How Does That Feel?

It’s supposed to feel good. Supposed to ‘make’ you feel good. Like a good person. Y’know…Good.
But it didn’t.
It actually felt bad.
Homeless guy. Buy him coffee and a sandwich. Like a nice person. “Here you go…I got this for you”.
Sealed the deal. Even brought out sachets of sugar. Ham and cheese sandwich. The safe option. White bread.
He shrugged his shoulders and accepted.
Not even a ‘Thank you’. That’s OK. It’s not charity. Why should he thank me? It was my choice. My decision. He never asked.
Still.
Would it have killed him?
It’s supposed to make you feel good.

Just felt like I was down seven euro.

Pancake.

Granny made pancakes the same way every day.
In her slippers and dressing gown, hair still taking shape under a factory of rollers, humming a Brenda Lee tune. Or Stones.
Surprisingly eclectic, granny.
Egg, milk, flour and an unregulated allowance on cinnamon.
The whisk plugged, screaming the mixture in short bursts. Taking form like a thought first thing in the morning. Gradually coalescing into the recognisable, the predictable, the expected.
Heat on, pan oiled, mixture added.
Golden.
Just like her.
Just like her.
Granny didn't eat pancakes.
That was just like her.

Stone Me

It was Stephen's fault.
He shouldn't have done it at all.
We told him. "Stop it Stephen, it's a sin. Stop".
But I think that's what made him do it more. He didn't care.
Yer man came out of nowhere. Honest to God, none of us saw him.
We were running so fast out of the graveyard to get away from Stephen that we couldn't have noticed. Some of the stones Stephen had grabbed hit me on the back of the legs. It didn't hurt, but still. They gave a different kind of bad feeling. He'd grabbed them straight off someone's grave. Could have been a priests'.
I remember the grey hair and dark suit. No tie. And the way he walked - like he was in his living room getting up to close the curtains or something.
"Your friend is right" - (me!) - "You've upset some people".
The voice, velvety - like a Wispa with a warm cup of milky tea.
Stephen looked up at him. His twelve year old eyes trying to understand.
"I came here in 1992".
My friend's hand opened just enough for the last few pebbles to clack clack clack to the ground.
"I'd advise you to sleep with the light on tonight".
We all did.

Perfect Timing

She went for a walk.
Not something she usually did - just take off like that, without warning...without yelling "Bye" to everyone, checking for keys and phone and million other pointless accessories.
She just left. Closed the door and walked.
It was only three o'clock.
Nice park. Tarmac pathway, trees on either side swaying and sighing in the first chill breeze of Autumn. Their leaves will be gone soon. 'Know the feeling', she thought, without checking if anyone heard.
Defenses up by being brought down. You can smile at that one now.
Her pace self indulgent. Why hurry? Where do you need to be? Where do you ever need to be?
A street. Coffee shop.
Tall latte.
Cyndi Lauper sings 'True Colours' on the radio.
Just in time.

Altogether Now.

Tony, Andrew, Uncle Paul
Lisa, Sharon, Sue
Pat from work and Joe McCaul
Oliver and Pru.
The gang from football at the club
The red head from the store
Everyone sat in the pub
A conversation roar.
Wives and husbands, aunts and grans
Uncles, cousins, friends
Smiles and hugs and words of love
Good times never end.
That empty hollow echo
Still infiltrates the bones
He never knew how many folk
It took to be alone.

Missing Picture

I ended up meeting him. He seemed fine. Relaxed, well-groomed and happy to see me.  It was a bit weird to be honest. I mean, it was just a joke. A prank. I hadn’t actually expected him to show up. But there he was, as real as me and in the flesh. Firm handshake, white teeth, welcoming smile with a look that said “Can you believe this?”

Only I couldn’t because it never happened.

The reason we were there was false. The idea that we knew each other just a work of fiction. Created by me.
“Hey man, it’s me…remember we met up in Ibiza last year? We should hook up for the laugh”.

I don’t know why I wrote that. Just flicking through pictures of friends and friends of friends and there he was; with Caroline, at a bar, sun setting on the horizon, cocktails, tans and a busy beach.

Two weeks later: “Hey man, yeah let’s do that. I remember you well”.
Really? OK.

So there we were. In the front bar of the Shearton Hotel. Him reminiscing about the two of us in Ibiza the summer before – who we saw, what we did, where we went. Only I hadn’t been there. Have never been there.

Should I tell him? How do I tell him? ‘Hey listen man, sorry about this but I was drunk that night and just did that for the laugh’.

So I did. I said that. He looked blankly at me as if the words hadn’t reached him.
“No, no. I remember you. It was great”.

But…I hadn’t been there. Why was he saying that?

I told Caroline.
She showed me her pictures of that holiday last year.

Her, him and me.

Winging It

Hark, the celestial angels cry
One's a girl and one's a guy.
One harks louder than the other
The reason being, the other's stutter.
It might not seem like much to you
But when you 'hark', it should be t-t-t-true.