The room is around two metres wide and maybe twice as long. Against the far wall is a wreck of a couch that may have once been off-white with raised red flock flowers but is now a uniform deep filthy brown. The flock merely odd tufts of memory that stoned fingers might play with. Behind the door is a portable TV on an upturned milk crate. The floor is bare save a video recorder, old pizza boxes, torn cigarettes and the odd empty beer can. Packed into the room are seven young men. All but one over six feet tall. There had been the usual battle for a place on the couch. The race from their individual rooms. But that`s long since over. Steven Segal is on the TV screen and no one has said anything for at least an hour.
Some nights there`ll be cards in the kitchen. Elvis impressions. Or betting on televised Sumo. But most evenings are spent this way. In silence. Knees up by your chin. Elbows in tight. Everything you might need for the night jammed in your pockets. If you have a place on the couch, the last thing you want to do is get up.
The scene will occasionally be broken by various passing drunk acquaintances making their way home, throwing open the door and shouting obscenities. Getting nary a reaction. The house that contained the room was never locked. Keys lost or forgotten too many times. And nothing worth stealing. New arrivals squeezing a space amongst the shit for a while but eventually, bored, leaving the regulars to their communion. Young men lost in time and space. The only worry the inevitable round of scissors, rock, stone to determine who does the snack run. Or even worse the run to the Video shop. An eternity of indecision only to be greeted by complaints and derision.
Steve Segal gets told to keep it in this pants one last time, and one young man attempts to leave for bed. He fails and falls face down in the doorway. Head in the hall. Holes in the soles of his shoes staring back. He will be stepped over and stay there until morning. Beer can still in hand. Another young man, looks across the couch, smiles the biggest smile you`ll ever see, and breaks the silence.
“I`m having such a good time now”.
For Al and H.x