We Look Like Someone You Would Not Want To Meet
by pablo vision
My Name is Fred.
I am writing this now because Ed is asleep.
I am not going to tell you my life story – because the beginning was boring – and the end has not yet happened. I am going to tell you something about me – but once I do - your opinion of me will change – and possibly not for the better. You may think that you have no opinion of me at all – but I am afraid that this is not true.
You might want to take time to imagine me – you should do this in anyway you wish – and you should do it now. In this way you will be able to empathise with me later – and this is necessary for this story to work. My tragedy has got to become your tragedy.
Imagine anything you like.
You can close your eyes if you want to.
What we have just done is called an introduction – you may like to remember this – but it is not essential.
Of course I regret it now – but at the time it seemed a bit of a laugh – and in many ways to make a lot of sense - as Ed and me were almost inseparable anyway. And so it was - that one Friday morning we decided – there and then - to become conjoined.
We quickly decided on the details – joined at the upper thigh and torso – side by side – therefore retaining two legs and arms – but gaining an extra head and genitalia - the operation was completed that afternoon.
As they were throwing my recently severed leg into the incinerator – I was vaguely aware of them explaining that the procedure would be non-reversible – but to be honest I was not paying too much attention – it was very off-putting watching the left hand side of Ed's upper body being cut away – whilst they tried to distract him from the pain - by performing sleight of hand magic tricks- the one where the lit cigarette passed through the physician's hand being the most impressive.
Despite the surgeons never being asked to perform this kind of surgery before – it was all finished very quickly and efficiently – the molten flesh joining with only the faintest of scars.
It was only on leaving the hospital that it became apparent that we had not really though this thing through.
Walking proved problematic – Ed was a good three inches taller than me – and Ed liked to walk so much faster than me. This produced an effect not unlike a drunken tramp fighting invisible enemies.
We had also neglected to think about our new clothing requirements – and even now we find that the major clothing stores do not cater for our needs.
And so it was that our naked – staggering – sweating – pulsating [what?] – irregular – uncertain – excited [not in that way] – tentative new form was introduced to the outside world – attracting abuse and horror and screams and stares and laughter – we looked like someone that you most certainly would not like to meet. We did – however – only have to pay for one bus seat – as the driver took the view that we were one entity rather than two individuals sharing one body.
Also I should have taken into consideration the differences in our personalities – and sexual orientation – I shudder at the memory of Ed's bald – fat – lover bouncing up and down and up and down and up and down on him as I lay there trying to read John Paul Sartre.
Some called us Fred and Ed – some called us EdFred – but most called us FREAKS.
Those who had been conjoined from birth were the worst – they thought it a sick travesty of their condition. Some threw stones.
There were of course the good times – but I do not feel inclined to relate these – feel free to imagine these yourself. [Whatever you imagine will – of course – be exactly as it was.]
SO MOSTLY THIS:
My world became a smaller place.
Ed's world became bigger and brighter.
I longed for my old life.
Ed loved the new.
Ed loved the fame and attention – no matter how sick or morbid.
I wanted to crawl away and hide.
BUT ALSO THIS:
I hate Ed. And I did not realise this until recently – I have always hated Ed.
The smallest irritations GREW LIKE IVY insinuating into every single interaction between us – until it became an all-consuming torment. I hated the way Ed's ginger pubic hair GREW LIKE IVY and entwined with mine. Fred disliked the way my daughter – Rose – GREW LIKE IVY [her mother] – into a cold – bitter – twisted – heartless bitch. I hated the way Ed's climbing ivy GREW LIKE IVY and obscured the view from my window.
I hate that it is our window.
THIS IS WHAT FRED SAID:
I would rather have my old life back.
THIS IS WHAT ED SAID:
I love my new life despite everything.
Now is more than twenty years after us becoming one.
Twenty years of sharing.
Every last peppermint cream.
Every fucking second.
AND SO IT COMES TO THIS
Ed is no longer sleeping.
I said in the introduction that my story had no end – but this no longer appears to be true.
My name is Fred – and because Ed is dead – I will also soon be dead – you see – even after all I have said – when it comes down to it - I really cannot live without him.
pablo vision occasionally updates pablo vision with obscenity, blasphemy, links to recently published work, information about stuff in print, and, somewhat bizarrely, stories about him. he has remained faithful to the same woman for a number of years, but is always eager to test his resolve in this matter with attractive gothic girls.