By Parson Thru
And so from private hell to here:
A cold and cloudy morning.
Wondering, Have I done the right thing?
Toilet cleaned, bathroom rinsed and aired.
Time bought with promises of lunchtime fish and chips.
Neuralgia eased to manageable.
Seat post shortened.
Front suspension mysteriously come to life.
My saviour. Transformative and free.
First riverside dog-walker holds the gate for me and smiles Hello!
The leotarded running ladies in formation with their dogs part at the polite ping.
Good morning ladies!
And so it flows, passing walkers, runners, mothers with their buggies.
Hell to Heaven in 1km.
Good morning cyclist!
Looks like rain.
When doesn’t it?
Under Scarbro Bridge and peal of bells.
Or St Wilfred’s?
Scene of teenage Masses. Funerals. Father Reilly.
Narrowboatman reeling in his hose. Hendrix in the morning!
Can’t beat it! he grins back.
Bike park’s almost empty.
I fiddle with the locks, getting oil on my hands.
Novice. But, hey!
Where did all those insecurities go?
That’s the fault-line, I decide. The clash.
Somewhere between here-then and here-now, I lost all that.
Somewhere on the road.
No, mam, I’m not shown up.
Take the Mickey, uncle Billy?
Why would they do that and why would I care?
Same location, different world.
N was right about the £1 filter coffee.
I’m at the wrong end of the queue. No worries.
Beginning to understand the feather on my forearm.
The Chinese student can’t make his car move. He has a P plate.
Someone sounds their horn.
A German car – white – powers round him.
Another follows. Then the rest.
He fiddles with the controls. Tries again.
The lights have changed.
Engines rev. A lot of ostentatious passing.
He doesn’t seem to notice. Maybe lost in dissertation.
The barista hands my coffee. Spanish, maybe South American.
I take it.
Thank you! she sings.
On the towpath, the narrowboat's gone.
The bike’s still there.
There's a bench beneath a tree.
The sun breaks through, briefly.
What is it about water?