Walking in the House

A Bit Like What Happened


15th April 2016

Anne Parkins
Anne Parkins

Pin and his girlfriend Anne were in Burger king on Piccadilly Gardens in Manchester town centre on a Saturday night in the late Eighties. Pin glanced up and two lads, one big, one (Pin‘s word) weaselly, were staring at him. Pin looked away, then back; they were still staring at him. Anne had noticed now. Pin and Anne left. The lads followed them out. The lads started to mock them, unimaginatively, and loudly list the many unimaginative and unpleasant things they were just about to do to Pin and Anne.
“Better get it over and done with then,” said Pin.
He turned, tripped the big lad to the ground, got them both arranged and started banging the lad‘s head on the kerb. He was trying to do everything as quickly as possible because hurting the big lad was using up all his concentration and he was constantly expecting a boot in the head or some-such from the smaller lad. He was pleased with how useless the big lad was at both hurting and not being hurt. When the big lad was bloody enough, and begging, and seemed unlikely to be able to follow through on the threats he had made, Pin let go of him, then was at last able to look around.
Anne was on her back on the pavement, the weasely lad tight to her front, her legs and arms around him, pinning him. He looked as if he was trying to look as if he wasn’t there.
Anne said to the lad, “You’re next,” then smiled up at Pin and said, “I‘ve got this one ready for you.”
Anne‘s smile was always a nice big, big white-toothed, super-cheerful job. A woman said to Pin, “Didn’t she do well. She‘s a good ‘un. I‘d hang on to that one if I were you lad.”
It‘s best if I don‘t think about what to paint. I think hard about what music to have on. I undress down to shoes and underpants and open some paint-cans. I clear my big square head until it‘s as empty as the big square of white ply in front of me and then I let them both fill up as quickly as I can.
A long time after the tale above happened I picked up a brush and the first thing to jump into the white of my head was that tale. It soon got lost as my arm and the paint took over and shooed the facts away, and Pin isn’t even in it, and and Anne is dealing with an abundance of adversaries, but it feels like that tale. That‘s why the painting‘s called Anne Parkins. For for a while It was called A Partly True Story or Mis-remembered Story or or something else a bit like those titles.