His last thought occurred at 6.35pm on a Tuesday.
The thinker had just finished his long commute home from a day at the money farm selling notes and buying rocks. His mind raced with pleasurable thoughts about his latest monthly sales figures, his bottom line and the inevitable pat on the back from his nearest and dearest middle manager.
As he neared his mock tudor mansion he mocked a small grey man striding towards his driveway, in his head at least. His neighbour, the interminable St. John Blockley, had just received news the previous week that his pension plan which was invested in oilfields in Nepal, had effectively become worthless. This was inevitable as there were no oilfields in Nepal. Oh how he chuckled when he heard the news at the local country club, one of many in the nearby nouveau-riche locale.
He accelerated past St.John and scooted up his driveway pushing the recently replaced brakes only slightly to bring his chariot gently to rest. The exhaust vomited a small cloud of soot as he turned off the engine, which floated its way down to the annoying grey man rapidly approaching his driving side window. He sighed wistfully at the thought of more precious seconds of his priceless life being wasted by the soon to be penniless wrinklepicker. The only consolation was the carcinogenic gift being dispatched from his vehicle and delivered up the old bugger’s nose into his decrepit lungs.
– tap tap.
The sound of arthritis ridden monkey knuckles clacking heralded the impending void in the ever decreasing life span of the thinker. More time, precious time, would be gone forever in yet another unwanted social interaction with his financially and hygienically inept neighbour.
It was utterly, utterly pointless trying to ignore the hollow taps. Yet for a moment the thinker imagined the electronic pulses in his neighbour’s heart jolting suddenly, causing a sudden destruction of the aortic valve, collapse of the legs and therefore the cessation of the FUCKING TAP TAP.
Quickly he unwound the window.
– Yes, yes what is it now?
His dismissive tone set a new record for contempt; a local customer complaints officer callously abusing an elderly mole unable to reset her satellite system, suddenly cried out at losing this title. She proceeded to end the call, put down her headphones and spent the rest if the day crying in the toilet.
He turned to face the old codger, the wizened dingbat, the stinky eyed stalker, the outlet mall marauder; anything that came to mind. But instead of the standard glazed, lazy eye, sweaty brow, tuna sandwich for lunch in beard, he noticed a change in St.John the holy loss maker. Something subtle, so subtle it barely registered until the lurker started his latest pointless soliloquy.
– I’m glad I bumped into you…
Bumped? Chased and intercepted more like. The thinker had worked out a new purpose in his voice, a certain gusto lacking before. The beard was well groomed, strange for a man who hadn’t seen the inside of a bathroom for at least two months. The nearest he would get to a wash, he imagined, was with a creosote soaked rag in his tinpot shed at the end of his less than average acreage garden. Also, overgrown at best, scandalous in this neighbourhood at worst.
– …we really have to talk. I have the most amazing news…
The thinker had been here before, many, many times before. He quickly set his handbrake, took the key out of the ignition, opened his glove compartment, scrabbled around for what seemed like an eternity until finally, his hand grasped the cold dark metal of a colt m1911 semi automatic pistol. A family heirloom, returned from the jungles of Korea by his father in 1953. A gun stolen from the cold dead hand of a fallen lieutenant, a hand who had left it’s body one hundred feet away. A gun last fired at some scum ridden communist unpinning a high velocity grenade in one last act of nationalistic hatred. A fiery extension of death from the bearer to the victim. Last valued at ten grand. That was important.
– …I bumped into…
Speech continuing, in one fluid motion he pulled out the gun, thrust it into St.John’s forehead and with complete premeditation, pulled the trigger. In a blinding flash two things happened; firstly, this event deafened the thinker, leaving only a whining sound in his ears – although much more preferable to whining he was otherwise being subjected to. Secondly, a torrent of blood, cranial bone, brain mulch and a pair of ten year old designer spectacles, flew across the porch like wet autumn leaves in a thunderstorm. The body left behind knelt like a church congregational, except with a severed spinal column flapping back and forth without a care in the world.
– …your wife. It worked! She’s…
The thinker grasped an over-ripe banana. At least three weeks old, judging by the pulp leaking out onto his thumb. In one fluid motion, he pulled out the banana and with complete premeditation, placed it carefully into a small plastic bag.
– …well, has she not told you yet…
The words had been received but the thinker was concentrating on the mess his thumb had been subjected to. Some juice had escaped the thumb and landed right on his groin, near to the fly zip on his designer black trousers, just on the peak or ruff of material that occassionally looks like an erect penis when sitting down. This would cause inevitable embarrassment unless he could escape inside and fast.
– …She must have done, you’re miles away. Listen, being a father is a truly joyous…
The thinker reignited the engine, unlocked the handbrake, glanced in his rear mirror and put the car into reverse. Casually and without intention he issued to St.John,
– Thank you. I have to… drive.
St. John smiled longingly at his favourite friend and began his traipse back to his own mock Tudor Mansion.
The thinker drove on, mind blank, unthinkingly through a red light and onto the Circle roundabout. He didn’t choose an exit for twenty minutes.