Leo’s last day

by Luke Otley

-We do the shit, waiting for the sun, bam, easy life – Leo sits on two water kegs – Fuckin’ hell, thirty degrees to the face, it’s hard, ah, putain, wow – Last day on South Beach, he’s been here almost nine weeks, no licence living in a stationary van, Gang Starr plays, stove set on the floor, the most black coffee hits my stomach, nausea slight, Marlborough  smoke expands like time inside, I lie back on towels, t-shirts, sleeping bag pillow, light comes in strong down the right windows, Luc reaches for watermelon brought in from outside, Leo elbows on knees, nods to bass line – I’m going to start doing my shit – To no one in particular, met with silence, a slurp of melon, turns his head and stretches long tanned arms back to rest on driver’s seat headrest.  Past him the woman I saw topless changing with big dog, bumper sticker – Good planets are hard to come by – Middle aged, whistles to the dog baseball cap purple top no bra, Luc jams to trade – they gonna see-ee – soul singer, bass line rolls away, Michael Jackson style, bottlecap graces the floor, though it’s been swept – In my mind-d – Leo sings, grabs a vest, shunts it into his face, inhales, yelps – One year of stink! Papa was a rolling stone! – Head bobbing like a strutting pigeon, flicks a shirt out and a spray of crumbs and scraps of plastic fly everywhere, scatter my journal – Sorry man – Luc hocking up phlegm, spits it onto the tarmac – Words can’t describe the feeling I feel, oh glory, Hove! – French guy I’ve forgotten name of stands outside reading my copy of Dennis Haskell seriously, hands it back some minutes later without comment. Open sour cream crust paperweights smoked salmon, baguette exposed to the air, joint smokes like a thread from a silkworm into the air, track begins – Is someone listening? Okay … – Dirty towel beige, blue, brown innocent dirt streak hangs over bumbag, tooth brush rests outwards like one side spooning lover. Vested man, 30s, backward cap mirrored glasses and trimmed beard looks in, away as he passes on, backs out in big black late model Jeep, Leo returns, stands outside with didgeridoo 30° into van, Luc flips his guitar to back and tap taps the wood with fast fingers, shouts something in French, Leo back, searches for a lighter, lifts some jumper up four inches, barely glances underneath before replacing it, repeats with the next item the same.