Beetroot & I #3

February 9, 2011

Beetroot & I is a weekly column/diary piece that I write for entertainment.ie.
February 9th 2011

I met Christine on Monday. I got out of the taxi outside the hotel and paid the driver. Suddenly I was hit square in the head from above with tremendous force. I fell to the floor and looked around for the offending object. There it lay on the pavement beside me. A leg. A severed leg. From the knee down. A severed leg. I shrieked and vomited into my mouth. Why were severed legs raining from the sky? I swallowed the vomit down again.

“It’s a leg! It’s a fucking severed leg! Aaaahh!” I bellowed.

What kind of hideous apocalypse were we on the brink of here? My shrieks turned into all-out screaming and I began hyperventilating. Between gasping for air, I screamed like a little girl. The horror. The sheer horror of it all! Suddenly I heard a voice – a sweet Belgian voice from above – like a cherub from on high sent to explain the meaning of it all. I looked upwards and there she was, the most beautiful girl I had ever seen in real life, leaning out the window of a third floor room, smiling an embarrassed smile.

“That’s mine… Sorry” the girl called down. She seemed remarkably calm about the whole thing. I looked back at the leg. It wasn’t bloody or pulpy. It didn’t have veins hanging out of it. On closer, less hysterical inspection, this leg didn’t appear to be severed at all. In fact, on even calmer inspection, it wasn’t even a real leg. It was prosthetic. A brief silence followed. Had I overreacted? Or had I reacted with exactly the correct amount of appropriateness? A small crowd had now gathered and they were individually judging me on this exact count. I decided against holding a straw poll and took a deep breath. ‘It’s not severed’ I told myself repeatedly as I tried to pick up the wooden leg without touching it and looked back up.

“Stay where you are. I’ll b-bring it up” I stammered.

“Thank you. I’m in room 311.”

As it turned out Christine was the one-legged, Brussels-born Nanny of the woman I was at the hotel to meet – a little-known Irish celebrity whose trashy Christmas autobiography I was to ghostwrite. Christine greeted me at the door of 211. I handed her the leg but she looked at me with a mixture of terror and confusion. No. Wait. ‘This isn’t Christine.’ I told myself. She said 311, not 211. I think the concussion must have been starting to set in at that point. I apologised to the old man, took the leg back and re-boarded the elevator.

Balancing on one leg, her only leg, Christine – the real Christine – took her other leg from me and hopped over to the bed to reattach it.
“She told me to throw her over the leg” protested the Celebrity (whom I cannot name for contractual purposes) “How is it my fault that she was standing next to an open window?”
“I never said throw” Christine snapped. She was very embarrassed by the whole episode. Christine introduced herself and began apologizing profusely. It was at that point that I must have collapsed.

I awoke in an ambulance and the first thing I saw was the worried face of my Belgian cherub. When I saw that she was holding my hand, I fainted. When I woke up again, she was at my bed-side.
“Is there someone you’d like me to call?” she asked. I thought about Beetroot, but remained silent. I didn’t want to bring him down here… worry him.
“No. Thank you for coming down with me.”
“It was the least I could do.”
“W-what are you doing tomorrow night?” I said before I knew what I was saying.
“Eh… nothing. Why?”
“W-would you like to go to dinner with me?” I slurred. She smiled. Granted it was a smile of pity more than lust, but it was a smile nonetheless.

I arrived back at the flat at a little after twelve. Beetroot had waited up. He eyed me angrily as I entered the room.
“I was… I was hit by a car.” I said, avoiding his gaze. He narrowed his eyes and looked me up and down. I knew he knew I was lying. He turned on his paws, raised his tail, strolled into the bedroom and slammed the door behind him. That’s when I noticed the folded blanket and pillow that had been flung on the couch.

“You’ve still got yoga tomorrow night, don’t you Beetroot?” I called through the door. I’ve never had an affair before.

Shane

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One Response to “Beetroot & I #3”

  1. karen said

    Very Nice post,

    Thanks a lot.

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