I’m getting my haircut. I see it all in the mirror.
Simon’s his usual self: brash, bold, bloody stupid, He lisps some errant remark.
Alec drops what he’s doing, reaches for the fly swatter and chases Simon down the street.
It’s like a well rehearsed routine.
A month later I go back.. Simon doesn’t look so good. His eyes are puffy, his face a little swollen, his hare lip is bleeding.
What happened? George says, one of the assistants. Your girl friend beat you up again?
Simon blubbers out an obscenity. Alec reaches for the fly swatter and the chase is on again.
Simon is a sad sack, the world’s punching bag but he does have one trick up his sleeve. His dad is Lord Mayor of Mars. No one else can claim that.
How he got there long before Elon Musk is not explained but Simon basks in his glory. On Mars International Day — yes, there is one —Simon comes in, wearing his red skivvy and breaks into the Mars National anthem till he is chased out by Alec’s furious flyswatter.
One day Simon slumps in. Dad is not well. Dad needs Simon to take over. How will he get there? Everyone knows by now that Simon has a rocket ship tucked in a corner of his bedroom at the ready. But Simon as Lord Mayor? Would those Martians treat him seriously?
Simon doesn’t appear the next month nor the one after that.
The Kings of Leon could still use somebody, Caleb sings in his Kurt Cobain voice
& the Kurdish Freedom Fighter comes on too strong to Lynne, wanting to whisk her away with his Hindu Kush eyes
& the woman with the Mastiff shoulders walks past in her low cut dress
& sniggering sneer
& Des starts knock knock knocking on Heaven’s Door again because he knows we’re all here and I tell him to get back in his box coz you’re in the undiscovered country from whose bourne .. well, you know the rest
while Ruth limps off to the Ladies and Ted calls after her, that’s the best part of you gone,
and Sirocco knocks over his second glass of red on the white table cloth and Jarrod frowns and Gerry rushes over
and Max is cuddling Peter in the corner and the mulberry mutt mourns for its owner outside the window
& I’m talking much too loud but I’m in my cups And I tell the funny story about the pony walking into a bar again and I won’t be put down like a mad dog
& an officer from the penitentiary phones and says, no, Ades cannot be let out because it’s a Friday night
& we’re going round and round like skid marks on tarmac