It was the old woman again who calls herself Cynthia. It’s probably not her real name and I think that a lot of the stories she tells are perhaps only loosely based on fact. She probably looked quite good in her heyday. You can tell that with some people; bone structure. Booze is like longshore drift that gradually wears away at the soft tissue and leaves the hard stuff stranded and way out at sea. Anyway, she still has her figure.
She’s just been telling a tale of how she was an actress. Big name on the West End. Dancing and singing and all that. I have this image in my head of her as one of those burlesque girls, long legs and kicking them up into the air to show a little peak of her knickers. They did that back then, before it became un-PC. Political Correctness meant not doing or saying the things that had the possibility to harm or hurt. Women’s bodies and wrongly chosen words could do that. Anyway, back to the woman who calls herself Cynthia.
No, I have a better plan. Let me tell you a little of my story, from my perspective.
My name is Liam Flowers and I’m an alcoholic.
I just love that line. It’s meant to be about repentance and honesty. For me, it’s just a case of putting your cards down on the table. A lot of my story has already been told, but a lot of what has, is not necessarily kosher. At the very best it was written by other people. At the worst it was the product of some writer’s imagination. Some writer who should have been concentrating on his own life rather than mine.
But that last bit is not completely true either. You may disagree, but I believe that I have the right to my very own perspective as I am just as real as he is. In fact, from where I am sitting, I have a whole new world to gaze from and it’s he who is trapped by his own pages. He’s tapping this out now, in the middle of the night, thinking that he must get the idea down before is floats away into dreams. Okay then. I understand.
My name is Liam Flowers and some would have it that I was once the anti-Christ and the bringer of the end of days. Semantics?
Not many people know about my past and that is mainly due to the author’s discretion. He was discrete enough to write a book that hardly anyone read. So here I am, a new man and a former boy. Things have changed in my life, on a number of occasions. I have had some very definite stages. First was the helpless babe, never in arms as my mother was a major crack-head. Then came the child in care time. I was moved between carers, abusers, and finally jailers. None of this was, in the remotest, way conventional.
My big break came when our most revered author came up with a plan to write a novel for young adult readers. He was a big Stephen King fan and decided to pay homage to him by inventing this character called The Piper. Yes, that’s right, he has always had issues with capitalising the definite article. He does that in some of this other book too; fuckwit! So, I get my big break when he introduces me as the very evil antagonist to this wet fanny that he saw as being the saviour of the world, Michael. Talk about casting yourself as the hero!
So, there’s my ration of exclamation marks done for the day.
“If you can’t make the point emphatically, no amount of exclamation marks will help you!”
That’s a quote from some teacher or other superior tosser who couldn’t tie my proverbial shoestrings. Kids love exclamation marks!!! Ah but I’m not a kid any longer, am I? That’s another thing, I hate growing up and getting older. Not even these pages can protect me from the withering hand of time. At this point, before I get all teary, I suggest that I move on. If you want to get all that David Copperfield crap, you’ll have to check out the books. Don’t come to me, I didn’t write it.
I did have adventures and they were fantastical. I was the master of almost all that I could see until a false Achilles Heel was inserted into my character. Biblical narrative, that was to blame. I had sinned and sinning not only brought a little fun, it brought about my metamorphosis into a character to be reckoned with. If you have ever sampled the sweet taste of sin, you will know that it is a shameless indulgence that it is hard to live without. It is wrong and that is what is so good about it. For a long time back there, I was king of the castle, el supremo of Sin City. And I was loving it. Then came my road to Damascus moment. Fuck, don’t you just hate those moments?
The writer littered his books with those moments. I had a friend who was almost as bad as me but his moment came long before mine. His road to redemption was through him saving a young girl who had escaped the hungry teeth of The Piper’s army of rats. She was called Kate. A sassy little one who somehow got under his skin and made him more of a person than he ever would have been without her. She taught him to read. You can see what kind of Christ complex he was suffering from. When you are in a story like that, there is no escaping redemption unless you are a relatively minor character without any redeeming quality. I have got to admit, when he killed them off, he did it in style. I, as you are now aware, never received the final denouement, and for that I am eternally grateful.
Here I am, a paid up member of AA and a successful businessman. For this I owe a great deal of thanks to my business partner and true companion, The Leatherman (definite article?).