Sunday, 18 August 2013


An aerial photograph would reveal a spider shape. Eight black legs running from the grey body of houses. Each house clad with gravel that resembled cold porridge. A police station on the corner – which was very necessary, there being a high population of drunks and addicts with a penchant for petty crime.

The house at the end of the row belonged to the man with no name.

He had a name, he must have done - the post woman always knew where to deliver his giro every alternate Wednesday. It was a hefty cheque on account of him sharing his two bedroom house with a wife and seven children. They must have had a name to call him.

But none of his neighbours had taken the time to learn it.

Every day the man with no name logged onto his computer. His main line of business was in football cards. The premier league, each player for each team sealed in a plastic pocket. The faces changed each season. So did the shirts. I don't know if he ever really made any money out of it but each day his wife came home with 24 cans of lager. All of which gives the impression that I must have been very observant. I wasn't. I was just another drunk on Porridge Row making pointless journeys along the spider legs and hoping for something that would finally get me out of there.

In the end, it was pollen. It made it impossible for me to concentrate on doing nothing. I was sitting in the backyard staring at a black fly and my eyes wouldn't keep from streaming.

I threw my book at the fly and started to walk. I cut through the path that led to the road.

The post woman was making her rounds. Her rounds were made in a slouching, round-shouldered motion.

She was carrying the weight of the world on her shoulders.

She didn't look up as I headed up the road past a Ford with no wheels and the police station. The windows in the police station were obscured by grey blinds. I reached the main road.

There was a dirt track beyond and a house on the hill that looked ripe for a murder. The track was made of chalk. I kept on going. Trees with dusty leaves lined each side of the track. I kept walking. I kept sneezing.

Something purple got my attention. A length of ribbon tied to a tree. Then another.

I kept going and the last thing I saw was the man with no name, his violent hands holding reams of purple ribbons.


  1. The ribbons flowing out from the man's hands, a wonderful close. Echo of streaming eyes.

  2. Oh my goodness! Ripe for murder...I see that hill.

  3. i've had the misfortune of being too close to the real world lately. well, i'm not sure which world is real or not, the one i prefer or the one you reveal here, but thank god for madmen and writers and purple ribbon too. (tell me he wants out too, not just to deceive us.)


  4. Yes. I'm pretty sure he must have done, too. A lot to think about here, in your comment. Thanks for reading and take care.



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