‘What kind of books do you write?’
The music is loud, really loud, too loud, I can barely hear her over the sound of Lady Gaga as the club goes nuts and people are either drunk or high or both.
‘Aye, what kind of fiction? Like fuckin’ literary fiction or sum shit like that?’
‘Horror, rape, lesbian vampires, necrophilia, that type of thing.’
‘I hear necrophilia is like dead boring.’
‘You should try incest, it’s only relatively boring.’
‘Yeah, place is dead,’ she says missing the point and looking around, ‘everyone has gone to Australia, since the recession only the auld ones and the broke as fuck stick around.’
‘I was talking-forget it. What’s your name?’
‘Like Jay Zee?’
‘Yeah, but without the millions of dollars, the bling and Beyonce,’ I said and walked outside to get some fresh air, when I turned around she appeared at my side as if by magic.
Outside a few drunken students have gathered around the heart shaped monument, which has white frothy water pumping out of what can only be the severed arteries of the human heart. It’s freezing cold. Megan takes a box of cigarettes from the pocket of her jacket and lights up as she mutters something about a nanny state and the smoking ban under her breath. The sky line of Limerick city flashes and reflects in her eyes as she stares out across the city.
‘You get paid for that?’ She asks.
‘For the books?’
‘Aye, Amazon, the Kindle thing. You got them on Amazon, right? For the Kindle. I’ve seen them in Tesco.’
‘Got my first royalty cheque last week.’
‘One hundred and thirteen dollars.’
Before you can say Steve Jobs, Megan whips out her iPhone. ‘That is eighty four Euro.’
‘What did the bank charge you for cashing a foreign cheque? Eight Euro?’
‘Seventy four Euro.’
‘And the fee’s for the cheque?’
‘So seventy Euro then?’
‘And it took you how long?’
‘A few months.’
‘There are homeless people earning more than that.’
‘You should start a blog.
‘I will,’ I replied as I watched the students trying to take the top of a LIDL brand bottle of Washing Up liquid before emptying it in to the fountain.
‘J.D. Gallagher,’ Megan whispered as she fiddled with her iPhone before accessing iTunes. ‘The Box Factory? That you, kid?’
‘You wish, kid,’ Megan drawled through her vodka flavoured breath. ‘You gotta up yer prices, kid. Ninety nine cent. Whores charge more than that. Gonna download that one. It’s probably shit. Is it shit?’
‘I’m kind of biased. You been in Limerick long?’
We both watch as the fountain fills with bubbles and a thick, distinctly lemon scented foam spills out on to the street. The students cheer. One of them is wearing one of those V For Vendetta masks that Occupy Wall Street and Wikileaks supporters like so much. The street fills with foam and bubbles as he sticks his hand up towards the night sky before flicking his middle finger at no one in particular.
‘Whoa,’ Megan shouts gleefully as the first car, a taxi comes down the street, skids on the surface and tries to brake as it floats like a dream, only smoother, across the street to the wrong side of the road before coming to a stop on the footpath. A cheer goes up. Another car appears at the top of the road.
‘Fuck,’ Megan said as she spots a Police car and runs as the first car reaches the foam.
I follow her down the side of the alley to the opposite side of the street as we leave the sound of cheers and broken glass followed by sirens. Megan laughs so hard she is out of breath as she runs towards the taxi rank.
‘Good luck, kid.’
‘Hey, someday you might be like that vampire woman, you know the Twilight author?’
‘I mean that is some sick shit there. You got this good looking chick trying to decide between bestiality or necrophilia.’
It took me a while to get that. She laughed as she opened the door of the taxi.
‘Welcome to Limerick City,’ I said apropos of nothing.
She laughed again.
‘Home of the body-bag,’ I added.
She laughed harder, ducking head first in to the back of the taxi so her arse stuck out. I turned and walked back up the alley, from the shadows I watched the chaos on the street, someone had called the fire brigade, who were hosing down the street and trying to wash the blanket of bubbles and foam in to the gutter and down the storm drains, one of the cops picked up the V mask and studied it briefly before tossing it in to the gutter where the stream of water carried it off down the street.