinking. Why would he lump himself in such a category? For the next successive weeks he continued to beat himself up over the fact. Trying to find some sort of resolution to explain his actions. He, of course, wasn’t a paedophile… He just… He just… There was no explanation.
In the end he finally contended himself with one thought and one thought alone, ‘Let’s just say it was done in the name of bad taste.’