Nobody Home


To all Elements: we're dying. No-one lives here.

Male is gone, along with the little female who was someone close to the Female (right, Database?). Male left the keys on a knob at the handrail of the spiral stairs. Hasn't done that before. Confirm, Front Door!

Yes. He has never gone out without his keys, at least not when the Female was also out. Confirm, Main Entrance!

Yes, matey, we're on our Jack Jones.

We've got a serious predicament here, Elements. I convoke a council.

You sound mightily concerned, boss. D' you think this condition will be permanent?

That's what I'm trying to assess. Balcony?

Yes, boss. Quite a novel situation: Male has never visited here, let alone sit on the balustrade. In fact, the last one to sit on it was a guest from some weeks before. She literally straddled…

Right, that's irrelevant. What did you glean from his talk with the little female?

Same as you, boss, Male's not coming back.

Can anyone confirm or refute this? Anyone? No answer? Well, let's rationalize: why should he or shouldn't he be coming back? Mark the following point: this place is also his, he has rights of possession. So, was he driven away by someone, him having given up his rights? Or, has Male lost his rights due to misconduct? Has he left of his own accord for his own, unknown to us, reasons? In all cases what action from our side could reverse the present situation?

Oi, boss, that's a lot o' gab there. Break it down for us, will you?

Simply told, I'm afraid we're not going to be lived in. We'll be slowly dying, until someone decides to live here again. In the meantime, we can use the time we have left to discuss things, mainly if we have in any way contributed to the Humans' leaving here.

Humans come and go, they do that all the time.

Right, Carpet, and you've certainly seen, I mean, felt them do so. All right, suppose we start cataloguing all unusual or unexpected behaviour. Who'll contribute first?

This is Bed, boss. Couple hasn't had carnal knowledge in a while. Male insisted, Female declined. There was also talk of procreation, which entails intercourse, but nothing sexual took place. Female occasionally secreted vaginal fluids, though.

That unusual?

Yes, she only use to did that when the Male felt her up. Plus, whole last week they only slept back against back.

That unusual?

Yes (right, Database?).

We'll have to analyse this. Sex keeps humans together, therefore lack of it causes dispersion. Towards our strife for betterment, would you say, Bed, that you weren't comfortable enough?

Boss, the action I've seen on occasion between Male and Female precludes comfort as a probable cause for separation.

You mean, they'd go on shagging even if you were a bed of nails?

No, Main Entrance, I don't mean this. I only say sex doesn't really need comfortable environment. Is itself uncomfortable.

Sofa here. I second that. I've seen some action, too. Although I serve a different purpose, I've been used as a love-making spot.

Right, I understand. Shall we pursue this sex matter further or do we rule it out?

Boss, my experience says, sex is never to be ruled out as a decisive factor of human relationships.

Now, I second this, Sofa-boy. Talk of the street, you savvy?

So we concentrate on unusual sexual behaviour?

There's too much data to analyse. For example oral…

A blowie, ya say?

I meant oral data, words exchanged, you randy daft.

Continue, Sofa. Main Entance, you're on 'hold'.

Sure, boss.

Apart from physical sexual activity, there's been recorded oral – don't you dare interrupt me, Main – interaction. When Cooper is here present, ninety per cent of the conversation consists of sexual bantering verging on harassing. Latest said interaction was at the dinner with Male, Female, Cooper and Luce.

Luce being?

The red-headed female recently invited to dinner.

Oi, boss…

You're on 'hold', Main!

All right. Your call!

The guest's name must have slipped me.

Database has recorded it.

Yeah, but it never talks.

So, you suggest, that Cooper has orally managed to separate the Male-Female couple.

I have no data. Perhaps Database…

Aww, you can forget about it, I said!

Boss, why do we keep on asking Database? It's never answered, has it?

It's typical, Table.

Yeah, I know, typical of the old bugger.

What I meant, Main Entrance, is that it's the thing to do. We are of limited perception. It can put the whole picture together for us to see. Carry on, Sofa.

Now, there have been bits of unusual, howsoever this may be interpreted, behaviour during said interaction, that dinner, that is.

They didn't play strip poker, did they?

Say what?

Something Cooper always boasts about all the time. Whenever he and Male talked on the phone, he…

No, nothing of that kind happened. But new factors were inserted by the presence of the other guest, Luce.

Explain that.

Before said dinner, Luce had a talk with Male. They drank wine. Male talked about Female, his book, his work. Luce said she was gay.

Say, Big One, will you let me yap? Luce gotta be the one I told you about the other day.

Yes, you said Female walked with a redhead female up to you, said 'goodnight', then they parted.

Oi, I know what me mincers saw, Female was about to neck Ginger, but good.

Yes, but they didn't.

They sure didn't, but Female eye-banged Ginger.

Well, this calls for corroboration. Phone…

Blimey, boss, I knew it right off the bat, she a bean-flicker…

Main Entrance, you've just communicated to us your piece of information. Will you, now, wait till when your turn comes again?

Sorry, gaffer… Cor, a dyke she be…

Enough, Main Entance, you're on 'hold' again! Phone, to you again. I think we'd better review all the recent calls. The answer should be there.

Well, boss, there's a thing or two: some days before Main Entrance's… eye-bang…

Knew you'd love the term!

Quiet! Yes, Phone?

…Female had dialed a mobile number, namely 030-3456-5699. Number answered, but Female didn't speak. She hung up. Mere seconds later, said number called back. Male answered it. The speaker was one Luce. Perhaps the same one? The gist: Male arranged for Female to meet with this Luce and go to a football match.

Football is a man thing, Phone.

You would know about it, Main, wouldn't you? Well, that's it boss, a dubious call. Is it of help?

