That Kind of Man - opening


"It begins with your family and soon it comes round to your soul"
Leonard Cohen
"Border Reivers were ruthless men who murdered, kidnapped and set up protection rackets. They brought bereaved and blackmail to the English language. Family loyalty was vital for strength and protection.  The descendants ... still live across the region today" 
Carlisle's Tullie House website
          There's this man.  Right?  And he's walking ... he's walking with a purpose. 
         Actually no -- he’s striding.  And yes, that is a hammer dangling there at the end of his right arm.
        He stands a moment.  Stops at the final sweep of Albemarle Close.  Because he’s reading the house numbers. 
        37. 39. Seems he's only interested in the odds!  41. 
        So he goes up to the gate.  And he opens it.  It squeaks.  There’s a car in the drive.  It's an SUV.  Requiring him to squeeze past.  Raising his arm well above his head so as to summon sufficient force, he brings the hammer down.  It goes straight through the back window.
        The sound disappoints.  It’s hardly more than a rush of water from a turned on tap.
        He walks up the path, heading towards a huge picture window.  We’re in one of those estates, you see, where they don’t draw the curtains because they believe they have nothing to hide or else they like to display their possessions.
        The first blow takes only half of it out.  (Nicer sound now though!)  A second more hefty strike is necessary and then he’s required to chip away at the remaining shards before he’s able to haul himself into the lounge.  Even so he feels a sharp stab on his palm. Which, on examination, begins to pump blood.  It turns the shaft of the hammer slippery and makes it tricky to grip so he switches the tool into his left.  That’s ok because he’s equally adept with both. 
        The man’s clambered up into the lounge now.  He’s noticing how tastefully decorated it is ... noticing too that there’s a man and a woman staring at him.  Their faces are surprised going on for terrified.  It’s possible they may be speaking.  The fact that their mouths are moving suggests that they are.  But this intruder, he isn’t listening.  The man of the house takes a step forward.  Hesitates.  Regards the hammer. Our man spells it out. 
       “Get back, he says, “I don’t want to hurt anybody”. 
       The pair back-pedal into the kitchen, just as the intruder’s eyes alight upon a china cabinet taking what might be seen as pride of place against the far wall.  It’s crammed full of knick-knacks – things worth something perhaps, sitting shoulder to shoulder with souvenirs and items of "sentimental value". The man walks across to it.  Well he has to, hasn’t he?  He swings again and the hammer goes noisily through the glass.  Trinkets topple and smash. But he wants to be thorough so he swings left to right, right to left and back again.
       He makes his way into the kitchen, glass and pottery and whatever crunching under his feet.  He's expecting to meet the couple again in there but it seems they’ve evacuated the house.  The cooker though, has a ceramic hob.  And then it doesn’t.
      Beyond the kitchen is a huge conservatory. But come on now, that’s just taking the piss!  He’s made his point.  Just before he turns to go back into the lounge, he spots the man and woman out in the garden, scrabbling to open the back gate.
      He’s back in the lounge again now, where his eyes light on what looks like an expensive rug laid out in front of the imitation coal fire.  Recalling the key scene in The Big Lebowski, he unzips his pants, flicks out his penis and pisses on it.  It’s a steady continuous stream so that bladder of his must actually have been ready for easing. 
      Zipping up, he’s about to leave when he sees a couple of framed photographs propped on the sideboard.   A young boy with a cheeky grin. That has to go!  So he smashes it.
      And, ah, that second photo!
      It’s the same boy, now a Jack the Lad, centred, pushing his gurning face forward into the camera lens. His right arm’s around two girls over made-up and fat-armed in frothy gowns.  His left arm’s draped around two blurry-eyed crop-haired mates in hired suits.  It’s a prom pic, isn’t it? 
       An appropriate conclusion!
      The man heads towards the window that isn’t a window anymore and, taking care not to cut himself this time, he jumps down onto the drive.
      Here’s the car again!
      Five or so blows onto the bonnet make a nice noise and leaves satisfying dents.  Obviously the windscreen has got to go, but it’s a disappointing result again as the glass just collapses  around the punched hole.  The side windows go in easier, sprinkling the leather seats with diamonds.
      Looking up, the man sees he’s drawn a crowd.  Neighbours have come out onto their drives to watch his finale. There'll be at least one of them recording it on a phone.  The man nods to them before respectfully closing the gate and walking back to where he parked his car.  He gets in, tosses the hammer into the passenger foot-well and drives away, the stigmata on his right hand smearing the steering wheel with blood. 
      Guess who?