Bernard’s Watch(ing you), Episode 4

(Episode 1, 2, 3 and linked)

They were all sat around in Karl’s huge room. “What shall we do tonight?” Charlotte asked.

“Moonies?” inquired Bernard.

“Fuck Moonies, it’s a Friday you twat” said Tia Maria. Bernard was quite upset by that response, he was just trying to fit in and he didn’t think he looked much like a female genitalia. Bernard withdrew into his shell. I am a strong, independent man he reassured himself. I am an intrepid warrior; I am like Genghis Khan. I am Genghis Khan.

“I have an idea” began Karl. Oh I bet you do, Bernard thought to himself, I bet it’s going to be really bloody good and Charlotte will want to marry you and then you’ll build a boat together called Felicity.

“I was speaking to one of my old pals who’s now at SOAS. There’s a really cool reggae bar in Brixton called Jamm, I think we should go”.

There was a general atmosphere of approval from the group. Xi ‘Jacques’ Wan, as usual, just manically nodded her head like a squirrel who has just done 8 lines of coke and drank 2 red bulls. Tia Maria looked generally nonplussed, but he always looks like that because he’s from The North. He reminded Bernard of one of the Urak Hai. Charlotte looked like she had literally had an orgasm. It was sickening. I wonder how she will respond when I eventually manage to trick her into bed with me, Bernard thought. ‘Bernard you are my big bear’ he wanted her to say. Bernard began growling softly under his breath.

It was 12am and they were in the Brixton Jamm. Bernard wasn’t sure what was going on; there were lots of people who had obviously got some sort of memo that meant they had to dress the same so as to trick everyone. What tricksters! All the girls were wearing denim shorts with an assortment of blouses. They all had their hair in buns. All the boys had the same facial expression, one of casual supremacy, and were wearing tight fitting jeans with oversized check shirts. Bernard was a wearing a suit. The others had warned him that it wasn’t one of those places, but Bernard had worn it regardless. It’s good to look smart, Bernard thought to himself rubbing his knee.

“Hey Bernard” Chalotte said to him, her beefy breath washing over him luxuriously “we’re going to have a weed, do you want some?”

Bernard most certainly did not want any. He’d heard horror tales from his mum about people who had a weed and their head had fallen off. “Yeah sure!” said Bernard, straining like an Olympian to feign enthusiasm.

They went outside, and sat on the steps of housing estate. Bernard was very nervous. An American, named Chad was with them; he was rolling the weed for them. Bernard assumed they had bought it off him. This had Karl’s handiwork written all over it. Once the man had made the weed stick, they began smoking it. “3 DP?” said Tia Maria, and they all agreed. What on earth does ‘3 DP’ stand for, Bernard thought. Bernard had a considerable amount of weed, in a vain attempt to impress Charlotte. She was too busy laughing to herself to notice. It was a strange sensation Bernard was experiencing. He felt like the whole world had slowed down, everything was very fuzzy and faintly amusing. His legs were wobbly and his head blurred. The American, Chad, looked a bit worse for wear, primarily because he had bought 2 large bags of Dorito’s, was now eating them and getting crumbs all over his fingers, chin and clothes. He was also ugly on biblical levels.

Bernard began to feel a bit queasy. The world had come to an absolute standstill, he felt like Doctor Who with total mastery of the space/time continuum. However, he could feel bile beginning to rise up in his stomach. He retched, put his head over the railings running along the sides of the steps and began to violently throw up with an admirable efficiency. Bernard was far too high to worry about Charlotte at this point, and besides, everyone throws up from time to time.  Then, a low, mournful and sonorous sound began to emanate from him. It was very loud and lasted at least 4 seconds. At first Bernard thought he had begun humming his favourite Dean Martin song, but then he realised he was actually farting very loudly. He was throwing up and farting at the same time. Now he began to worry about Charlotte. They were laughing like a group of hyenas and Bernard continued to fart loudly. He couldn’t control it. Why is this happening to me? Bernard thought. Why do the God’s forsake me so, what have I done to deserve this? He let out three more loud farts, each more mournful and sonorous than the last. The others couldn’t control themselves, Tia Maria had fallen over he was laughing so much and Charlotte had snorted. Like a pig.

In the taxi home they didn’t stop laughing. Chad was still with them, which was odd. Bernard had only one thing to console him; they didn’t know that during the chaotic combination of vomit, farting and laughing, a very sizable amount of poo had actually crept out like a reluctant mole coming up to the sunlight. At least they don’t know that, Bernard thought to himself, rubbing his knee.

