My First Colouring Book

My First Colouring Book by Lloyd Jones

Book: My First Colouring Book by Lloyd Jones Read Free Book Online
Authors: Lloyd Jones
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nothing as of yet. She was dressed quite racily, he thought, in a pencil skirt and a flimsy peach blouse: he could see her bra straps, but he said nothing as of yet. A little black hat and crimson lipstick… by god she was a looker, gathering admiration from all around; he was puffed with pride as he sat beside her on his slightly shiny bottom.
    He’d worn his rugby club tie – not a player but a good secretary, vital role really – and he’d tried to impress her with his knowledge of words: his special gift from the man above. After all he was well on the way to becoming an intellectual, and he read poetry before going to sleep, though only socially approved material, Dylan Thomas and RS Thomas, no outlandish stuff. What was the connection between funicular and funambulist , he’d asked her as they drank their Lapsang Souchong. He’d pointed towards the railway, for some unfathomable reason. Amazingly, she knew. A funambulist was a tightrope walker, and funa was Latin for rope. He was visibly astonished.
    Then she’d poked fun at him and he’d blushed. The women around them all noticed him blush, and he blushed again. But the meeting went well, and by the end they both knew that something was on the cards. Her shapeliness and intelligence did it for him. And as for her? Oh, there was his boyish interest in everything around him, and his blushes perhaps. What with nobody much else on the scene and time running against her she might as well get it over and done with – she agreed with her mother on that. Her parents’ marriage had been sturdy and strong like a cast iron stove but there hadn’t been much love or finesse. Mags and Morgan might be lucky, and it was all down to luck in the end, wasn’t it? Look at all those arranged marriages in Persia or wherever, the success rate was round about the same.
    Within a year they were married.
    Often afterwards, in the first flush of love, he’d made a mental map of the tea rooms and tried to correlate all the planes and parabolas. Mankind so loved patterns, he thought. Circles and cones, checks and diamonds. In the tea rooms their bodies seemed to sit in harmony, as if they were celestial bodies reaching a perfect Pythagorean pitch. Perhaps that’s all love was, really – a geometric formula based on the distance between two bodies at any given time, a day when patterns met and matched, melding a marriage of shapes which pleased all around.
    Mags was in the doorway again, almost completely in shadow now. Was there anything he wanted?
    He sat for a while, watching the building’s shapes fade into dusk. There was nothing he wanted. Only his youth again, a big soft bed and an hour or two for dalliance. For astonishingly, unexpectedly perhaps, their physical union had been an unqualified success, on both sides of the bed. Nights of tumultuous, unending sex. Years of consummation, shared orgasms, relaxing cigarettes passed from hand to hand; he could remember the taste of her lipstick on the filters. Yes, their sex life had been top drawer. The stuff of dreams. It had saved their marriage on more than one occasion.
    As she left him he opened a book but put it down quickly; almost all his concentration had gone, dissipated with the years, along with all his energy. Drifting off to sleep again, he thought of their life together – their homes, their children, their fading hopes. Because their mental patterns had never really matched. That day in the tea rooms he had sought to impose a pattern, to connect the lines and intersect the radii, but he’d had to admit it later, at first to himself and later to others, their marriage had never been more, really, than a physical palliative to both of them. He’d shuffled the Morgan shape and the Mags shape all around like a pattern-maker, but they had never truly matched, except between the sheets – and that was good and certainly important but it wasn’t quite

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