Home Again


My foot is wet, soaked running to get into the car. Soggy noises. The car coughs, dies, whines, coughs, starts, and expels a black cloud into the murky morning gloom. Frigid air, misty windscreen smeared with patterned handprints and fossilised swipe marks. Lights on, heater up full, optimist, I blow my nose in an attempt to synchronise myself with the demon that lies beneath the bonnet. We both grumble, the rain ignores all and continues unabated. Somewhere..

..........Into the clear sky, southbound, warmer climes, a pencil shaped craft climbs skyward to exotic shores, E.T.A…….

Talking of which I’m late, the car sluggishly refuses to match any expectations and growls in protest. People, Monday morning people, all of whom unaccountably, are heading in the same direction……..

...........Perfect landing, perfumed air, dark bodies and limbs, lazy laughs, warm winds carrying exotic smells and the sound of foreign tongues, musical incantations..………..

Taillights red, stopped, lots of them. A Christmas tree snake. Nothing foreign about the language from the twat in front, sign language follows. Drivers rage skulking, slinks slowly away. I have frostbite. I turn the heater down to foot level. The wind chill factor increases. I turn on the radio. Inane chatter from a sports pundit. A quaint ability to ostracise my football team in order to give a semblance of street cred to journalistic pugilism. No ring craft here. They lost again this weekend, in fact they gave it away.

............” Bargains, gold, silver , Rolex, ? Cheap “, languid smiling inquiry . Sun glares down on a glittering bounty. Walk away to the bar-side pool, an indifferent shrug, next customer, ” local poison
please, with ice “, softer shapes glide by,............

My nose has stopped running. I get a paper. The window falls down, disappears, the paperboy takes a firmer grip of the paper, as if to say can you afford this. Money changes hands, the paper is mine, the window is f----d, the paper magnate rattles my change and scurries off to the next customer. I think to remind him to stay away from yachts in his future, to late, vanquished into the dark commuter triangle. Wind driven rain in my right ear causes a change of plan, a new destination.

.............Midday sun, soft swell, crystal clear deep water, cloudless blue sky, distant palm lined shore, sirens abound. Indecent exposure. Have to cool down. Enter the cool azure water..................

They say water finds its own level, well the river flowing down the back of my neck adds weight to this theory. I stop the car and fix the window. Getting later with every passing moment. It’s still dark.

....Balmy evenings , stars in flight , dusky companions , feline grace, night chorus .................................

Into work at last, damp. Benefactors awaiting smile, sly glance at his watch, unctuous greeting, hold on, maybe things are not so bad after all..... I am not the one wearing a plum coloured striped suit,

Hello! It’s Walter f-----g Mitty..

R Patterson

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