Bernard’s Watch(ing you), Episode 3

(You can find Episode one here, and Episode two here)

Bernard watched attentively as his lecturer explained what the course would be about. He glanced about searching for Charlotte amongst the herd of dozing students. He couldn’t see her anywhere. Bernard looked to his left and appraised the slumped student on his laptop. He was flitting lazily between Facebook and Guardian Sport. There was also a window opened called LiveJasmine.com. I like flowers too mused Bernard. What a silly way to spend his time, Bernard thought to himself as he furiously typed every single word the lecturer said. His fingers moved swiftly and deftly and the sound he was emanating was like a hoard of locusts.

The lecturer gazed out at the audience “Any questions?” he asked. Bernard’s arm shot up like an unwanted erection in year 10.

“At what point will we be doing Marx’s critique of the capitalist structure and his dialectical theory of history?” Bernard asked, knowing that his question showcased his stupendous genius.

“Week 17” came the blunt reply. The lecturer’s eyes were blank. Why wasn’t he staring at me with admiration and hope, thought Bernard, surely my question illustrated my intelligence, surely he wants to nurture me and make me his protégé?

“You may be dismissed” he said as students streamed past Bernard. Bernard was expecting someone to congratulate him on his brazen question but it was not to be. He could merely overhear innocuous conversations: “Did you see that girl at the front?” said one sexually frustrated teen to another. “Man, I was so fucked last night; I had 10 pints” said one liar to another. “My daddy works for Goldman Sachs” said one twat to another.

Bernard began to reflect on his time at school as he trudged out of the lecture hall on his own. He could still hear the accusatory jibes ringing in his head. “George Bernard Shawsese” they had called him, for his religious obsession, borderline addiction, of the works of Martin Scorsese. Bernard had vowed that at university he was going to drop the ‘George’ from his name, and be known only as ‘Bernard’. It had a nice ring to it and made him feel like a bear. He had considered introducing himself as Bernardé but then he realised he was neither French nor handsome enough to pull off such an audacious name. Bernard it would be.

“Shall we head back?” a recognisably alluring voice cooed. Charlotte stood behind him; he could almost feel her deliciously stale breath warming his neck. She needs a glass of water, swooned Bernard feeling his heart batter against his chest like a bird on LSD.

“Yes, we shall” replied Bernard, whilst frantically trying to quash the evolving bulge in his crotch through his hand in his pocket. Luckily Bernard was wearing his favourite tight-fitting ‘Game of Thrones’ y-fronts and the bulge was thoroughly nipped in the bud. Bernard and Charlotte began the short walk back to halls. She languidly began to link his arm. I feel like Snoopedy Dog, Bernard thought to himself.

The walk back was great, thought Bernard as he reclined in his room. They talked about some really important things; whether the world exists or maybe we’re just brains in a vat; perhaps Marx was right, but his timing was just wrong; is it possible to do a truly selfless act? All sorts of enlightening things that no one had ever talked about before.

When Bernard and Charlotte got home they went to dinner at halls together. It was simply awful; some sort of curry that had goat in it – a goat! -, tasteless rice, all pleasantly topped off with a flourish with a block of sponge coated in lobulated ‘custard’ which Bernard was sure the cook had spat out. But the awfulness of the dinner was made redundant by Charlotte’s transcendental presence. She had such an ease within herself; when someone asked a question she averted her eyes and shifted her feet, when a boy said hello she spluttered like a dying fish, when Bernard told her he liked her hair she scratched at it awkwardly like a starving mouse. Just how I like girls, he thought rubbing his knee.

Bernard returned to his room to do some reading for his class in a week’s time. Bernard liked to seek solace in his academic articles. His brain was expanding like the broken condom that brought him into this life.

It was a Tuesday night and Tia Maria, Xi ‘Jacques’ Wan and Karl were all going to a pubbing house. A house of pub called ‘The Rocket’. Bernard immediately thought of astronauts and the fragility and inanity of human life when he heard the name; he has no control over his soaring philosophical thoughts. Bernard had thought this a great idea; apparently it was a pound a pint! I only need 3 quid to have a great night Bernard thought smugly rubbing his knee.

And a great night he did until it ended acrimoniously with Bernard calling Karl a ‘pseudo-intellect’. Bernard deeply regretted this slight. He had never said anything quite so scathing before, and it weighed heavily on his conscience like Mrs Crocker’s leering breasts weigh heavily in his darkest dreams.

Bernard’s Watch(ing you), Episode 2

(You can find Part 1 here)

‘Hello motherfuckers’ said Bernard. All three of them turned to him. Tia Maria’s expression was unreadable but it conveyed at best bewilderment, and at worse burning resentment; Xi Wan was smiling manically like a squirrel on a gram of MDMA and Charlotte giggled nervously touching her luxurious straw-like hair as she did so. Oh my Christ oh lord, screamed Bernard internally, why did I just say that? I don’t even believe any of them has had intercourse with their mothers; he didn’t get a waft of Oedipus from any of them, so why had he addressed them in such a way?!

