In Case of Emergency

It looked like great fun. A great old time. Friends and cousins all together; cakes, tea and good clothes.
Loud cackling laughter, smell of hairspray and aftershave. The secret adult world on it's best behaviour.
Ladies parachuting from the heavens in layers of coloured silk. Men righting the world beneath starched collars. Cigarette smoke punctuating the liquored words.
Boys in shorts running between rooms, avoiding obstacles real and imaginary. Girls with curls and pretty dresses rehearsing for later roles.
The pane of glass around him. See all, hear all. Touch none.
The glass that no one saw.


Every night, they walk together.
Her on the inside, habitually pampering his need to safeguard. Arms propelling body and words.
Him, head bowed in devoted concentration, cherishing each act of the new drama.
Continuing their promenade through life. Step by synchronised step.
Hands in pockets. Steps close to the road as before. Pace less urgent.
Head bowed.
Listening to the chasm for lost echoes.


She once felt loved and lovely
Around the turn of Spring
Now just cold and lonely
A bugger of a thing.

Hey Buster

They gave him a nickname once. Secretly chuffed he was by that. He'd never show it. Never let on.
Brush it off with a mischievous smile, knowing laugh and a lively wink. Never dismiss it entirely though.
Here he comes...Buster Davis. Suited him, with his barrel chest bursting out from the tweed waistcoat as if it had a story to tell and couldn't wait any longer.
Half the regulars didn't know his real name. For all they knew, that was his real name.
It might as well have been.
Sometimes, he can feel himself back there again. Not just as a fantasy, but really back there. In the carriage, on the red, high-back upholstered seat, quaffing champers, reveling in the high squeals of laughter from the well bred as he watched on, charming the blue fragrant plume of smoke from his Caribbean cigar.
Taking turns to sit beside him as the eleven o'clock Brighton Belle shimmied it's way back to London. The curtain drawn, the punter's applause inhaled, as sex and hunger and want ripened in the blood.

The robin landed three feet away. Outside. In the garden. There had been some light rain earlier.
Buster watched as it's tiny, perfect head tilted from side to side, regarding the scene.
He shifted an inch in his chair. A hard chair, but it suited his purposes. He wondered if he should really ask for a new one, but it never came up in conversation.
Funny how I've never seen that bird before, he thought...for the first time today.
It looked like the flame haired actress who went on to star in that northern TV soap. She had been eager. Whats-her-name. Her.
Funny how I can't remember her name, her thought. I think I loved her. Should have told her. Did I tell her?
Where's the tea?

Thrice as Nice

- How's it goin', y'all right, how's things?
* Grand, not a bother, y'know. 
   How's yerself, all good, doing well?
- Can't complain, got the health, doing a bit.
* Sure that's the way, your only man, keeping busy.
- Spot on, keeping the nose clean, staying out of trouble.
* Here listen, look after yerself now, be good.
- Sure what would I be doin'?, staying out of harm's way, good luck.
* That's the one, the very man, on the pig's back.
- Yeah.

*  ............oh.

Cash and Carrie.

It was a gentle collision. Her rounding the paperback aisle, three novels and a half priced New Year diary hugged to her chest.
Him hurrying past the magazines to the cash till; newspaper, Mars bar and obliviousness.
“It’s like in the movies” she said as they kneeled down to pick her purchases off the well walked floor.
“Which movies?” he asked.
“Gothic horror sci-fi ones”.

Then he knew.


-I wish you nothing but health and happiness for 2016.
*Don’t say that.
*Because you can’t have both. If you have nothing but happiness then you become one of those permanently happy people who are impossible to be around.  So, eventually your network of people leaves due to your insatiable need for joy. This leads to loneliness and loneliness is as dangerous to your well-being as smoking and alcoholism. In the end, it kills you. I’m not ready to die yet.
*No years resolution.