Wednesday, 23 May 2012

The Showmen


Just before dark the showmen set up a wooden stage shaped like a 50 pence piece. They built a wooden road and set up red walls and these men were masters of their destiny. There was a holiday atmosphere and photographers arrived from the newspapers, magazines in the city. I lingered. They were shutting up the red walls that had all been unloaded from the truck. I wanted to stay. To be locked inside the red walls and be part of the scene that was to unfold in there. But I hesitated; the moment ran away from me….

I was wearing my old Harris Tweed jacket and there was a field where fires were burning. It was hot and I took my jacket off. I was pre-occupied because I didn’t have any cigarettes. I sat down and the fire painted shadows on my clothes and something jabbed at my back, a finger, needle or pen…

Where was my jacket? How was I ever going to find it?

You took me by the shoulders, your attention taken by what was written on my back. You pulled my shirt back to expose my shoulder blade because that’s where the words were written.

You read…

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