Bernard tittered awkwardly and pushed his shaggy mop out of his eyes. “I’m sorry about that” he began to say when the door to reception crashed open behind him. Karl strode in with the glitter of intelligence burning in his eyes. “Hello dear friends, so we are all going to this tedious tour of campus” Karl announced with a thespian flourish.

“We sure are Karl!” said Charlotte enthusiastically. She’s never that enthusiastic with me, Bernard thought desolately.

“Shall we set off then” Karl asked as he strode towards the door not waiting for a reply. He had craftily disguised it as a question but it wasn’t, it was a command. He set off along High Holborn at a rather unforgiving pace. Oh my, Bernard thought queasily, it should be me leading this band of merry-men.

The five of them arrived outside the Waterstone’s knowing they had suffered an absolute ordeal. Karl had yapped on non-stop about his take on the political institutions of Europe and how Britain was simply miles behind when it came to levels of democracy. When he took a break from his litany, the others had literally nothing to say to one another. Bernard had tried to extract a conversation from Tia Maria about his hopes and dreams but he had simply shrugged and said ‘I don’t know mate, the only hope I currently have is that this fucking hangover pisses off’. Bernard didn’t know how to respond to that but noted mentally that the thing happening to his body was a ‘hangover’. Bernard decide he should just laugh but he did so a shade too loudly, and Tia Maria just stared blankly at him. ‘Yeah same mate, I mean, what a bloody pain in the arse hey!’ Bernard had responded. Swearing had never come easy to Bernard and it was twice today that he had sworn for literally no conceivable reason. The words were like acid in his mouth; not the drug though, the corrosive substance. Bernard had overhead a stilted conversation between Xi Wan and Charlotte about male circumcision. I wonder how that came about Bernard thought to himself.

The tour had been similarly painful. Bernard was aware that he had nothing to say to these people. They were his only ‘friends’ so far, but there was only so many times you could ask someone “So, what course do you do?” and it not just become rude. Even now, he couldn’t for the life of him remember what they all did, despite asking them individually, soberly, what they did at least 5 times. He thought Tia Maria did Geography, Xi Wan Accounting and Finance, Charlotte Government but he couldn’t be entirely sure. He didn’t dare ask again, he couldn’t take the raised eyebrows anymore. Of course, he remembered what Karl did. He broadcast it to all and sundry. He had to do Politics and Philosophy, Bernard thought, he’s a certain rival for a First.

He had overheard the others talking about some sort of ‘Welcome Party’ at a mysterious, exotic place they called the ‘Tuns’. I suppose I should go Bernard thought; it could be fun. I certainly won’t be drinking though, I don’t want to embarrass myself any further, he concluded.

It was around 12pm and Bernard was in hell. This exotic ‘Tuns’ place was exotic only in the sense that it was an urban rainforest of death, desolation and dickheads. The humidity of the place was breath-taking. Sweet was dropping down the walls, ponderously tumbling down the walls like wax and the foul stench of beer hung in the air. The lighting had a strange blue hue, like the innards of the main protagonist in the video for that musical classic ‘Blue (Da Be Dee)’. Bernard was confused; he had seen 3 boys with their shirts off swinging them over their veined heads with a look of ecstasy on their face. Bernard had slurred to Charlotte “why are they doing that” but it accidentally came out as “buy me some hats”; Bernard had been drinking again. When he had earlier told Tia Maria of his intention to not drink he had looked aghast. He had called him a pussycat minus the cat and thrust a can of Stella Artois into his hand. Then he had gathered the others and started chanting forcefully “down it, down it, down it”. The others joined in, a fervent enthusiasm burning in their eyes. Bernard felt compelled to ‘down it’; he felt like he had just wandered into an extract from Lord of the Flies – he didn’t want to end up like Piggy. After ‘downing’ the first can Bernard felt like a regal prince; a glorious lion amongst a flock of seagulls. So he went down to Sainsbury’s and bought six more.

Here he was, in a room as muggy as a reptile room. He was dancing in a peculiar way, watching Karl and Charlotte gyrate as he did so. His knees were crouched and his entire upper body was violently vibrating and shaking, as if he was having a stroke. His back was stooped forward and his right arm was placed across his chest as if he was going to be blessed by a priest in a purple velvet robe. He looked like a drunken, malfunctioning robot. It was an odd sight to behold. It was an odd, but endearing sight.

At around 2am ‘The Gang’ had decided to leave the ‘Tuns’ and stagger home. Tia Maria was missing; he had been sighted with a human of the female variety. Xi Wan informed Bernard of this and the interesting titbit that she had seen his hand resting on her bottom. I wonder where he is, Bernard thought. Is he sexing with her?

Bernard clambered into bed in his Bart Simpson pyjama’s safe in the knowledge that he had had on the whole a fun night. University is strange, Bernard thought to himself as he lovingly stroked his wiry pubic hair, but I think I’m going to enjoy. So far, so good.

