Friday, 19 May 2017

Scenes: Number Seventeen

There are large, flat, stone benches without backs periodically placed along Morecambe prom.

Today, there was a man sat on one of them, leaning back, using his arms to support himself. The sun's brightness bounced off the arms of his glasses. His hair was all grey, apart from cloud-white wings perched above his ears. His hair, his wrinkles, his woollen jumper and slacks all said he was seventy plus.

His lips were curled up a little at one side. You might think the word 'smirk', but there was much more warmth radiating from him than that.

Watching the distant waves and smiling - just how is he so at peace with the world?

Thursday, 4 May 2017

Did I Ever Tell You About the Time?

Could this be the very public vessel of conveyance what didst take away my Literature?

I was just reading a post I liked over at Le CafĂ© du Jour, and Nova's story of not getting to finish a book really stuck with me. I wanted to post what I'm about to say as a comment on said page, but it's a bit mansplainy to go and turn the focus around to myself in someone else's forum. So you, unfortunate reader, must suffer it now (unless you stop reading at this very point):

A few years back, maybe three or four, when I was at the height of my 'utilitarianism' phase, I was in the habit of buying pocket-sized books of either poetry or short stories, so that I could have something about me to read at all times. I found the 'dead time' you get on public transport to be the best time to crack one of these wee treasures out.

I was reading one such book - Stefan Zweig's Chess - on the 2A from Heysham into Lancaster. I was at the point in the story where a mysterious character has been tempted to show himself to a group of travellers, only for them find themselves in a pickle. Salvation hinted at its arrival when I reached my real-life destination, and so had to quit the bus and the story.

Later on, I was talking to someone about what I'd been reading, and went to my pocket to show them it as proof. Nice-looking proof, too, since this particular Penguin series that I'd pppicked up is a classy slate-grey background with black and white text upon it.

It wasn't in my pocket, though. I'd left it on the bus.

I can't ever remember calling up the station to see if it had been handed in, but if I did, it wasn't there.

It took me years to re-buy the book. No particular reason, I don't suppose, apart from the usual pressures of not-quite-enough disposable income to go on rectifying all of life's stupid errors. Then it took me a little longer to get round to reading it.

The point where I'd left off was pretty much where things started kicking off. Not so much in terms of overall plot progression per se, but certainly in learning about the characters, and having the relative cosiness of the situation suddenly shaken up by revelations. It's a wonderful story, and I'm so glad I got round to finishing it.

That is all.