Thursday, July 1, 2010

Love is a Remarkably Destructive Bitch, Extract

Love is a remarkably destructive bitch. It comes and goes and all the time leaves heart ache for someone. Someone. Always. Hurts. That is the truth about love. It’s not music where there is none. It’s not getting that funny little feeling in your stomach when you see that certain someone. Love isn’t that first kiss under the apple tree or walking down a beach holding hands. Drunk people hold hands all the time. Children kiss under apple trees for a dare. They aren’t love, and they never will be.

Love isn’t a song on the radio that two people adore.

Love isn’t roses on Valentine’s Day. Roses are soft, silent death and you just don’t know it. Kill the bitch if that’s how you want to be. That isn’t love. That’s murder.

The point, the truth, is that love hurts too much for us to really logically wish to pursue it. And yet, humans as we are, we look for love everywhere we go. We read books on the matter, watch films about it, hear some poems about it. We do everything we can to find love, and we’re always looking in the wrong place. And it is in this truth that I present to you a case of love, that I ask you a question I’ve been wondering for some time now. What is love, but loss?

Andrew didn’t save those words; he didn’t post them online, he didn’t print them off. If he needed them, he’d write them again, though he had his doubts about that: he would never need – really need – a short essay on how love is a bitch in all its forms, and he wouldn’t remember exactly what’d written, and nothing could ever come out like that again. With a sigh of resignation, he left the computer room.

His full name was Andrew McCourt. He was a closet musician; that’s not to say he played music in his closet – he called it a wardrobe, anyway – but that he never told anyone about it. A lime green ukulele was forever hidden from his parents and their prying eyes, and he only played when he was alone. Andrew McCourt had much experience with being alone. Most people would find that evident in his unnaturally grim look on the world of love. Everyone would find it strange, if they knew how he felt about love, that he mostly played love songs.

Andrew couldn’t sing for shit, as far as he was concerned. With a few thousand songs at his disposal, he was sure he could maybe sing...three. He could sing three of the songs. He could play a dozen times more, but when it came to actually hitting any of the notes, and sounding good at the same time, Andrew McCourt was a lost cause.

He went to a small college locked away in a tiny pocket of space, away from spying eyes and judgemental pricks, in one of the greater suburban areas of Dublin, studying a sorry combination of music and religion and pretending he knew what he was doing. He didn’t have a clue about composition, and even less of one about anything they did in religion. He didn’t care for God, very much. God hadn’t done him any favours past creation, and even that was called into question.

Andrew’s parents accidentally had sex with each other, thinking they were different people. The miracle of Andrew’s conception.

He didn’t tell everyone that story. He refused to let people know that he wasn’t an accident in the same way they were – that the lovely people at the condom factory had made a few errors back in the late eighties and early nineties; he wished he didn’t know that he was a mistake of human judgement and manufacturing defaults at the same time. While they were sober. Allegedly.

What he did tell them was that he had a very good reason for getting sloshed, and that maybe he’d tell them some day. He would in his arse; Andrew knew what to tell people and what not to tell people. In his years of experience, limited though they may be at the age of eighteen, he’d discovered that the trick to faking happiness is to hide everything that might make you unhappy. It had worked so far.

He surrounded himself with the strangest bunch of people he’d ever thought possible; they all had their own problems, of course, because people are born for trouble; they all had their little idiosyncrasies that drove other people insane; they had all been bitten by the love bug at some stage in their time in the college. Not Andrew. Andrew was a miserable child when it came to love. Andrew swatted the love bug before it had a chance to hang around for too long.


This has been the opening extract for my new WIP, Love is a Remarkably Destructive Bitch. I hope it has kept you suitably amused.

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