A Walk in the Rain
It was raining hard enough to drown worms. When it started we watched them wriggle up; afterwards we watched them float.
My son was fascinated, frightened, thrilled, thoughtful: in that order. We were both looking to the future: I had turned my eyes to the wind to watch the coming clouds: dark, growing deeper dark. The lake had crawled from its banks and clawed its fingers across the fields. We walked into it, the mud sucking blindly at our boots. I kicked off the weight, waded until the lip of the lake kissed mine, and was baptised.
I have been reborn from where the rain of heaven meets the dirt of the earth. I walked back a new man, alone.
The first time I saw her, the pitch pit of her pupils were a dart that struck through me. Her mouth was smirking to a joke I was not invited to, but her eyes were intimate: otherwise I could never have approached her. I was raised better than to be rude.
In the age of the internet it has become so easy to find someone. Not just their address, but their habits and haunts are an open book to those with the passion to read them.
That first perfect moment still fills me with warmth, trapped though it is in the glossy amber of the magazine page, and surrounded by the cynicism of advertising copy. I hold the page next to her now and marvel at how the fake utterly out-shines the real. In the corner of my room she slumps stupidly, the darts of her eyes misfiring at the ceiling, her mouth flapping open like a door with its hinges broken.
There was a disembodied hand in the sink. We stood over it, united in confusion and dread., but as we turned towards each other I found reassurance in the pale eyes of my twin, as she in mine.
No secrets live amongst us. We share a house, possessions, pursuits. We have discovered that we’ve even shared dreams: a fact which added to the profound sense of unease that the hand introduced to our lives. Just a week before we had both experienced a vivid and violent night-mare which had cast us both as murderers: hailing a passer-by at night on the pretence of the time, we had become possessed by demonic frenzy and tore him into bloodied scraps.
You might see now how the hand could appear to us as a grim and portentous omen. However, we are both of rare stock in our gentleness of disposition: many have commented upon it. After some debate we laughed away the unthinkable link between dream and reality, and resolved not to broach the subject again. We disposed of the hand with fitting discretion, as we had the other pieces.
Good Driver Practice
A good bus driver will never let himself be overwhelmed or lost in the constant traffic that surrounds him. That is good practice on a personal level. On a social level, he must always be polite, and ready to obey the whims of the public whom he serves.
These are my two golden rules. I learnt them from my predecessor, who demonstrated the exact opposite of both of those virtues when I first met him as his passenger. On the last bus home to Sudbury Hill, he terminated his service in an isolated, inhospitable location very far from my home, and reacted to my pleas for reason with nothing but blank defiance, which soon gave way to base aggression.
He was obviously not held in very high regard by anyone at the bus station. Noone seems to mind me replacing him, or even notice that he’s gone.
Read the first issue here