Friday, 26 February 2016

“You Lightweight! You’ll Never Understand… Never!”


Walking slowly
He’s carrying a case

It is large and battered,
It bulges and sags,
Always it is passing by.

Everyday the same. One day…

He falls to the floor.
Slowly he gets up
Using the case for a rest.

You go to help…

This small man;
Who creaks, how he sighs, 
Under the weight of his years.

But…

Refusing you politely
He avoids your curious gaze.

Can I…

He waves you brusquely off.

Are you sure…

No no. It’s ok. Really
I’m alright. It’s ok. I’m fine.

You can’t resist a question…

Stumbling slightly
He knocks his case
And a few words fall to the floor.

You ask again…

He picks up the case
And walking angrily away
Gives you a piercing look.

You shout out…

You need it!
It’s your safety net!
Your parachute!

Everyday the same. One day…

Walking quickly
He’s carrying a word

It is ugly and mean,
It rankles and piques,
Always it is jabbing in.

Your words…

They create a case that is old and worn. Inside the case are love letters; belonging to a woman of twenty-two, with long black curly hair, in the photograph that accompanies the letters; one of which describes her high heeled boots - the deepest, darling, of cobalt blue - and a white dress - which Rose embroidered with the most gorgeous light blue thread; she created, the silly lovely red-headed young fool, a menagerie of flowers! In the photograph Miriam leans against a lamp post; the case is by her side. 

In one letter she writes how she waited for hours; and how this chap, he was such a small, such a pinched looking fellow; well he kept, you know, he kept looking at me; yes he did darling; he was standing there for ages, it was almost as if, as if he was drawing, you know, me; treating me - it felt so terribly creepy - like some painter’s model, daubing who knows what over my lovely new dress; a blank canvas for his terrible colours; a dull purple, I shouldn’t wonder, with a tropical pink and a really ugly, a really sea-weedy green. Your lovebird a bruised and sickly flamingo! I…I felt so cheap, so cut-price!, darling. What was he thinking, do you think? Was he taking my clothes off? Was he painting my bits in all the wrong places! It was horrible horrible horrible, and it was all your fault; why didn't you come, you awful beast you, when you said you would, sooner and on time?

The words…

They produce a man. How we’d love him to float down from the sky!  

Miriam and Max embrace, and Max touches Miriam on the hip. She tells him no, I don’t want you to. They have an argument; and he tries to take the case. She resists. There is a tussle. He pushes her over, grabs the case; and almost falls over with its weight. Help! Help! It is Miriam. Her cries worry Max who looking around sees another man quickly walking up the street. He panics. And runs away. And Miriam, holding onto the lamp post, is shouting after him…

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