Beetroot & I #6

March 2, 2011

Beetroot & I is a weekly column/diary piece that I write for entertainment.ie.
Wednesday, March 2nd

Today is my birthday. I am 28 years old. I am no longer in my mid-twenties. I am, without doubt now, a man in his late-twenties. I suddenly feel a compelling urge to take stock and evaluate my life. In my early twenties, I made a very short list of things that I hoped to achieve before I turned thirty. I have only two years now to complete them, so I thought it might be fun to break out the list and see how many I have ticked off and how many are still to do. I pulled down my shoebox of memories and fished out the scrap of paper from amongst the Ash, Ocean Colour Scene and Stereophonics ticket stubs. To my surprise there were only two pledges on the list.

Number 1. Get married. I have not achieved this yet and, if I’m being honest, it doesn’t look very likely to happen in the next two years either. Beetroot provides me with companionship of course, but any relationship that I’ve ever had with a human girl has seemingly fallen to pieces within a days of it getting started. First there was Vivienne. We met at a gallery and went for a couple of cups of coffee. Things were going well. I brought her home to meet Beetroot. And the next day, she just disappeared off the face of the planet. Then, there was Rebecca, same thing – met at a gig, a few dates, took her home to meet the cat, disappeared. Susan – the exact same thing. All going great, meets Beetroot, turns up missing. Georgina – disappeared. Fíona – gone. Claire, Lily, Toni, Mary – all the same thing. I don’t get it. What have I been doing wrong? Beetroot often tells me that I come off too desperate and that if I play it cool and act as if I have no interest in a girl, I’d have more of a chance. He also told me to be rude to all girls that I meet because, as he says, “girls love d**kheads.” Maybe he’s right. There was Christine though, I suppose – the one-legged Belgian girl. She didn’t disappear like the others. But I made a bags of that. I can forget about her.

Number 2. Get a novel published. Not achieved yet – but I do have high hopes for Tainted Milk. It’s slow going though. It was supposed to be a bleak uncompromising view of the future, but having spent so long working on it with out actually finishing it, it’s now set later this year. Which robs it, somewhat, of its future-punch. Nevertheless, here’s a little snippet from Chapter One. See what you think…

The Replicon assassin stepped through the lunch-time rush and right up to Garrison’s table.

“You the journalist who wrote the exposé on the infected milk supplies?£ Garrison eyed the Replicon steelelely. He knew it was a rhetorical question. That’s the only type of question robots ask. Garrison had know* choice. It was either go quietly to certain death, or risk the lives of everyone in the small café by trying to shoot his way out. And even though the government had already risked each and everyone of these people’s lives already with the contaminated milk supplies by giving it to them in the first place without a care for their safety. He wasn’t willing to do that. That would make him as bad as them. And he wasn’t. He was better than them. Much better. They were far below his level. He turned to Sandra, half Replicon, half the most beautiful woman he had ever seen and kissed her softly on her human side.
“I have to go my sweet.” he breathed into her ear.
“No…” she protested passionately.
“Shhh, this is what true love really means.”
“I love you John Garrison. I always will.” They embraced boldly and tenderly and let their passions unfurl right there in the café. Garrison’s soft strong arms entwined with Sandra’s and their necks aligned as if they had been designed to do so, slotting alongside each other like ying and yang, human and half human, hero and woman.
The Replicon assassin, who ironically would later become an ally of Garrison’s, had seen enough and dragged Garrison out the door with every intention of slaying him. He never got the chance.

(*Purposely misspelt. While Garrison had no choice, he also knew he had no choice.)

Reading back over this first chapter. I started to become empowered by Garrison’s bravery. He did whatever it took to protect his half-robot/half-girlfriend, regardless of what it meant for his own well-being. I started to wish that I could be more like John Garrison. Damn it, I thought, I can be. I have two years to get my book published and find my own Sandra (a 100% human Sandra, in my case though). Shane Langan might not be able to do it, but Garrison can. I just need to be more like Garrison and I can achieve anything I want. ‘WWGD?’ will be my mantra from here on in. Wish me luck! Oh… I think I hear the front door opening. Beetroot must be back from his walk. I better go.

Shane

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