The Fluffy House
This is a fluffy house again.
The fluff has grown like beards
In cupboard corners, has appeared
Insidiously. Who knows when
This grey invasion first began?
The dusting got neglected
Once, twice, three times – not quite a plan,
More a direction randomly selected.
This was a fluffy house before:
The fluff used to be pink.
“A few more ruffles here, I think,”
She used to say. “More tassels, more
Pink pom-poms, puffs of lace, faux-fur.”
He found it ennervating.
He felt he’d had his fill of her
And domesticity. How he missed dating!
In days before the Age of Chintz,
When leather, wood and chrome
Were used to decorate the home,
When wine instead of beer, or Prince
Instead of metal meant romance.
The sex was more appealing:
He wore his lucky underpants
And never worried what the girl was feeling.
Disaster struck! He fell in lust
With Lisa Blake, a blonde
From Watford, and he grew so fond
Of her ecstatic eyes, pert bust
And husky laughter that at last
He loved her. That was that
For leather, wood and chrome; he cast
Aside the single life and sold his flat.
And so his life became enfluffed.
Too slow for him to sense,
What started as a preference
Became obsession, till each tuft
Was like a scent-mark, and the loft
Alone was his domain.
He lacked the courage to complain,
Just sat up there, smoked cigarettes and coughed.
Acceptance grew instead of children.
He learned to live with fluff,
Became contented, let the stuff
Surround him – even though it killed when
Accepting sympathy from bald men
Whose abject comedy
Of shrugs and eye-rolls rankled, hauled in
On leashes by the wives who drank his tea.
This neighbour, that Pilates teacher,
The women Lisa knew
From book club, evening class; their too
Compliant husbands, henpecked, each a
Foretelling of his fluffed-up future.
Appalled and panicky
After these visits, feeling neutered,
Post-Lisa life became a fantasy.
His lucky pants would ride again,
He’d walk on wooden floors,
No pom-poms in the chest of drawers,
All fluffiness flushed down the drain!
No more to be the drip-fed drone,
The freedom, living on his own,
He’d paint his colours all across the sky!
But then his fantasy came true:
One day, she killed herself.
No note. He looked on every shelf,
But nothing. Just the mute “Fuck you”
Of her demise. He didn’t know
How badly he could hurt
Until she did it, and the blow
Of burning her. She was a jar of dirt.
He tore down every strip and swatch
Of what she left behind,
Creations of a fluffy mind;
He tore into it skewed with Scotch,
In tantrum-fits with trembling touch;
And when the work was done,
He watched the telly, drank too much
And sat in leather armchairs having fun.
This is a fluffy house again.
The fluff grew back like beards
In cupboard corners, it appeared
Insidiously. Not like when
It sprouted pinkly as the dawn,
More zombie-like in hue,
The former fluff’s revenging spawn,
It covers chrome, wood, leather – and him too.
If you have any thoughts on this poem, Scott Woodland would be pleased to hear them.