The Death of Bunny Munro

The Death of Bunny Munro by Nick Cave Read Free Book Online

Book: The Death of Bunny Munro by Nick Cave Read Free Book Online
Authors: Nick Cave
Tags: General Fiction
Doris Pennington, was made with all the sweat-soaked stupor of a man standing on a trapdoor with a rope around his neck. The woman’s complete contempt for her son-in-law went way back, almost nine years, to the first time Libby walked out on him and made her tearful way back home to mother – cum-stained knickers (not hers) in the back seat of Bunny’s old Toyota. The roaring silence that greeted the tragic news broke upon Bunny like a great wave and he sat there, heavy-lidded with the phone pressed to his ear, listening to the phantoms and ghosts inside the phone long after the line had gone dead. Bunny became convinced that he could detect the faraway rhythms of his wife’s voice deep in the phone lines. He felt she was trying to tell him something and a chill ran through his bones and he castaneted the phone and sat there, gulping lungs of air like a fish.
    Through these days Bunny made increasingly frequent andprotracted visits to the bathroom, beating off with a single-minded savagery, intense even by Bunny’s standards. Now, sitting on the sofa with a large Scotch, his cock feels and looks like something that has been involved in a terrible accident – a cartoon hotdog, maybe, that has made an unsuccessful attempt to cross a busy road.
    The boy sits beside him and the two of them are locked in a parenthesis of mutual zonkedness. Bunny Junior stares blankly at the encyclopaedia open in his lap. His father watches the television, smokes his fag and drinks his whisky, like an automaton.
    After a time, Bunny turns his head and looks at his son and clocks the way he stares at his weird encyclopaedia. He sees him but he can’t really believe he is there. What did this kid want? What is he supposed to do with him? Who is he? Bunny feels like an extinct volcano, lifeless and paralysed. Yeah, he thinks, I feel like an extinct volcano – with a weird little kid to look after and a mangled sausage for a dick.
    Bunny scopes the living room. He has made some attempt at clearing up the debris and bringing some order back to the flat. In doing so he has uncovered the extent of the damage his wife had brought down upon the house. For example, he had found his Avril Lavigne (drool) and Britney (drool) and Beyoncé (drool) CDs floating in the toilet cistern; the entrails of his bootleg Tommy and Pamela video (a gift from his boss, Geoffrey) had been torn out and gallooned around the ceiling light in the bedroom; several unsuccessful attempts had been made to fasten to the wall a headshot of himself, taken at a company bash in the bar of The Wick, by way of a fork through the face, the tinesleaving an hysterical Morse code on the woodchip of the bathroom – dot dot dot, dash dash dash, dot dot dot – fuck you.
    Bunny feels this was all done in a private language of blame. He feels a surge of guilt, but he doesn’t know why. He feels victimised. She had a medical condition, for Christ’s sake. She was depressed. The doctors said so. It had to do with a misfiring of her synapses or something. Still, it all feels so fucking personal and then there is a knock on the front door.
    Bunny opens the door and is greeted by two social workers – Graeme somebody and Jennifer somebody – making an unannounced and unsolicited visit to monitor how Bunny and his son are coping. Bunny is glad he has made some effort to put right his house. He wishes, though, that he were a little more sober.
    ‘Hello, young man,’ says Jennifer to Bunny Junior and the boy offers a tight, little smile. ‘Do you think we could talk to your dad for a minute?’
    Bunny Junior nods and picks up his encyclopaedia and disappears into his bedroom.
    ‘He’s adorable,’ says the woman and takes a seat opposite Bunny. She brings with her the ghost of a scent that Bunny remembers with absolute familiarity but cannot identify.
    ‘We don’t want to take up too much of your time,’ says Graeme, but something in his tone makes this statement seem unsympathetic and

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