Spy Story

This is the story of an unbearable child, several pages of numbers photographically reduced to the size of a microdot just bigger than a human egg, a Japanese woman and an American, both of whom knew which of their sensations their emotions were, and an Englishman who lost everything he never had.

I drifted into them at the Garrick – supposedly the actors’ club but favoured by spooks and other things that go bump. They were sitting at the bar talking with a subdued intensity more appropriate to one of the dim bays along the wall. That’s what I do: numbers that don’t add up. I sat unobtrusively beside them and spilled a small bottle of soda water over myself. Apologies were dully made by James, whose hair was just a tad too short, and Yurai whose eyes fired a harpoon into my poor dead soul. One lying word led naturally to the next and I showed them a little of London’s public secrets tomorrow at noon.

The man above me on the totem pole said he was paying me for gut reaction and to stay with it. He offered that there had been a leak in Tokyo and the piss had not yet hit the floor.

I showed them Hyde Park Corner: the immaculate bronze bum of the boy on the Machine Gun Corps Memorial, the stone howitzers and exhausted gunners for the Royal Artillery and the Iron Duke’s house at the start of Piccadilly – # 1 London. I was a dust mote caught between them, alive for three days in the chaos of turbulent flow; the guarantee that they would not get her, or the numbers.

That last morning, standing side by side pissing into the marble urinals James told me she had gone, that she said to say that you can’t love a dead heart and to tell me she was going to get rid of the child we had made. I watched fetuses washing down the marble drain. And wondered if I could find out whether my heart was dead or in a coma.


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