Marcia Marseille et moi
Marcia and I were sitting on the sofa at the end of the world watching Olympique Marseille play Guingamp
The score was 2-1
Marseille had opened the scoring after eight minutes but Guingamp had equalised from the spot after thirty-four
But Marseille had taken the lead again four minutes later from another penalty
It had been a close game spoilt by inconsistent refereeing
Do you think both sides will finish with eleven?
I have my doubts
Do you want me to read my poor poem?
At half time Marcia at half time
I sensed Marcia’s irritation as she tucked her legs beneath the cushion
Can I read it to you now?
Go ahead is it a long poem?
It is not really a poem or a story just something in-between
I am all yours
Marcia pulled a small pad from her woollen bag
Marcia was walking in the rain on the decks of the Ocean Queen
She was wearing just her white and blue Olympique Marseille football shirt
Come back come back Marcia
For your bottom is on show
You shouted without reply
On the deck above a member of the crew was doing his rounds
Madam why are you wearing a Marseille football shirt in the rain?
Because I am naked underneath
I am Dutch and in my home country it is not considered proper behaviour to frequent the decks of ocean liners wearing the football shirt of any French football club
If I was wearing an Ajax shirt would that be considered good behaviour in your country?
You came out on to the deck and removed my football shirt and I stood there quite naked
After straightening the shirt and kissing the collar lightly you handed it back to me
Throw your football short into the foaming sea
And we will swim to Amerika
The land of the free
This is the place for you and me
And with this I threw the football shirt into the sea
The Dutchman was standing next to me and handed you two football shirts
Ajax home and away the choice is yours sir we often have passengers throwing French football shirts into to the sea and declaring their love for Amerika
Marcia placed the notebook on her lap and looked at me
Well what do you think?
I liked it
You do not get it do you?
That I want to go on a cruise and not to fucking Marseille again if I see that fucking stadium again I am going to scream
You liked the Unite d’ habitation didn’t you?
True I get off on Le Corbusier but I hate fucking Marseille why the fuck he ever considered Marseille is beyond me
I have a break planned and no it is not Marseille
Where where are we going?
That would be telling anyway pipe down as the teams are remerging this is going to be tight match
Two months later Marcia and I were sitting next to the first and last cottage in England
Do you like Land’s End?
There is something so wild about this area
Marcia watched as the droplets of rain water dripped from her hood and shuddered as one ran down her spine
Does it ever stop raining here?
Sometimes you have to remember that our country has a westerly airflow
You know that I hate this place so much that I am actually pining for Marseille
Why fuck off?
You know I wanted to go on a cruise
You can see the sea from here and there is plenty of it
Fuck you again fuck you a thousand times
That night we were lying in bed in our rented cottage not far from Land’s End
I hate this place
I thought it was a little quaint
I thought you liked quaint
What are you reading?
What do you think?
Le Corbusier again?
Le Corbusier did not do quaint did he?
Are you mad at me?
No at myself
Well where shall I start if it is not fucking Marseille then it is fucking Lands End or fucking Dartmoor or anywhere fuckingwhere that interests you
You still want to go on a cruise don’t you?
Yes as much as I hate this fucking place
They take a lot of organising
We are not cruise people you will get bored and what about the story?
The one you wrote about wearing a football shirt on deck
That was for you a hint you know how much you like my bottom
In a football shirt
Yes a hint I introduced the Dutchman to make you jealous
How can I be jealous of abstracts?
I tell you what lets book a cruise leaving from Marseille GOING ANYWHERE
Not many leave from Marseille these days it is more of a stopping point
I will let you take in a match before we go and I will wear that hateful blue and white dress you like without panties so you can touch me in one of the backstreets like a cheap whore you know how much you like that
Would you want to see the Unite d’ habitation again?
Maybe I will give it a miss this time
No Le Corbusier
No Le Corbusier
I must say I never liked fucking you on the plate books of his I found them a little uncomfortable
And I do not like walking around in your fucking Marseille football shirt with my bottom on show
But I like it
Then if we go on the cruise you shall have it I will wear both the home and away shirts as well as the third change shirt and if you like you can invite the whole ship to witness me in your teams colours
That will not be necessary
You story set me thinking
Well as much as I love Olympique Marseille I thought there is more to life than the football club there are many clubs in many cities in many countries
Where are you going?
Well I have booked a cruise but it is not leaving from Marseille but from Rotterdam we are going to cruise the North Sea and visit Sweden and Norway and I think Finland
Oh how wonderful how lovely
There are conditions though
In the box next to the bed there are three football shirts Ajax home Ajax away and their third choice change shirt I would like you to wear them
If you like
In front of the Dutch crew
No that is where I draw a line it must be a ships officer
Marcia pulled me towards her and kissed me on the lips she then got out of the bed and walked to the window and removed her Marseille football shirt
May I throw it out?
