Thursday, 19 May 2022

Early One Morning, Just as The Sun was Rising.





The old guy was down by the bins again this morning; I hadn’t seen him for a long time and I told him so.


‘I’ve seen you though’ he replied.


That was a little unsettling, but I let it ride and set about smashing bottles in the bottle bank.


“Do you want this suitcase?” He suddenly asked.


“I don’t know; do I want this suitcase?  I replied, genuinely unsure. I hadn’t planned a suitcase event that day, or any time soon.


‘It’s a nice suitcase,” he explained and held it up for me to see.


It was still early in the morning and the rays of the rising sun bathed the suitcase in a providential glow.


It was a classic suitcase, not old, not new – timeless. A simple chequer pattern the corners reinforced with metal supports and a handle that looked like a type of late Bakelite.


“It’s made for travelling”, he said.


‘I like travelling”, I mumbled. I was mumbling because I was thinking. It was a nice suitcase; clean, compact and with an air of expectation which was difficult to define.


“It needs a sticker”, he said as I took it from his hands to inspect.


“And initials’.


“I have some initials “, I said, perhaps unnecessarily.


But much of the morning so far had been unnecessary.


“Here, take this”. The old boy handed me something.


I put the suitcase down on the floor, next to my feet as if I was waiting for the bus and opened the packet he had given me.


Inside were three stickers.


Stickers like you would see on the side of a suitcase well-travelled.


The first said San Francisco and had an image of the Golden Gate Bridge at sunset.


The second said New York, I love You.


The third was an image of a geyser gushing with the legend Iceland.


I looked at the old Boy, but he was nowhere to be seen.


I looked at the suitcase and I saw the initials T.A. engraved next to the Bakelite handle.


I looked up and the bus door opened.




Tuesday, 17 May 2022

Ed and Mike.





Ed, he’s 26 but would look 18 if it wasn’t for his golden beard and guilty blue eyes.


Mike’s older and more accepting, you can tell that from his eyes too.


His eyes are green.


He doesn’t have a beard, but he hasn’t shaved for a few days.


Out of laziness and boredom.


But it feels prickly and airless, so he’ll probably shave tonight when he gets home from work.


This afternoon they are both at work at the factory.


There work is outside in the yard the whole day, so a beard t this time of the year is a hindrance.


It’s summer time.


Early.


Ed is running up and down the yard, a little more vigorously than is needed.


Mike has a different approach.


Ed has a red and orange blag, he chose the colours himself, and he is waving it as he runs.


A blag is a fusion between a bell and a flag.


Not a bell like Big Ben, more like a bell a non-orthodox Buddhist Monk might tinkle during meditation.


If indeed a non-orthodox Buddhist Monk meditates.


Ed, on the other hand and other side of the yard, has an armchair and a pea shooter.


On the floor by his feet is a bag of split-peas.


He gets the split peas from his friend Pete who runs the grocery store in town.


He claims the cost as a work expense.


Ed hasn’t thought of claiming for the costs of the blag, which he made himself.


With a little help from his girlfriend Meg.


Their job is to keep the birds off everything that is hanging out to dry on the lines that criss and cross the factory yard.


The birds job is to eat as much of what is hanging there as they can – most of it being sugar based.


Ed and Mike are good at their job, they complement each other’s method and together they have saved the factory a lot of money.


So they are well paid.


If he stopped to meditate on his career prospects, Ed might realise they are limited.


But for now he is happy and spends most of his pay with Meg.


Mike doesn’t have any career prospects.


He’s happy that way.




Saturday, 14 May 2022

Four Things Including Chuck.





There are four things on this table.

A jug, a screwdriver, a book and an Orange.

In the jug, there is morning first thing fresh water. Later my face will be in this water, later; at the moment my face is still in this pillow.

In the screwdriver is my dad, it was his. It's old school, brass and wood with a simple click mechanism to reverse rotation.

We all need to do this from time to time.

In the book is Chuck, though not as we know him.

The Orange?

Soon to be in me.



Friday, 13 May 2022

Chuck.





Chuck is not a young man, so he doesn’t walk very quickly.

 

Right now he is walking, very slowly, up the old track back of the woods, towards the two bridges that cross the river.

 

Once there had been a ferry where the bridges now stand, and Chuck had been the ferry master. Then the bridges were built and the ferryman retired.

 

Nobody asked Chuck if the bridges should be built and it seems that nobody who took the ferry was bothered either way, so the bridges were built and the ferry stopped.

 

And the people stopped taking the ferry and started taking the bridge.

 

Except at night.

 

Once the sun had set the forest and the river were dark and the people were scared of the night.

 

So Chuck became a lamp builder.

 

And once he had finished building the lamps he became a lamp installer, and he installed them on the bridge.

 

The people who had built the bridge had moved on to other rivers and no longer cared.

 

And the people who used to use the ferry, even at night because they had Chuck to protect them, were happy that the possibility of using the bridge at night was dawning.

 

Just as long as the lights were lit, which they had to be, each night.

 

So Chuck became a lamp lighter.

 

Right now a queue of people are waiting for him to come and light the lamps.

 

But Chuck is not a young man so he doesn’t walk very quickly.

 

And the people waiting to cross the bridge are young, and impatient.

 

They start singing;

 

Chuck, Chuck the dawdling Chuck

He’s so old 

He doesn’t give a fuck.

We wish he’d hurry; we wish he’d run

We want across this bridge

Before the morning come.

 

Chuck doesn’t mind the singing because as well as being slow, he’s deaf.

 

His eyes are not at their best either, which could be a difficulty in his job if he didn’t use very long matches and if the lamps didn’t have very large wicks.

 

But he does and they do, and besides, Chuck wears very thick and powerful spectacles.

 

The lenses are so thick that Chuck could probably use them to focus the sun’s rays to light the wicks if ever he ran out of matches.

 

And if ever the sun was there at lighting time.

 

Which it never is.

 

Obviously.

 

 




Tuesday, 10 May 2022

The Noisy Silence





In the first field – a beautiful silence.


The silence of spring waiting.

The sound of hope and expectation yet to be fulfilled.


The second filed?


Noisy.


The riotous clamour of an exuberant and unfettered spring.

A deafening explosion of coloured sound.


Both fields are beautiful.


At the first you stop and watch.


There is no movement.


No sadness.


The joy is there but it has no voice.


At the second you smile, maybe gasp and birds swoop skyward.


Just because they can.