Bernard’s Watch(ing you), Part 1

Episode 1

The M5 stretched gloriously out in front of Bernard. Not only was he appreciative of the grey artistry, but today the M5 was more than just a modern architectural masterpiece; it was an opportunity. Today was Bernard’s moving in day at the prestigious London School of Economics and Political Science. Today, Bernard was diving headfirst into an intellectual world of discussion and high powered debate. I am going to simply flourish, Bernard thought to himself. He caught his reflection in the wing-view mirror. Looking back at him was an enigmatic, brooding political philosopher to be. His hair was sufficiently messed up, but in a good way. It said, look at me, I don’t care how my hair looks because my hair is sat atop a brain so magnificently analytical that even my hair can’t contain itself. Bernard’s dad looked at Bernard outside the corner of his eye. Christ, he thought, I hope he gets a shag at this university.

School had been difficult to Bernard. An awkward looking child with long gawky legs and sinewy arms, he had the gait of one who knew that their penis was just a bit too small. He was awful at sport, and the only thing he did excel at he was mocked for; academia. Just the word sent a warm tingle through his body. This feeling must surely be better than sex, Bernard thought to himself with the assuredness of one who has seen but one pair of breasts. That was when Mrs Crocker’s blouse fell down in History class to reveal two veined monstrosity’s that burrowed deep into Bernard’s innocent soul. That incident had troubled Bernard greatly. Yes, school had been hard for Bernard, but university would be different. Bernard simply couldn’t wait.

“Do you need a hand with that dusty old suitcase?” asked a spritely young American in a pinstripe suit as Bernard clambered out of his battered old Megane with a wheeze. The “that” sounded like an elongated vowel to Bernard, he simply despised the Southern drawl that these Southerners have picked up from the gutters of American populist literature. “Why are you wearing that dusty old suit?” was Bernard’s response. His quick rapport was followed by a warm feeling that spread into a smug grin. This feeling, he thought, was akin only to the delectable feeling of urinating underwater.

It was evening time and Bernard had only met his 5 flatmates. The first person was the laconic American who had left a bitter taste in Bernard’s mouth. Will they all wear pin-striped suits he thought desolately? The next boy was decked out in jeans, white pumps and an awfully tight-fitting Hollister top. Perched upon his head was the most hair gel Bernard had ever seen. He insisted that Bernard call him Tia Maria, after his favourite liquor. Xi Wan was the third; a softly spoken Malaysian girl who went by the name of Jacques. Fourthly there was Charlotte who transported Bernard into an infinity pool of rosewater. Her small brown eyes seemed to look deep into his soul past what he previously thought was an impermeably philosophical armoury, mainly because he’d never locked eyes with a girl before, not since Mrs Crocker. Although her brown hair was unwashed and tangled, her skin pasty, her cheeks sallow and her lips the antithesis of voluptuous, Bernard saw in her what he had never seen in any other girl. Potential. The anticipation that proceeded the introductory pleasantries nearly killed Bernard. Thankfully, her first words boded well for Bernard’s dreams. “A bit of light chick lit” she jeered gesturing at Bernard’s copy of Thucydides’ Peloponnesian War. Bernard’s legs gave way.

When the mists of burning sexual frustration cleared, a face he didn’t recognise clattered into view. “Hello, my name is George Bernard Shaw, I’m studying Politics and Philosophy, my favourite book is Machiavelli’s Discources on Livy, it’s much better than The Prince don’t you think? I’m from Ireland, I got straight A’s at A level; no I didn’t go to private school” gushed Bernard’s well-versed introductory speech.

The face responded with a cursory shrug of graceful shoulders “I’m Karl Popper. I did go to private school. I personally think Discources on Livy was a bloated piece of literature. It is far surpassed by the sharpness of The Prince, and the ambivalence of the book that has so stimulated discussion, don’t you think?” Bernard was speechless. An equal, he exhaled internally. Someone who can match my intellectual prowess, someone I can journey with. Of course, this jubilance did not manifest itself in Bernard’s actions. He remained cool and composed.

“Interesting” said Bernard, as his door swung behind him with a resonating clang.

It was 4am in the early morning, the latest Bernard had ever been awake. He had lost his dignity on the dance floor of Tiger Tiger. Two shots of vodka, followed by 2 cans of cider. What was he thinking? Bernard was sure he had seen Tia Maria drinking at least 8 cans of beer over the course of the evening of debauchery. Bernard looked into the mirror of his room. A bleary eyed, wobbling 18 year old stared blankly back at him. I hope I didn’t look this when me and Charlotte dissected the social structure of Western society, Bernard worried to himself.

Bernard concluded that he was drunk. This was not what he had been expecting.