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Rural rides

  Wed 9th September 2020

Sat down in this noisy little semi-circle of concrete seats where the bus drivers sit. They should have a proper mess room but they have to sit here, with us, the alcoholics and homeless. Someone had left a copy of The Science of Self-Realisation, that Krishna Consciousness drivel. "Well if there is a God, he's a cunt," said a bloke from Manchester. I wanted to ask him questions about how he'd landed here but that has got to be a long process of trust.

A sixtysomething woman, with the thinness of long term drug use, started chatting to me. "It's this," I said, gesturing to my cider, "that's got its claws in me."

"Do you take anything else?" You never know whether that question is leading up to a smack solidarity. "Well, my thing is speed really," and she astonished me by saying she likes it too, and gave me the last of a nearly exhausted bag. I fished it out with my licked little finger as the Primark shoppers went blindly past. "Oh, you do it up your nose?" "Yeah, I can't wait. Oooh this is nice, to find you. It's quite hard to find here isn't it?"

She was going home and I wondered if I could go with her and buy some more, but she made such a hash of telling me her address that after a few requests for clarification, the penny finally dropped that she didn't want me to know where she lived, nor acquire a customer.

Mel texted from Greece wondering if I was free for a chat. She wants to talk to me. A ripple of pleasure; a gift, something I never feel I deserve. "Mel, what a lovely surprise!" She's switched me on. I have a seam of sex in me now, so that I'm untouched by this idée fixe that Wendy and Kitty and Hayley have of me -- half performing seal with my stories of my "interesting" life; and half a sexless, semi-gay gelding, in whom any expression of desire is found comical.

Today I cycled a long way round to the hospital to take my DBS Certificate up, in order to lessen my chances of a job there with my drugs conviction. I went through the ominous-sounding Snuff Mills, an old gladed landscape by the banks of the River Frome. I texted Mel from there, planning a picnic when she gets back. "Might be a bit classier place for kissing than the bus stop on Fishponds Road," I said. "Your kisses are always classy. Mine are sloppy." "They all count Mel."

Trees susurrated in the soft warm wind. Yes, we know: just now, you're happy. That's what this sound means.


Comment from: kono [Visitor]

The first half of this made me grin, i know the battle of hiding one’s address… shame there’s not more trust in the world ;)

and the second half of this reminded me how lovely things can be and how susurrated is such a beautiful word and how happiness can be found as long as one looks for it but maybe not too hard but more sort of browsing for it… good stuff as usual my friend.

Thu 10th September 2020 @ 21:10 Reply to this comment
Comment from: looby [Visitor]

Yeah, I don’t blame her really – despite knocking around with homeless people quite a lot I keep forgetting (from my positin of privilege) how cautious they have to be.

“Sussrated” is indeed lovely. Bit like “soughing” but I like the assonance of the former.

Yeah, Mel just dropped out of the sky, or rather, the Marks and Sparks cafe :)

Fri 11th September 2020 @ 10:53 Reply to this comment
Comment from: Scarlet [Visitor]

I’m pleased you are happy too - there’s not enough of it about.

Sun 13th September 2020 @ 16:02 Reply to this comment
Comment from: looby [Visitor]

Thank you Scarlet. Everything feels sunny at the moment X

Sun 13th September 2020 @ 20:27 Reply to this comment

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