Wednesday, 28 September 2016

7a.m. - a murder mystery (part three)

a second sailing



The coast is Hastings. I like the pebbles, I like the old fisherman’s huts and I like the café where I work. It’s my pied à beach until something changes and I can live here for real, and not just in a dream.

I used to come here with my mum and dad when I was a kid, back then when they sold sticky rock with words running through it, when they still sold those postcards full of innuendo and before the pier had burnt down. We came in the car back then and back then the cars didn’t have seat belts. You didn’t need seat belts ‘cos the cars were always  crawling through a traffic jam, so we always ended up eating the sandwiches on the A23.

It was difficult to eat the soup though so we kept it in the thermos and saved it for the beach. Needed it too – in the traffic jam on the A23 the sun was always shining and the air stifling, by the time we got to the beach the wind was up and freezing. Still, we always went for a swim. 

If I killed someone, it would have to be all the people who voted against building a by-pass for the A23.

The café is called the A23. Ironic in a way, but the owner Bert has a weird sense of humour. He’s not here today, I’ve got the place to myself so I get to open up; it’s the bit I love best – that and the sound of the steam as it escapes the espresso machine.

Do you remember steam trains? They sounded like that too but you wouldn’t get close to one unless you were a driver. I used to dream of that too. 

I gut cured one day near my Gran’s. I ran up onto the bridge that crossed over behind the terraces to be there when the engine passed underneath. 

I was, it did. 

I never tried that again and it took my gran an hour to clean me up in the tin bath she stuck in front of the fire place -coal that dirtied me, coal that kept me warm as she scrubbed me clean, Thatcher put an end to a lot of that. Do you remember her?


Rust in Peace.

ab/135

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