Burglary at Constantine Court

The sunlight brings bitter memories of the summers of his undergraduate youth. He actually parted company with the University of Salford two years ago – after it had been established by a disciplinary board that every single piece of coursework he had submitted had been cut and pasted from Wikipedia – but what the hell, you don’t go to uni to write essays about comparative GDPs and orienteering surveys. When he was a proper student his thing had been to buy two tickets to the biggest union events and just ask random girls to go with him. Best pulling record in the Castle Irwell village. He remembers the blonde with the coiffeured hair. Naked in my bedroom and I go downstairs. The lads are all up, watching telly, and I grab the jar of vaseline off the fridge. They all look up and I say: ‘I’m going to massage her tits before I fuck her up the arse.’ There were five people in the room at the time.

Yet in the last couple of years the tricks seem to have left him. This came after the dope’s fuzzy embrace, when he’d had to admit he was psychologically addicted to the stuff despite all the government adverts he’d laughed at and all the ironic retro posters on his walls (‘MARUJUANA – HEY, AT LEAST IT’S NOT CRACK!’) And he had started taking stuff from friends’ houses and selling it on to the lads he knew at the Wallness Tavern and the Blackfriars’ Arms, and he begins to realise that people aren’t calling, aren’t texting. I had a lot of respect for Dubious T, he heard someone say, down the Pav, until I found out: he wasn’t a student.

And none of it would matter if it wasn’t for the indifference of the girls. Summer used to be his favourite time; now he can’t stand it because he has to go out into the world and watch them strut, flick, flaunt… and completely ignore him.

Anyway. He’s packed his personal items, the iPod and toiletries, and now he goes into George’s room and separates the wires connecting the telly, the DVD and the console. The games are worthless, but he puts the DVDs into a plastic box he finds in a crawlspace under Newman’s bed. Fiver a time on EBay.

He untangles the front room hifi and places it near the front door. He carries the hardware downstairs; first the TV and DVD, then the laptop and console, then the box. He takes care to position the loot so that it cannot be viewed through the windows.

Already sweating with the exercise, he climbs the stairs again and begins detaching George’s Yamaha keyboard from its sockets. Even Tom Dubois doesn’t like doing this. George loves his music. Plays piano over and over; thoughtful, lulling rhythms that make him want to sleep. And plays a wicked guitar. For a second he feels disgusted with himself, he feels bad and low, and this is a new one for Dubious T, who has all his life genuinely believed that the world owes him a living.

But the Yamaha could get five hundred easy, so it gets propped near the front door with the rest of the electricals. Tough old world, George.

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2 Responses to “Burglary at Constantine Court”

  1. August 17, 2009 at 5:39 pm, Burglary at Constantine Court « Max Dunbar said:

    […] at Constantine Court By maxdunbar This short story is up now at Rainy City […]

  2. August 27, 2009 at 10:46 am, Rach said:

    Wonderful, a really great portrait of a scumbag.


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