A fractured narrative of grey twilight where half-glimpsed figures flicker through a deserted city-scape. Connection is everything, but nobody connects.
Text by DAVE WARD
Drawings by BRYAN BIGGS
For all you lonely lovers and all you loving loners, this is where you get connected. Just pick up the phone.
The flowers smell of passion. Of dust. Of dirt. Of hurt that floods a siren’s dirge up from the bloodshot river. She mixed bad medicine and no-one would forgive her.
He drives the van through streets where daughters dream they’re mothers pushing too-big baby buggies; and mothers dream they’re daughters again, out on the town in their finery with no-one but themselves to come home to. All the clocks have stopped as silent walls lean sideways in a soporific haze where the suddenly old sit with the suddenly young to watch the sunset’s slow parade.
Rafferty hashes his options, snarling at the lights. Crumbling tenements to the left, boarded shop fronts turning right. White van meshing, speeding across town, flitting unseen between half-light and neon. Payload on the dashboard. Wheels grinding round. Spinning and deceiving. Delivering and receiving.
He maps by the stars. A dance across time. He wants to join the stars. Above him they are a mesh. He follows the paths which become a journey which takes him from street to street. But he is not in the streets. He is between the stars.
“What do you think about the situation?”
A wilting flower still drawls from his fingers, wasted now from waving all day at the people on buses where he sits at the crossroads. But they are not buses. They are not people. They are star travellers, just like he is, though they do not know it. He wishes them safe journey.
She digs up the roses. She trawls their dark beds. She tears the wild marigolds off by their heads. She swears to the wind, to the trees, to the wall, that just like the man who planted them – she doesn’t need them anymore.
But though her fingers are bloodied and torn by the snags of the thorns, she has no strength left to wrench out the roots which still cling in the soil and claw at the gall of her heart.
“The leaves leave the tree as my children leave me,” she repeats as she beats at the path with a broom, watched by the house and its dark empty rooms.
Dave Ward is the author of Brunt Boggart, now published by Pushkin Press. Biography to follow…
Bryan Biggs biography to follow…
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