The Wolf

Itís eight oíclock, the Wolf is on the street,
His patent leather paws pad noisily:
Click, click, click on the paving stones.
Sharp eyes dart arrogantly from side to side
Beneath gently tinted lenses;
Slightly flared trousers, fashion blazer and smart tie are all sheep
In stark contrast to the predator he is.

Grandma, what big teeth you have, and so white.

Colgate special formula, my dear: your place or mine?

Yours, of course!
But first, buy me another drink,
And dance with me again, and this time hold me real close,
And nibble my ear sexily.

No shrinking violet, this Red Riding Hood;
He licks his lips, and smiles gently in anticipation
Of the night to come; perhaps sheíll stay for breakfast.

Now itís ten oíclock,
And the Wolf has been prowling about the dance floor
For an hour and a half,
Contact: nil.

Sometimes, he thinks, it would be easier if he hunted with the pack,
But the pack has never been for him,
Nor he for it.
The Wolf is an outcast, but who wants the pack anyway?
All he wants, and needs, is a partner,
If only for the night.

Then he sees her, sheís alone, dressed only in gossamers,
Beautiful, inviting: he moves in for the kill.
No thank you, Iím sitting this one out.
No, I donít drink, thank you.
Excuse me.

The Wolf is sitting at the bar for the third time:
Drinks are expensive here, but he doesnít care,
He knocks back another, and another.

Back to the dance floor, prowling around again.
Where is she, the one with the big...eyes?
Aha! A damsel in distress.
Is this man bothering you, luv?
Yes, he is.
Shove off, Pongo.
The drunk smiles stupidly, then staggers off.
Happy now, luv?
Yes thank you. Here comes my boyfriend.
Excuse me please.

Now itís midnight: the bar is closed.
The Wolf is still on the prowl, still alone.
Even the ugliest wallflower would rather walk home alone
Than twirl around the dance floor with him,
Held close, or not-so-close,
Let him steal a kiss,
Or sit at a table holding hands with him.

Why?

Chemistry.
Some have it, others havenít,
Obviously he hasnít.
Not at all?
Doesnít look like it, does it?

One am, he takes a taxi home.

Half past one, he leaves the all-night takeaway
At the bottom of his road,
Ring-pull soft drink can in hand,
Number four and chips tucked under his arm;
The charade is over, the mask is off.
The Wolf is no more, at least until next Friday night.

Key in the door,
Laboriously he climbs the stairs to the top floor.
He sits on the bed and eats voraciously,
Munching noisily on the hot, gravied chicken,
And drowns his sorrows with a second can of sparkling orange:
Itís cheaper than rum and coke, tastes better too,
And the bubbles tickle his nose.

He thinks about later.
No, he wonít jerk off tonight.
Anytime he wants that, he knows where to go,
But he doesnít, he wants something more,
Something worthwhile, something decent.
Heís twenty-five next month,
How much longer will he go on like this?
How much longer can he?

He belches noisily, his hunger at least is satisfied.
His hands are still sticky from the chicken,
But he lies back on the bed, closes his eyes,
And listens to the clock on the mantelpiece.
Tick, tick, tick: it echoes like a cricket
Round and around and around his head.
His eyes are moist, but only moist.
Grandma, what big teeth you have, and so white.
Yes my dear, they are the legacy of twenty years regular brushing,
And all I have to show for living along in a cold and empty room.

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