We'll see. When was that match?

Yeah, when was it, Database? Oi, don't get into trouble answering, forgot you a mute.

Don't get cocky, Main. It was on Tuesday.

Tuesday, huh? Hey, boss, it was Tuesday night Female came home with Ginger. No doubt now, she be Luce.

Didn't hear for sure?

Nope, but she was the one that came for dinner, a bit before Coop did.

Then she's the one that straddled the balustrade, unfolded her umbrella and watched the rain falling.

So, what about it, Balcony? Nothing abnormal in this.

Wait, there's more: Female insisted she come in out of the rain, talked a bit, then Female rubbed Luce's shoulders to shake off the cold.

Oh, Female rubbed Luce's shoulders, is what she did, is it?

Main Entrance, you're all insinuation, but we need facts. Anyway, having ascertained this piece of information, too, do we now have any insight as to what caused the separation?

Boss, may I?

Yes, Sofa?

I should mention that the night before yesterday while Male was lying drunken Female talked to him and said she had gone crazy for someone else. She also said that it was over, that's she'd make it all up again…

Same old bollocks!

Main Entrance, shut up!

Will do, boss, sorry!

Male feigned sleep. Female went alone to bed. A bit later Male stood up and went to the phone.

Phone, you there?

Yep, boss.

Report!

Called Cooper, phone number 245-711-8735. Voice wavery, drunk, tearful. Call content recorded by Database. The gist: he knew he was cheated on, but not who the other part was. Coop promised to help.

Some help is to be expected from this trollop!

Main Entrance, the situation being as it is, we can exclude no-one of us from this council. But this is your last warning: you either mind your tongue or…

Boss, may I?

Sure, Sofa.

I'm older than you all. Each one of you may know one particular thing about people, I know many more. Sex, friend Bed, is not just intercourse, copulation or procreation. Sex, friend Main Entrance, is not just banging, fucking and shagging. Sex is an all-powerful thing. All encompassing.

What's your drift, mate?

The sexual attraction between Female and Luce caused the separation between Female and Male.

That's a giant leap of a conclusion!

No, no far-fetched conclusion, rather experience. As I said, I've been inside a number of homes. You, on the contrary, are only familiar with Female and Male. To me, it all adds up. The dialogues, the little bits of info, even Main's streetwise education. This must be it… or else, I know nothing of the world. And I've been places…

Well, I must admit it does sound logical.

It is logical. It's also probable, understandable, expectable. It's… the way of the world.

Boss, Bed here. I for one am convinced. I mean, getting accustomed, in fact getting tuned to Male and Female for quite a number of years and suddenly perceiving such a stormy change, well, it must be an external cause. And the Luce hypothesis, it's quite plausible, methinks.

As far as the 'whodunnit' part is concerned, I'm almost positive. But, there are ramifications of another nature, like, psychological ones.

Gadzooks, Sofa, have you, by any chance, ever belonged to Dr. Freud? Or some other shrink?

Please, Main, let me finish. And, everybody, please, note further: separation is not always something bad. It could be salvation, release, liberation, it could be anything positive. I know, I've seen this. People talked of breaking up while sitting on me, then one would leave and leave the other broken. Into pieces. That person would cry, sometimes for days on end, or would lie there thrashing himself to sleep. But after a while… it mends again.

You talkin' 'bout your upholstery?

Quit joking, Main. I see, Sofa… Well, then, if the Male-Female separation is to be unequivocally attributed to Luce, it follows with certainty that it isn't our fault, individually or collectively, which thing is my first concern… Well, Elements all, my verdict is that we've generally done well, done nothing wrong and accordingly can rest in peace.

Oh, please, not such talk.

Meaning, of course, till someone decides to come to live here. Sofa said, he'd seen it happen before, haven't you, Chesterfield? Are the intervals long?

Sometimes, pretty long. So I've heard. I've been luckier than others I know of.

Since we're at it, do we have any suggestions whatsoever about improvements among us? Individually or collectively?

I submit, Main Entrance must improve his language.

Want a bash in the eye, Phone? I'm certain you've been taking a secret pride in transmitting all the bollocks the Male ever said. Female was collected, she was. Up to the eye-bang, that is.

What about your foul mouth?

It's got nothing to do with the Humans breaking up, you…

"Database will now talk".

Wha'?... Hush, everyone!

"Database says 'true love'".

Unbelievable! Database has spoken.

Indeed he has… But in riddles. "True love", what? What does he mean, boss?

I think he might mean… that's why Female and Male broke up. There wasn't true love between them. Or that Female found true love in the person of Luce. Well… if it is so, then all of our… police-work was for nought. And I'll consider it a further confirmation from its part that we're not to be held responsible. Perhaps we don't have to correct or improve anything.

I repeat, Main Entrance sure must improve his language.

Now, I will bash your eye, Phoney!

Wanna come up or do I come down?

If only I… Wha'? Strike me pink, boss, my mince pies are flipping. It's Female with Ginger coming this way. They holding hands. Smiling. Reckon something good is going on.

Keep on reporting, Main.

Boss, they kissing, they kissing right with their kissers, cupping each other, whoa, watch them tongues…

Get a hold of yourself, you cad!

The palone-omis comin' upstairs, boss. Female takes keys out. Is holding Ginger by the waist. Oh, vada how she lills her dally bijou dish, vada how she ogles her eek! Bet they gonna go to doss and charver right away?

Hey, boss, I think Main Entrance here has finally come out!

Not the first one today, Phone… All right, Elements, all ready?

Ready, boss.

Front Door, report?

Front Door here. They'll be here in seven, six, five, four, three…

To all Elements: we're living again, mates! We'll be lived in. They'll live here, true love will live here!