Handsome Grandsons

Wellington Arts Zine

The Streetlight Eclipse – Alex Lodge

Posted by handsomegrandsons on July 17, 2008

The Streetlight Eclipse

The Whipper and the Snapper are two young men of no real importance.
They sit in concrete public places most days, keeping out of the sun
and living off car fumes. Their skins are loosely draped over their
skeletons. They never touch, each other or anyone.

I first met them when I was in a band. As fellow youth, I wanted them
to be impressed by me and my mild-but-ironic lyrics and Casio
keyboard. But they spoke another language. They sat outside the bar
where our first gig was, smoking, bitching – a vacuum of gossip. I
walked my instruments past them slowly so I could catch snatches of
their talk:

” Did you hear about Dead City?”

“Yeah, they broke up, aye. But Tripster is starting a new group, Dead Wolf.”

“Do the kids from Dying Wolf know that?”

“Nah, they’re Auckland. They won’t even care.”

A pair of beautiful legs arrived, sinking into huge green and white high-tops.


“Hey.” “Hey.”

“Gotta light?”

“Shit yeah.”

The Legs, the Whipper and the Snapper inhaled and exhaled. They
listened to make sure they didn’t keep time with each other in this.
After about a minute a middle aged white woman with bright pink
lipstick and thin, black teased hair walked past. Her black lace
clothes trickled through the door after her. Eyebrows were raised in
silence. I carried a floor tom in, heaving past the Whipper as he
muttered, “How fuckin hilarious was that.” The other two let out sharp
breaths through the nose. And that was hilarity.

There was a later meeting. The air was buzzing that day. I could see
specks of it, different shades of blue, fizzing around their heads.
And they just sat, glass paperweights in a city of mosquitoes. It was
summer and I had my skin to the sun. We walked out the back of a café
to see them like that. Looking at them was like a sign saying, ‘How
fuckin hilarious is THAT, bitches’. For reasons which are blurred to
me now we ended up sitting with them. They smoked furiously and seemed
to know something about everything. When I talked about the lunar
eclipse which had been on Thursday, the Snapper said, “ARE we pagans?”

The Whipper showed us his new wallet – it was a cheeseburger made of
fabric. Each layer of the burger had a zip, and so opened into new
pockets. It was fantastic. I laughed in delight – I tend to. “The
thing you must remember,” said the Whipper, somber: ” is that several
Korean children probably died making a hundred of these. They’re
collector’s fuckin edition!” The Snapper and my companion gave a
snort. “So I suspect you keep it in a glass case,” I said, keeping up,
“For when Antiques Roadshow New Zealand gets its act together.” They
smiled and nodded benignly. I felt stupid, then. I went over and over
what I had said and wondered where I could have fitted Fuckin into my
brief chance to impress.

Sometimes I wonder what they do when they’re alone. I
suppose I imagine them as studious – constantly researching and
bettering their understanding of the people who they are surrounded by
who they want to be like to want to be like them. Do people like them
have fun? Genuine fun? Do they have sex? Rather, do they have sex
without being drunk? What do they say to their parents at Christmas?
And they repulse me, but I cannot help it. I am drawn to that
imaginary world. I know it doesn’t really exist, it’s just a heaven
which everyone aims for and claims. I love to drink and smoke like an
old Cuban man. I would love to wear effortless clothes and hairstyles.
I love that careless sense of decaying from the inside out, and that
thin moment before glamour turns into destruction. I really do. Even
though these two young men of no real importance ignored me and made
me reconsider my vocabulary – I still think about it, even now.


2 Responses to “The Streetlight Eclipse – Alex Lodge”

  1. Silos said

    wicked short piece Alex, i really liked it:)

  2. Ollie said

    this is good, i like this

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