Bar room blues
By Parson Thru
Through the unfrosted portion of glass, it’s hard to tell if it’s still daylight, or the glow of high-pressure sodium on the opposite wall.
There’s a quiet murmur from the two drinkers in the passage. Occasional laughter erupts from the bar.
Here in the crypt-like back room, I filter the conversation from behind the screen to focus on an article – William Blake at the Tate.
I’m not really reading it at all.
Last night, I drove through Leeds for no purpose other than to fill the time. I chose the Inner Ringroad (A58/A64) and came up through familiar scenes. A tall terrace on the right, so redolent of that city and its austere religion. The high attic windows casting their oprobium.
I spent half the night searching for photos of another terrace I used to pass on the bus heading down to Dewsbury Road. An isolated row from the Leeds of my father, most likely ground to dust beneath the facade of corporate finance or slick student accommodation.
City of opportunity and fear.
And so, pedalling from the centre to the suburbs. A universe from the Metro and EMT. Rattling along deserted cobbled streets, filtering past queued cars, along Mediaeval walls and the tower wrecked by Cromwell’s troops; through the pages of my own history, under silent skies.
Will life emerge to a new beginning? Or loop into diminishing re-manifestations? Or is this full circle?
At some point, I really need to catch up with my head.
Tomorrow, coffee and scones at the garden centre. As long as she can chuckle, I’m up for it.