The Rubaiyat of Omar Sharif
by Matthew Fuller
© 1994

The IRA ad was on TV again. An active service unit of curvaceous republican lovelies was dishing it heavy style to a platoon of actors looking like over-tooled Brit inbreeds. A fifth generation Hollywood-Irish starlet appeared in full camo and armalite beaming "Tiocfaidh ar la" with a full set of teeth, before an anouncer read out a freephone number and the address of a computer in Surrey people could send donations to. The TV voice was barely audible behind the plate glasscrete of the rental shop. I heard feet crashing behind me and moved to one side as a work-team of religio-hygenist zealots slammed a guy up against the window and blast-hosed him with the full anti-bacterial. Near tore the flesh from his skull, but not a germ near, on, or in that citizen.

On the corner I glanced into McDavid's, the Israeli fast food merchants that were tearing up the market with their no-nonsense approach and mouthwatering line of Zionistical tapas. Hearing the boots of the clean-up squad behind me I ducked inside for cover and made straight for the counter. The seal of the London Beth Din flashed wildly on and off in a multi-coloured neon guarantee of the full-on kosherness of the snacks on sale. After a lingering consideration of the menu, during which I was simply unable to prevent a long string of gelatinous saliva easing it's way from my food-crazed mouth onto the wig of the customer queueing in front of me, I plumped for the Meir Kahane sushi with a Milk and Honey thick-shake and made for one of the tastefully decorated stools.

Through the window and out on the corner I can see Luscious Babe flogging off a crate of tit-water. A reservoir in North London got contaminated by a nearby factory manufacturing contraceptive pills and the city went wild. Water poachers, crazy, crazy with desire, swarmed the place every night till they brought in some lethal security. Simultaneously, a covert bidding war for control of the water board and the pharmaceutical manufactury started between several major corporations. The street was flooded with small-time guys like Luscious Babe, an octagenarian whose breasts had won several local competitions, selling pints of knock-off H2O at prices you can't imagine. Babe dressed in usual old man gear - overcoat, grimy shirt, dandruff and hair-oil - except that he had chest-height panels of deluxe c-thru' netting sewn into every garment he owned. He was a stunner, and had a loyal clientele. Alongside the water poachers, more legit operators were trying to muscle in on the craze. Nutritious milk drinks were being supplemented with estrogen and sold with labels guaranteeing that after six to seven months daily use the customer would be able to make their own supply.

Ten days later I saw Luscious again. Outside the closed library, chucking up gobbets of chicken like sodden tissue. His face placid but concentrated, as if he was trying to remember some distant bus-timetable. His eyebrows raising and jaw flopping open as each lump leapt out. The contents of his stomach more animate than himself. It was dark. When I looked down I saw that his clothes were ripped, torn up. He lay in the street like a rubbish bag attacked by hungry dogs. I cradled his breasts in my hands and inspected them for damage. I placed my lips to the left nipple and slid my arms behind his back, feeling the spine and the clods of flesh under his jacket. Worked his nipple into an achingly hard pyramid and moved onto the right one, continuing to caress him with my free arm. Sounds of the movement of the street behind us, the damp air and his steadying breath as the tarmac grated into my knees and my tongue danced on his tits.

There was this other operator in the business of tit-water. The Supernumary Nipple. He has a case of oracular warts which enables him to make the right decisions at the right time. This was undoubtedly his doing.

Down amongst the cars, outside the library, Luscious Babe staggers to his feet. This is what he says: "I'm gonna get him"

We began to hunt that bastard down. Fighting against time and the supernatural powers of his prophetic warts.

Every club we busted into he was there but gone. A half empty glass, a spilt chair, a gap by the bar.

A car moves through traffic. You are endlessly chasing. Somewhere inside it has what you need. It appears at the end of an alley, obscured by overflowing bins, moving slowly, reflective glass. On the motorway you look down from the bridge as it speeds by underneath, shiny metal. You can feel it behind you, walking down a residential street, certain that it's a kerb-crawler you dare not turn but as you do it vanishes. The car that you feel crawling up behind your back turns round the corner that you race up to, and is gone from sight.

The Supernumary Nipple. He has one fault. His fault lies in the paradox that while we have never been better informed, we have never been more ignorant of the world around us. This is due to the availability of information and the opportunity to act on information received. The Supernumary Nipple is constantly being delivered information by his warts. That he receives this information constantly, precludes his ability to act upon it with any degree of consideration. He was constantly acting on information that would save his skin or cut him a deal in the future.

If you don't live in the present you are unnable to deal with the future. You have no time to consider it or to shape it. If like The Supernumary Nipple you are constantly being fed information on the future and are having to deal with situations ranging from anything from a second to a decade ahead in time you find yourself burrowing deeper and deeper into the past in order to meet up with the present.

We took a side-track, a short-cut, and caught up with him as his ugly blue lard covered little head squeezed out of his mummy's cunt to face death.

At the water line on Luscious' lips, the point where wet mouth meets protective flap, the margin between inside and outside, there is a micro-tattoo which reads, "abandon hope all ye who enter here". When sewing up the mouth of a corpse to make it look right, ready to be beheld by the mourners, it's this water line that the undertaker looks for to sew along, a barrier against the new forms of life seething within the body.