Kitchen (I Like)

June 3, 2011 at 1:56 pm (Bodies, Costume, House, Observations) (, , , )

They keep a ball gag in her mouth. Her lips stretch, they’re cracked, as dry and corrugated as the zip of the tight rubber mask. And what’s more, she isn’t what she used to be (someone, somewhere, has the tapes and letters to prove it). For over eight months Bonzo has pushed her sprawling legs out of the way of the fridge, which she is tied to by a thick steel chain, wrapped three times around the cold white box. Perhaps it’s attached to her rubber body suit, perhaps she’s just draped in the chain, weighed down. The landlord explained; a bowl of water on Mondays and Thursdays, dry cereals or porridge on Sundays. Liz took the bins and Bonzo took the gimp. That was to his liking, the gimp didn’t smell quite so bad.

Neil dropped by one sharp April afternoon. Quiet shirt, jeans, radiant amiability, notoriously pleasant. Universally considered sound, recipient of a diverse range of sincere demi-greeting nods. He takes a two beers from the fridge and turns to Bonzo, and with a jaunty smile asks, “Why have you just, you know, got-a-gimp?”

He’s the sort of man who calls a spade a spade. Or a shovel, at a push. Bonzo stares first at him, and then the gimp. The well-meaning words wither in the silence. Neil continues to smile, a veteran of awkward silences, “Like, how some people just have a pool table, you and Liz have a gimp. Why a gimp?”

“She isn’t a gimp, we’re not perverts” sighs Bonzo, “she just came with the house. Come to think of it, she might not even be a she. Those tits could be part of the costume, I never thought to check. It’s in the contract, all I have to do is leave water out for her. It. Her. It.”

“Why dont you check? The rubber’s skin tight, you could have a quick peak between the legs and get some idea of it”

“It always has to be sexual with you,” spits Bonzo defensively,”everything has to be a little bit sordid. So there’s a person in black rubber chained to my fridge and suddenly I ought to be prising it’s legs open and peeping at its genitals like some kind of rapist!”

Neil sniggers apologetically and opens first Bonzo’s beer, then his own.  “Do you ever take the gag out?”

“No” Bonzo exclaims, deeply embarrassed, “I told you, I don’t touch her. Just put out the food and water in a bowl”

“But its arms are chained. Even if it could crouch down low enough to drink in that suit it couldn’t get the gag out.”

Bonzo is silent, taking a great interest in cleaning his nails. With his nails. Transferring the dirt from one to the other.”Look, you’re making me all cross now. Stop asking questions about it. I don’t know, nor would I care to.  I just put the bowls out, it’s in the contract. That’s fine.”

“You always make such a thing out of anything that isn’t the norm. When we were small you were the same. You always had to put my scardox aliens in the deskdraw because they’d ‘wobble at you’, and you made me take that Ziggy Stardust poster down because Bowie’s eyes freaked you out. I loved that poster, but you made me take it down, because you fixate on tiny insignificant things until they become things, things which I love, but you can’t stand”

“So you ‘love’ having a gimp?”

“Yes! No! it isn’t a gimp but no, what I love having a roof over my head, which I wouldn’t if the landlord found out that his” he pauses “fridge-person was gone. Or dead or something.”

The hum of the fridge seems raw and intrusive now. Bonzo sulks into his bottle waiting for Neil to reproach him, admit that he was being silly, ask them to forget it and chill. But Neil just looks calmly out the window, somehow enjoying the green-grey view of mossy concrete. Fuck Neil, right? The silence (or hum) could go on forever for all Bonzo cares.

Eleven O’ clock, Monday. Bonzo and Liz share an early breakfast. At the head of the table Bonzo can see the knee of the gimp peeking around the fridge, shiny and black. ‘Are circumstances perpetually against me?’ He wonders, ‘Or am I just a naturally uncomfortable person.’

Something in him cracks after a minute or two eyeing the jet black shine of the gimp

“I want to swap. I’ll do bins if you feed the gimp” She shrugs staring into her tea wearily. “What do you think of it all, Liz? What did our landlord mean by chaining a gimp to our fridge?” Bonzo looks all wide eyed at Liz, who sits silently for a moment with her index finger pressed to her brow. She speaks.

“In sixth form my English teacher told us that we could do our end of term project on whatever book we wanted. I chose Watership Down, I loved the film. But a week or so in I ran into a problem, Watership Down isn’t about anything. Well, it’s about a group of rabbits trying to get from one place to another, but that’s it. I was shocked. I scrutinised it for days, perhaps it was about the dangers of police state, or our views on patriotism, or our relationship with the laws of nature. Nothing came. Watership Down is about how crap it can be to be a rabbit. No more, no less.”

“So our gimp,” Bonzo’s brow furrows in concentration, “is a rabbit?”

“Not quite,” says Liz, smiling slightly, “our gimp is just a gimp chained to a fridge. Which means that we have a gimp. Chained to our fridge.”

“Fuck you, Neil” Bonzo mumbles into his cereal. “I feel like a pervert.”


“Watership Down is about how crap it can be to be a rabbit. No more, no less.”

“So our gimp,” Bonzo’s brow furrows in concentration, “is a rabbit?”

“Yes.” Liz smiles.

And they all lived happily ever after.


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