“It was the best of times”

The writing group task for this week was to write 500 words including, or inspired by, the Dickens opening to “A Tale of Two Cities” – “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times”.  I took the instruction fairly loosely, choosing to write 500 words of dialogue, as follows:

It was the best of times…

Pass me the make-up remover, will you.  God, look at me, I’m a wreck: mascara everywhere.  I look like Morticia Addams.”

“Here.  I know you’re upset now, but it was the best of times, wasn’t it?”

“Hah!  For you, maybe; it was the worst of times for me.”

“That’s not fair, we had great times.”

You had great times with your fans and record deals.  I was barely hanging on, picking up the crumbs when you could be bothered to look my way, but you didn’t notice.” 

“What about that weekend in New York then?  That was a blast for both of us, I know you had a good time there.”

“Yes, a good time, pretending to be Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan up the Empire State.  The rest of that weekend I spent in the hotel suite watching TV while you did, well, whatever it was you did.  Even the bellboy took pity on me and tried it on.  Cheeky young sod.  You know, I worked it out: an hour and a half out of 48 for us.  Our ships never even got a chance to pass in the night, I was tied up in dry dock while you roamed the wild main.  Pass the moisturiser.”   

“I had no idea you were feeling that way.  You’re right.  I’m sorry.  Sorry’s a bit lame isn’t it, but I am sorry.  I suppose it’s too late to say that, anyway.”

“I think we’re way, way past sorry.  We’re in self-harming territory here.  Why do you think I got tangled up with Ricky, it’s not as if he’s really my type.  All spray tan and white teeth.  There, that’s more presentable, the mirror’s all yours.”

“Thanks.  Well, why did you?”

“It wasn’t sex, if that’s what you think.  Well, not all of it.  And it wasn’t to make you jealous, you couldn’t be made jealous because you didn’t care enough.  He just showed me some affection, that’s all; some comfort when I needed it.  You were off on another one of your promo tours, I was stuck here looking after the house and the dog.  If it hadn’t been him then it would’ve been someone else, eventually.  We were already not we any more.”

 “I was going to choose a new sofa for us today.  I tweeted about it.  You should see how many re-tweets there were.  I s’pose I’ll have to tweet about the split too now, before the press come doorstepping; they seem to hear about this sort of stuff before it’s happened.

“How can you do that?  Isn’t ‘OK’ magazine enough?  Most of our life is public property already, why tweet about this?”

“So what do you want to do, move out?  Are you moving in with him?”

“No, that’s finished.   Never started really.  I’ll pack some stuff tomorrow and move in with my mum until I can get set up with another flat.  She’ll be happy having a man about the place again, even if he is gay. 

Andrew Gold©

500 words

29 May 2014