The Abbatoir

They talked about the house in quieted tones, when they talked about it at all. Children were hushed when they questioned their parents; uncles and grandfathers gleefully made up stories for them about the place when they got drunk enough. No one wanted to acknowledge the house; everyone took the time to walk by it as often as they could, heads immobile as they walked, their eyes following the building until they were past. Hungry for anything they could get. Ashamed of themselves for wanting it.

The house decked in silver glitter. The disco ball hanging over the front door, the spotlight casting points of light into the bedrooms of the neighbours to either side and across the street. Not that anyone complained to them, no…they complained to each other and grappled with each other when the sun went down and the only light was the dancing stars cast through their windows as they writhed and gasped and silently screamed while biting hard on shoulders and knuckles and still softer parts, to fall apart and come together again and again and again. To then complain to their neighbours on the next morning with a knowing look and an invitation in their eyes, to the jealousy of the street.

The beautiful clothes of the people who lived there; how do you explain to a child why they cannot have the stripes or the sequins or the beautiful glittering patterns on their own shirts and dresses and braids? How the parents were angered at the flamboyance on display, how they condemned them to their children as they secretly longed for it for themselves. The hair. The glasses. And the shoes….oh, the shoes!

The curtains of the house were kept drawn; none of the crowd who happened to throng past on their way to the store, to work, to have hurried and sweaty tea with yet another neighbour saw much to gossip of; just strains of music from the cracks in the windows – Dancing Queen, Waterloo – and oh, the knowing smirk from the men and an artfully downcast blush from the women when Slipping through My Fingers played – Chiquitita and more. Everyone, of course, hated the music. All knew it by heart.

I, too, condemned the Abbatoir, loudly and vehemently to the men at night, as they grunted and thrusted and agreed with me wholeheartedly from their position atop me, to the women as they writhed and gasped and screamed how right I was to the heavens from beneath. To the children who giggled and shrieked and hid from the stories they heard as they sat around the bonfires in their back yards while AngelEyes drifted over the night air. And how I longed – so very much – to be a part of it.

Leave a Reply