Cousin Charlie’s heaven scent

14 May

Lip blog 2

The talking lift lands with a slight splat, wobbles a bit, and Marilyn says ‘Welcome to Planet Koski, Louie.’

‘What do I do now?’ I say.

‘Step outside and find out, boo-boo-be-doo.’

I ease myself up out of the purple armchair, which gives my Arris one last squeeze and gulp down as much of the delicious drink as I can. The lift door makes a gloopy noise as it slides open. Halfway through, I turn and say ‘Thank you for the ride. It was lurvely. Will I see you again?’

‘I’m right here,’ the voice says, now coming from outside the lift. I turn and standing in front of me is the spitting image of Marilyn Monroe, wearing the familiar white dress from Some Like It Hot and she’s not the only thing that looks familiar.

* * *

I appear to be back outside the bagel shop on Brick Lane where I had my fateful encounter with that bacon bagel. I peer in through the window and it’s empty, as usual. No sign of me writhing around on the floor in agony.  I look back at Marilyn. She puts her finger to her lips, takes my arm.

We start to stroll down Brick Lane, as if we had all the time in the galaxy, I peer over my shoulder. I don’t see angel wings on Marilyn, only the bum that launched a thousand fantasies. She squeezes my arm and giggles.

‘Where are we going?’ I say.

‘You’ll find out soon enough,’ Marilyn says.

I begin to notice something about the streets we walk through. They’re so familiar to me I could navigate them blindfold. But they’re different. This isn’t the dirty, smelly old Bethnal Green I know and love.

Everything sparkles and shimmers, like when you see heat rising off the road on a hot day, even though it feels like spring and the air is champagne-sweet. The rows of houses and blocks of flats glow as if they’re alive. The street looks like it’s paved with diamonds. I nudge when Marilyn isn’t looking. It’s soft.

Then, out of nowhere, I see my cousin Charlie coming down the street. Last time I saw this particular ice-cream, he was chasing me down Hanbury Street with menaces. I’d sold him a bottle of gen-u-wine Chanel No. 5 a chemist mate of mine had knocked up in his shed. I wasn’t to know what it would do to Charlie’s bird.

‘Ooh my gawd,’ I say to Marilyn. ‘Here comes trouble. Get ready to do the off.’

* * *

‘All right Lou?’ Charlie says. ‘You made it then. About time.’

I’m so amazed that Charlie doesn’t land one on me, I’m speechless. All I can do is nod. Luckily Marilyn saves the day ‘Can’t stop, Charles,’ she says, ‘I’m taking Louie to meet the you-know-whos. Boo-boo-be-doo.’

Charlie gives Marilyn a look which passes in a flash. ‘Good luck with that,’ he says as he strolls off down the street.

‘Who are the you-know-whos?’ I say. ‘Boo-be-bleedin’-doo.’

‘Now now, Louie,’ Marilyn says. ‘You’ll find out soon enough.’ And with that she picks up the pace a bit. When I try to slow down a little, I realise she’s actually pulling me along.

And then I remember.  Cousin Charlie’s been dead for forty years.

Watch the electric skies for the third thrilling episode of Hasta La Planet Koski!

Illustrated by the Mighty Mighty Cemmo

Planet Koski logo

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