John, the Spider Plant

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
A spider plant called John.

Submitted: November 02, 2012

A A A | A A A

Submitted: November 02, 2012

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A A A


“I didn't like him very much either”. Alice was watering a pot plant on her window sill.

“He was a real pain in the arse, sometimes, especially when he'd been racing, all that adrenaline”, Bob was watching Alice water the spider plant, which seemed to him to need more than the few drops it was getting.

“Bloody cars, I don't know”.

 

John Arnold was a racing driver, not too successful, he still had a full time job in the florists down the road, but had ambitions. Was a racing driver.

 

“Did he tell you about that time when he crashed his friend's Ferrari?”, Bob said.

 

“Nope, he was crap at telling me stuff like that. Not normal, I used to think”, Alice had put the watering can back in its place, next to the spider plant. How it must have looked at it daily, if spider plants could look, and hoped against hope. Alice didn't care too much for her pot plants.

 

“Well, its all over now, I wonder what he'll do now?”.

“God knows what they get up to in heaven – ha! A joke”!

“Don't joke, Bob, I forgot, just for a moment, just for a little moment. Bob?”,

“Yes, Al?”,

“Lets remember the better times, the earlier times, the before-the-car times?”.

“Yes, Al, we will”.

“Good. Now – perhaps I'll call this one John”, nodding at the spider plant.

“Yes, you could, but it would get even less water that the poor thing does now. If I were you I'd call it Bob, Bob the Spider. Bob the Spider Plant”.

“No, John it is”.

“Yes, alright Alice, Al”.

“Don't call me Alice, Bob, just call me Al. Oh...”.

“Paul Simon”.

 

The flat was quite bare, a few pitious plants, an old blue leather sofa in the middle of the room facing a new, overlarge television set, some rugs on the floor. A photoframe on a sideboard. Photographs of Bob and John and Alice in the early days, in the before-the-car days.

 

Bob and Alice were standing looking out of the window now, onto the grey semi-urban landscape, onto which rain was falling. Lashing, actually. John the Spider Plant must have been in anguish. I wondered what I was doing there, not saying a word, being ignored. As per the usual.

 

“What friend was that, then, Bob, the one with the Ferrari? I didn't know he had friends who owned Ferraris”.

 

I said, “It was mine, It wasn't mine, actually, I was borrowing it from my friend Jane. Jane leant it to me because she'd just bought it on a whim. You didn't know Jane, did you Bob, Alice? The one who won the lottery and bought Ferraris on a whim, then leant them, well it, to their friends?”.

 

“No, we didn't, Stephen, not at all, you never mentioned her. How much did she win?”, Alice was looking at Bob when she said this, how odd.

 

“She never told me, she just turned up at my house in February, the fourteenth actually, with a yellow Ferrari and asked me if I wanted to borrow it. I thought of John, of course, I leant it to him. He crashed it”.

 

“Why did, er, this Jane want to lend, you, you Stephen, a Ferrari bought on a whim? Seems an odd thing to do.”

 

“Jane was odd, is odd, I haven't seen or heard from her since. Possibly because of the yellow Ferrari”.

 

“Yes, probably Stephen”.

 

“Yes probably”, said Bob, who was now looking at me in that way he does.

 

“Now then”, said Alice suddenly, “we need to get out of this gloomy fug we're all in! Lets go to The Empire and get lashed. Lashed as a fart, lashed as a newt, lashed as a ...”.

 

“Lashed thing,”, I said, “Not for me, actually, I have to get back to Mother”.

 

“Oh dear, Stephen, really?”.

 

“Yep, she needs me to do some shopping and she's given me a shopping list, she thinks I'm at Tescos now, instead of being here with you two. So yes, you two go and get lashed, and I'll go to Tescos and get all her stuff.”.

 

“Yes, you do that, Stephen”, said Alice, frowning.

 

“It's only one thirty in the afternoon, you know. I thought I'd better mention it, in case you've lost track of time, thinking of John and all that, I know it can affect people like that, I read it somewhere”.

 

“Yes, I know what time it is. Bob? Are we going? The Empire?”.

 

“Ok, right, I'll see Stephen out”.

 

“I'm not sure I need “seeing out”, Bob, but I'm willing to see you give it a go”.

 

“Oh Stephen. Come on”. Bob walked from the window and out into the hallway, I heard him getting my coat from the row of hooks. Heard it because of all of the jangley things in my pockets. I went out and put on my coat. I said to Bob, smiling,

 

“What are you two going to discuss behind my back, eh?”, I laughed.

 

“Nowt, I just want to see Alice is ok, on my own, if that's alright with you”.

 

“Yes, of course, Bob, you look after her”.

 

I got into my car.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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