A tale of two friends, paranoia and a shower cubicle.
|We waited in the small shower cubicle, two pairs of eyes staring intently at the window, waiting to see the inevitable dark shadow that would eventually appear and drag us into its bleak oblivion to which we might never escape.
The two of us, each pressed against the wall of the shower, hoping to escape what we knew would signal our downfall and leave society for the intoxicated world we have, sadly enough, entered and wished never to visit again.
Nothing sane about our actions for the past hour and a half. Well, what normal people might consider as ‘not sane’. But by any means, we were not in any way paranoid. Paranoia is for people with issues they cannot control. We, on the other hand, had no history of any mental illness… and that is the truth of the matter. Anyway, name me one person in the world and tell me that they have not at least once in their entire lives, spent at least an hour and a half in a shower cubicle.
An hour and a half ago, we had not a care in the world…until we reached Gregory's Place and Sylvia said in a faint voice, a hint of dread in her voice as her eyes fixated ahead at where we were walking to, “Is that Tom?”
I looked ahead and saw a tall red haired boy, which I knew straight away to be Tom and nodded disdainfully. “Yes.”
Tom, the fifteen year old son of a much dreaded friend of ours, called Belinda Wagon, waved over at us and, as we came closer to each other, I noticed the familiar trade mark of a wanna-be pot-dealer trying to grow a goatee, but nursing a chin fill of bum-fluff instead.
We stopped in the middle of the street and Tom and I shook hands, I was a bit reluctant, truth to tell.
“What are you doing around here?” Sylvia asked, rather bluntly.
Tom shrugged and smiled, revealing two buck-toothed front teeth that were stained yellow from non-stop smoking of Horizon 16’s. “My girlfriend lives in the ‘Sitter just up form you.”
I noticed that Sylvia sort of sagged her shoulders at this bit of very non-interesting news. “Oh. Really?” she said, trying to sound enthusiastic, but failing. Luckily, Tom seemed immune to anti-enthusiasm.
He smiled. “Okay, well, I have to be get going to the shops for a packet of smokes. I’ll get mum to call you later tonight if you want?”
“Okay, I’ll expect a call then,” Sylvia replied then, as I looked at her face, I saw the realisation hit of what she had just said.
“Mum was round your place last night, if I remember her telling me…”
“I was out all last night at a friend’s place for dinner.”
Tom smiled again and I felt the incredible urge to knock out those buckteeth of his.
“Okay, well, I had better get going. Too many guys around here with guns.” He held out his hand and I had no choice but to take it and after a hurried rush through the compound of Housing Department, we were inside Sylvia’s place, where we immediately began to ponder on our situation.
“Fuck,” Sylvia dragged the word out for several seconds and I threw my bag on her bed.
“I take it,” I said, making sure that the door was locked behind us, “he wasn’t the person you wanted to meet?”
Sylvia stared at me and rolled her eyes. “Absolutely not. Fuck. What are we going to do?” She’s going to call…I just know it.”
My heart sunk. Whenever we knew Belinda to call or come over, there’s always a ninety-nine percent chance that she will, at one stage, say, “Well, come on back to my place. We can have a few drinks —“ by a few drinks, she really means glass after glass of scotch with just a nip of coke in it. To us, Belinda thinks that just because she can handle almost straight scotch, then we can as well. Just not a pretty sight the next morning; especially as Belinda always tells us to drink more and, by that stage, all we want to do is go home and throw up.
And then, the ‘paranoia’ began.
We spent the next half hour drinking coffee after coffee and putting up thick blankets over the windows and double checking every five minutes that each and every crack was covered, so that no one could see inside. Then we got out the candles and lit them, turning off all the lights so that it looked like no one was home.
For the next twenty minutes after that, we sat in relative silence, only whispering remarks to each other such as, “Did you hear that?” or “be quiet, or she’ll hear us!” and even, “We’ve got to come up with good code-names so that if Belinda comes to the door, she won’t know we are talking about her.” So, you could say that we were paranoid about being paranoid.
Then, during one of our frequent smoking sessions, Sylvia said in all earnest, “Maybe we should go up and see if they are spying on us?”
I just laughed and suddenly thought of something. “We’re too paranoid to go up and see if they are spying on us, when we are spying on them.” Sylvia and I burst out laughing. It was cut short, however, by the phone ringing.
I looked at it, then at Sylvia. “It’s her. I just know it is.”
“I’m not answering it!” she replied quickly. “Maybe she’s outside the door and calling to see if we’re awake.”
I realised then that paranoia just might have set in.
We waited for the phone to stop ringing, an agonising three minutes, then Sylvia picked up the receiver and dialled Star-Ten-Hash and listened.
“From a Telstra public phone?” she questioned as she hung up.
“She might be down at the shops calling?” I offered.
It was then that we went and sat in the shower cubicle.