A beast with six jowls

A burst of unseasonal sunshine having dried Lulu’s fawn carpet, its installation loomed hideously imminent. A cupped ear at her bedroom door caught low regular grunting, one of her ambitious repertoire of nocturnal noises. If David Byrne gave her a cheese sandwich and a duvet he could keep Luaka Bop afloat indefinitely. She was asleep. I had time to act.

I was dousing the malodorous weft from a watering can in the shape of an elephant’s head, part of the plethora of zoophilic tat abandoned by a previous occupant I can only ever picture defecating into a pith helmet and weeping for the Raj, like a Neil Tennant capable of emotion, when a dim gleam in the japonica caught my eye.

It was a gnawed bone. I was off the oak-stump and up the stairs with it before the spouting trunk had hit the grass. Some kindly providence of the senses stopped me on the threshold of Lulu’s room, however. I believe I literally paused mid-air and settled, like a leaf. The grunts were faster now, and they had been joined by a high jubilant whimper. I waited breathless. Monophony, and Lulu might have been having a nightmare. Polyphony, and the nightmare was mine. Dust danced in the sunlight. My heart slowed. The sounds edged into each other and finally, terribly, overlapped. Lulu and Borset, for I assume it was he, have gone carnal.

I saw my bone float to the landing, then somehow I was in the kitchen wreathed in the steam of a camomile tea I had no memory of brewing. I was gulping it directly from the pot.

Can an ear unhear? Lord, Lord, I hope so.


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