Be my guest
I joined Marcia at the window having picked her Le Corbusier book up
And this to
I will need an architect in my life
Choose a living one there are plenty of those to choose from
The book followed the football shirt out of the window and as we lay in each other’s arms Marcia suddenly sat up
Are you ok?
Foster Norman Foster he is my new architect
Marcia and I were sitting on the sofa at the end of the world
I was listening to Mozart on my headphones
Marcia was knitting
Every light was on in our cottage
As we wanted to share our contentment
I think you will be able to see our cottage from the moon
Marcia said to me
She handed me a ball of magenta wool
Do you remember Harry Worth?
No who was he?
A British comedian
Does he appear on television?
No he no longer appears on television
The local authorities have changed the street lamps
They are much brighter
Do you realise that many shops do not have plate glass windows unhindered by supports they are fast disappearing from our towns and cities
I have never really thought about it
Harry Worth once created a memorable comedy moment on television using a shop doorway and a plate glass window
Why do you think that they changed the street lamps?
I suppose the moon was bored
I rather like them
May I share your headphones?
Please do I am listening to Mozart
Marcia and I were sitting on the sofa at the end of the world
As it was summer the television was not on and we were both reading
It was raining outside as it had been for most of the summer
Marcia looked up from her book
May I interrupt you?
I was not reading but watching the rain come down
I have decided to get a tattoo
That’s nice what type of tattoo?
Where are you going to have this tattoo?
On my arse
On your arse?
Yes on my arse it is a gentle place for a gentle creature
How big is this butterfly going to be life size?
Well how big?
About a third of the size of one of my cheeks
Don’t you approve?
It is your body
You have a tattoo
A Maltese Cross
My dad was Maltese
I know I have met him
Then you agree?
It is your choice but have you thought how you are going to live with it?
What do you mean?
Well on the beach for instance
Women with tattoos visit the beach you know
Yes I have noticed
You cousin Susan has a tattoo of a rose on her bum
How did you know that?
She showed it to me
What type of butterfly are you planning to have?
A Red Admiral
Marcia lifted a book from the coffee table
See here it is it is such a beautiful creature
Yes I agree but I will have to get used to it when you parade around the house
You will like it imagine when you fuck me from behind you will have a friend to talk to
Where are going to have this tattoo done?
At the parlour in the town
It is run by that ginger guy who looks like he is a biker
Do you really want Dave to be fiddling with your beautiful bum?
He will not be fiddling with my bum at all as Petra is going to do it
His German assistant
She means nothing to me
You know the one all vests and tattoos she wears blond dreadlocks
Is she good?
I believe so as some of the tattoos she has are her own work
When I am going to meet the butterfly?
Saturday I am going on Saturday
Although it was raining Marcia decided to walk to the tattoo parlour
As she opened the door she was greeted by Dave
Hi Marcia good to see you Petra is in the back room but I think she has some bad news
Oh dear is she poorly?
As Marcia finished her sentence Petra entered the front office
She kissed Marcia lightly on both cheeks
I hear you have some news for me
I saw Marcia before she saw me and opened the door for her
Would you like a cup of tea I will not ask you to sit down
Cut the jokes
There is no tattoo no butterfly
Look outside what do you see?
The road the fields and the railway station
No what do you see above the road the field and the railway station
And what comes from the sky?
What else the wet stuff
It was because of the rain that I could not have a tattoo
You have lost me
Butterflies are very gentle creatures and have suffered greatly during this shitty summer in short there are none to spare their population has been badly hit by the poor weather
So Dave could not get one to pose?
So Petra could not get one to pose?
Yes they were far too busy surviving and could not release even a common moth
That is sad you will just have to go back when the summer picks up
I have decided against it I want my bottom to be undecorated
I thought you liked my cousin’s tattoo
I did but in a way butI thought she had spoilt herself
Do you not like my tattoo?
I love your tattoo but it is more of a man thing I was looking at Petra and thought of her naked with all her tattoos she looked odd like a wall full of graffiti
It is your call I was looking forward to meeting the admiral when I fucked you from behind we could have shared stories of the sea
Fuck off don’t take the piss
The cup of tea is still on offer
I’ll make it just get dry
A short while later Marcia and I were sitting together were sitting on the sofa at the end of the world
She looked warmer in a grey sweat shirt
What were you doing whilst I was away?
Finishing my book
Was it good?
Yes it was very good
What was it called?
Yes Papillon by Henri Charriere