Time Waits For No-One 

Time Waits For No-One

Tom was out and about near the pier, mainly cruising. Waiting to see what would happen. Most of his friends had grown up faster than him - and he was left more or less alone in this godfearing, godforsaken, godawful town...and there didn’t seem much point in whistling along in his fashionable suit just to outsmart a series of blank-faced strangers who didn’t seem to know a good time even if it sped their way at full tilt.

Nevertheless, almost religiously, every Saturday night, Tom strutted his sharp-edged stuff down the High Street...only later to lope back up it.
He might venture into old haunts, such as the now deserted youth club - where he recalled Little Eva making a personal appearance in a past era which was truly providential compared to the tawdry present one - or the Crab and Pumpkin where old people longed for a tug at the dugs of the latest low-cut barmaid whilst lobbing darts into a cork circle and, yes, even older folk sitting around at tables of six tussling with quiz questions on sublects that tried to summon a nostalgia even for the present as well as for the provenance of some untimely erstwhile hinterland of hope.

“Who wrote the road to Hell is paved with good intentions?’ asked the questionmaster.

“Some bloke called Blake,” fluted Tom in his wake, as he quit the pub’s purlieus. This particular Saturday, there was rumoured to be a hop that only needed loungers with beerpots to stand around waiting to pluck up courage to ask loose-limbed floozies to leave their handbags and dance with them instead of each other.

Rumours in this town were worst than cancellations, though, Tom thought, as he swaggered down Rosemary Road, seeing the lights of the MAGIC CITY arcade frozen in their flickering. Indeed, the Y of CITY had gone fully out. Bingo numbers were being called by a lady’s dulcet amplifications of tone - but no-one played. Once blank-faced strangers were no longer mooching. Even McDonald’s windows had milked up and Tom couldn’t see if any customers were slowly queuing up inside. He took to loping again and reached the end of the pier. The sea was dark but perceptibly stationary. The waves looked razor-edged.

Time was when he’d have stood here in the quiff-stirring winds along with others of his kind - burping and cheering and even hopping off into the sea as a beery sort of Dare. But, now, there was silence.

Tears and waves have one thing in common. The salt.

Time hung heavy. He slipped out of his snazzy outfit and wondered if Heaven would have a Magic City, too - one where no-one played.

(published 'Monas Hieroglyphica' 1999)

Return to Main Page


Add Comment

Search This Site

Syndicate this blog site

Powered by BlogEasy

Free Blog Hosting