Monday, 10 March 2014

The Velvet Smoking-Jacket

This was originally written under a pseudonym in the summer holidays of 2013 whilst I was staying with @rlj1981. We had consumed a fair bit of wine m'lud.  It is about two of my favourite people on Twitter, and now in real life and is a caricature but written with lots of affection for them both.  So, can you work out who they are?

Adopt Morgan Freeman voice*

Pupils imagine that, within school, lies a basement full of coffins in which teachers are placed at the end of the day, after all the marking, planning and preparation is completed of course.

At night they believe we are plugged into the teacher Matrix, downloading new knowledge to fox them with the following day. Knowledge IS nutrition, what need do they have for mastication?
What if, this were not what happened at the end of the educational day? What if, teachers led double lives, like much loved superheroes, or, indeed, a lot less loved politicians and footballers? What DO teachers do after dark?
The key turned in the lock and he entered his enclave, his sanctuary, his domain. All was peaceful, for now. Children's voices, questions and interrogations briefly echoed around his head until it was swiftly drowned out by the noise of the football match on his 42", flat screen, smart television, the metro-sexual's true symbol of domestic masculinity.

It's Newcastle's last match of the season, this was serious 'man points' time. It was even scheduled into his school diary, iPad and iPhone. It was THAT important. His man friends were waiting at the local, Newcastle shirts on, Newcastle Brown Ale in hand, tabs tucked behind ears, builders bum cleavage on show. This particular transformation was almost complete.

'Ace of Spades' blasted from his iPhone, his best boozing mate rang telling him to, "Get your hairy arse down the pub for the rest of the match." Seconds later the door slammed, he moseyed on down to the Cathedral of testosterone.

All that was left for him to complete this part of the transformation, was for the referee to make an appalling decision close to the dying embers of injury time. As soon as this occured the Southern twang would ebb away, and the North Eastern beast took over in a torrent of spittle, phlegm, indignation, incomprehensible Geordie-ness rammed with expletives that would make Roy Chubby Brown blush and say more "Hail Marys" than he has done in the previous decade of his existence.

The match had finished. Injury time had played out like the greatest of Shakespearian tragedies, for they had lost, again. He, along with his burly, tattooed friends wept openly into the dregs of their Newcastle Brown Ale. Within seconds he had gone from a testosterone fuelled elation, to hiding under a cloud of desperate gloom.

There was only one thing for it, there was only one person who could pull him out from the dense, clagging grey of dejection, that would surely suffocate him unless he took action. Only Catarina, his raven haired Italian muse, the woman who taught him how to love, and lust again, could chase the oppressive cloud away.

Before he knew it, he withdrew his iPhone from his pocket, texted his muse with, "See you at mine in an hour." He did not wait for a reply, he did not need to.

He left the pub at the pace of a highly trained long distance Olympic walker, without the effeminate swagger, for his heart began to race and the butterflies were reawakened in his stomach. An hour was just enough time to complete the finishing touches to the latest poem inspired by his muse.

Before he knew it, he had arrived home. There was just enough time to check that his most loyal pet, Trojan the tortoise, was indeed still happily hibernating and that he had not expired altogether.

Within seconds the Newcastle football top was off and in the dirty laundry basket, so he could hop in he shower to cleanse away the stench of beer, tobacco and his team's crushing failure.

Towel dried and fully cleansed, Jean Paul Gaultier after shave was liberally applied, blood-red silk lounge trousers were pulled on followed by his most loved, lush, velvet smoking jacket. It was a deep, plum red, enriched with the aroma of long gone patchouli joss sticks which enhanced the overall effect of the North East's version of Noel Coward.

A new joss stick was lit, creating a purple fug resembling the Opium dens of old.

Glancing at the clock there was just enough time to review his latest poem, inspired by his unswerving love for Catarina, and their shared passion for the finest artisan Gelato. His latest work was entitled, 'Tiramisu You'.

A gentle tap at the door meant that Catarina was here.


One final check in the mirror, yes, he was fully colour co-ordinated, he smelt divine, his poem was ready. The butterflies beat faster within as he opened the door. Era arrivata.

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