It’s when boredom plunges into an electric blue sky – some dirty water on the edge of the street, an unrecognizable voice with an euphoric sarcasm at the TV weather-forecasting – when the boredom plunges into our silence. It emerges as despair at first, then as an unexplainable frenzy or desperate expectation of something coming with the buzz crackling and Graeme going for the door – he’s moving air and Lucy and I breathe as if we’ve never breathed, eventually we breathe out emptying our lungs, we decide there’s too much smoke, and Graeme’s coming back with Ross.
We’re definitely laughing from relief, not because of Ross miming the noise of a rifle anticipating what we would expect from the Grand Theft Auto V he brought with him – actually we were meant to celebrate Graeme’s new PlayStation – so just relief and some gloomy thoughts in the room lingering close to Lucy, but never coming out of her, so I can’t really tell if they’re hers or mine, and Graeme shudders almost, but he’s already going towards the television, everybody’s just really tempted to sink into the sofa and TV, but no, really Ross’s always been the one with more willpower, stays in front of us showing his ass and trying to turn on the PlayStation – GTA already in place, controllers in one hand – Lucy seems almost excited when I say that the rug isn’t stopping me from feeling cold, Lucy’s suggesting we use some pillows, we’re nice and comfortable on the floor, Graeme and Ross whisper, no, Graeme’s whispering, because I can hear Ross, something about a job and how they can arrange everything, I can’t help you to move in, just ask someone to give you some help, he’s saying, and Graeme’s whispering again, he’s always whispering, especially if he’s smoking, and he is smoking, cigarette lit up between a nod and a sigh coming from Lucy (this time I can tell), GTA has a great deal of ads at the beginning and options to set up before installing the program – we’ve got to watch with great interest all the images that are sliding away after a few seconds, here’s another, Ross’s already amused and he slides down a little bit on the sofa like the other image on the screen, the image fading away into another, Ross fading in the light bluer and stronger than before, time is passing, I think, and this room should be darker, not so bright in this blue, Ross is definitely paler than the last time but I’m not sure, and Lucy isn’t giving me any clue since she started listening to Graeme in that way that makes me think that she might be in love but again I’m not sure, she puts on her catlike eyes and Graeme looks with fondness and a bit of conceitedness because he knows how to use a controller and play GTA, I know it too and I want to show it saying that the most important thing to do is finding a helicopter, and Ross gives me right, he says, of course we will, I feel he’s doing this just because we feel too far from the catlike eyes and Graemeish conceitedness, but now it’s starting to be boring, Lucy says watching the umpteen image sliding away, breaking the embarrassment of me and Ross agreeing – Lucy’s always easily distracted and Graeme has that face of when he feels some kind of indestructible connection with Lucy and then he’s left apart while she’s smashing any kind of conversation, turning to another subject(she cannot really stay with something for more than two minutes) – Graeme still has that face, a kind of grief or resolution to try again next time, stroking the controller to prolong the feeling, immediately brought back into the moment in that room by Ross, he’s a great friend I suppose, another reason to like him and make this room less uncomfortable, just like the pillow for example, Ross’s looking at me and I think he also felt that he has to like me to make the blue light a little bit bearable, Lucy’s shrieking because something changed on the screen, so finally everybody’s back to GTA and lively expectation of bombs, guns, squared and pixelated whores in bikinis, a useless map, and showing who knows more corners of St. Andreas.
Yes, we’ll find a helicopter, Ross says already with a knowing look, but you need to find a gun, and I realize Graeme is playing and punching a guy to steal a fancy truck, as Lucy calls it, and everybody now laughs with the relief of a bunch of people finally having fun altogether, but it’s just a second, Lucy breaks the moment as usual, she tells me in one ear, me still laughing, that she’ll bring something to show me, and Graeme is now whispering to Ross, again, so when I turn back to them on the sofa I feel lost in the conversation, Lucy’s already back, and makes a big deal of noise, Graeme is talking about a certain Stacey, Stacey hated breadcrumbs on the stove, and I had to clean, I mean, do you really need to be so fucking mental? Ross’s grinning and pretending to feel his pain – who’s Stacey? I say to Lucy and she just replies he’s always speaking about Stacey with a devilish smile that tells me she’s gonna be upset at him for making her the subject of the conversation and a pair of eyes that exudes greedy contentment – but she hasn’t answered me yet, there is only a picture of a Stacy with an unknown face and a finger pointing at some breadcrumbs, Ross still grinning at Stacy’s memory till his mouth shoots open like an unexpected wound – yet, no guns – Lucy is back on the game and shrieking frantically, Graeme’s breathing slowly, showing off – I look at them; they look at the game – they found a helicopter, their rewarded excitement.
Marianna Silvano is studying a Masters in Comparative Literature at the University of Glasgow.