I miss sneaking upstairs with the girl you fancy and
doing nothing naughty, instead just laughing about everything and nothing and somethings and possibilities and the future, but not the future like
5 year ISA accounts or children, but
wild horse fantasies that charge through the bedroom, double-A alarm clock ending
up down the line of time somewhere new yet familiar, like déjà vu dreams of cities you've visited before yet your passport missed that flight altogether.
I also miss the familiar feeling of someone,
that predetermined routine of typing your address and bank card details
into another internet form;
you know the number and name of your street,
you know the county and the country and your post code details,
you know the expiry date, the 16 digits that make up your misery,
you know the secure code on the back,
you know what her back feels like in your palms,
her hips too.
And I'm still waiting for my bank to ring up, 4 missed calls, the call of an alarm,
saying I'm a fraud and the account has been hacked,
Why do we give alcohol to loved ones at Christmas?
the boy asked.
His father replied,
because we know they don't need anything personal or new or next generation
because they've already got it;
they've got the nine to five
holidays-off job that pays for everything they need and more.
So we give them a bottle of red, a case of rosé,
we kick them over a well-wrapped box of local ales at Christmas, we celebrate with Chardonnay,
we buy them another pint, we drink heavy and sleep light,
we track down that American whiskey for her, that glass of white for him,
we write down a list of wineries to pass on as a note to them saying where's good to holiday that year to be near another winery, we give them a shot at their own housewarming,
we drink, for them when they can't, a can of their favourite when they mention they're having a baby,
we give them that bottle of red
hey, you, drink this because you're getting old and you don't like your job and this is the only present we can give you that'll be useful this Christmas.
The boy nodded,
noting down his father's advice to use later on down the line.
The miserable cocktail couples are out again
because work got cancelled and they'd rather be unhappy together in a place like this
rather than be alone at home in front of another original British drama the BBC seem to making at the moment
(this one's like the last one but the protagonist's a female with a drinking problem).
I've made enough small talk with hairdressers
to know how a conversation works and I'm overhearing
question sentences that are opening the floor up to one word answers-
if you wanna marry this girl ask her what she wants from life,
what she wants to achieve and maintain and hold onto and pass down,
not what soap she likes out of the two you know about and if she minds being with a man who sometimes
gets a bit lairy with the lads when he's had one too many pints on a Monday night out.
The miserable couples are sipping at their cocktails thinking BBC One would have been a better risk than this.
Dressed up for a Dunkin' Donuts job interview; to her this is shoes for the school run and a well earned rest away in Majorca, to her, the interviewer, she's just another vacant position filled and a monthly bonus.
Construct stories from wrinkles,
novels from bent noses,
secrets from something not normally seen when scored to the sound of the street.
Look how his or hers hands are tucked away in pockets,
their shoes not tied up,
their hood down, not in use, even though it's raining.
Investigate the smallest of facial movements;
interrogate winces and winks and slow burn, smoldering ember blinks.
Look at how he holds his pints,
puffs up his chest wanting a fight yet no army sit behind him as backup.
Look at the lonely blonde smoker who joins conversations
though she knows no-one she is talking about.
Composers compose to concentrate what we see into a musical form,
not the other way around.