Sunday, 29 July 2012

23. I have a rainbowmaker

I have a rainbowmaker in the window of my flat. It's a tiny solar-powered machine which sticks to my window with a sucker cup. When the sun is shining, the motor rotates a crystal to make dots of light and tiny rainbows fly around my living room. Its case is plastic and the motor has seven wheels; each one is a different colour and a different size, from the tiny violet wheel to the biggest red one.

Rammstein is fascinated by the flying dots. He chases them around the floor and pounces on them, his tail standing straight up with excitement.

He's doing this now as the afternoon sun slants in through the window. I am lying on the sofa with my feet in Gin's lap. She is painting my toenails emerald green. We have cups of milky tea in white china mugs. My laptop is quietly playing Soft Cell.

Last night Gin got drunk and called Jason and left him a long rambling voicemail begging him to take her back. She regrets this today.

"The worst thing is that he'll love it," she says. "He will absolutely love it when he listens to that voicemail. He'll go out and he'll tell all his friends. I've gratified him."

I drink some of my tea. Gin's fingers are warm on each side of my big toe.

"And it won't make him take me back. All I've done is given him all the power. Now he knows how much I want him back, he knows he's in charge and he can do what he wants with me."

Her voice is bitter. Her eyes are filling with tears and I worry she's going to cry on my freshly painted toenails and then I feel like a bad person because a breakup is more important than nail varnish.

"Do you really want him back?" I ask. "With the cheating and the lying and the casual racism and all of it? I mean, were you happy with him?"

"Sometimes," she says.

She thinks about it.

"I can't stop thinking about him. He had this friend, Melanie. And this 'friend', " - the level of sarcasm Gin puts into the word "friend" is enough to strip the varnish off my pine table - "I knew what she was after. I knew she liked him. She's probably in bed with him right now."

Good luck to her, I think.

(I have severe doubts about Jason's ability to perform. There's a lot about his attitude to life which reminds me of one of my exes, Rob. One night I couldn't come, mostly because Rob thought the way to please a woman was to attempt to click her clit as if it was a computer mouse. Any suggestion of a different approach, however diplomatic, made him say: "But girls like this!"

I said: "I'm sorry, it's not you, my body just isn't behaving tonight," and Rob said: "I know it's not me. I'm doing everything right." After that I just couldn't carry on with him. While I have never slept with Jason I cannot help but imagine he has the same attitude. And probably the same technique.)

"I can't stand it," Gin says. "I can't stop thinking about it. It makes my whole body jealous, it makes me want to throw up."

I swing my legs sideways off the sofa and we hug for a long time. Gin has finished my nails, so now it's my turn to paint hers. She has chosen a brilliant sunflower yellow.

She puts her feet in my lap. She has beautiful feet, long and lean, with high arches. I carefully run the brush over the nail of her left big toe.

I decide to change the subject.

"There's been another murder," I say.

Gin looks up.

"What murders?" she says.

"You know, that guy who's been killing the prostitutes. They found another one not too far from here. In that little park off Wellington Street. It was on the news."

I remember the line of sad photos. Four women so far, some pretty, some not so pretty. One wary-eyed girl, her mouth pressed into a thin line, who couldn't have been more than 20. It's beyond me why prostitution isn't legal. People are always going to do it anyway, it will never be stamped out, so you may as well make it safe for them.

"Oh, is that what it was?" says Gin. "I saw the police tape when I was walking over. They had one of those white tents up."

She fiddles with her phone.

"Do you think I should text him and tell him it was a mistake?"

"No," I say. "I think you shouldn't get in touch with him again."

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