Annie kissed my cheek as our hug broke apart, and with a sad smile she climbed into the taxi. In a moment she would be carried on into the night, to Manchester Airport, then on to California and home. I didn’t watch the car as it reversed and straightened up; I didn’t trust myself. I turned my back, upset, and lit my last idiot cigarette. I heard the wheels roll and the engine hum, and at the last second I changed my mind, turning just in time to see the taxi round the corner and disappear. And then the street was empty – no cars, just traffic lights changing from green to amber to red in the silence – and now I won’t see my best friend again for a year, or maybe more.
And as the taxi vanished I felt something leave me, rising from my shoulders and neck and head like smoke into the sky. It was 3:30 in the morning and there was nobody around to sigh to, so I went inside, and I looked at the two empty wineglasses on the dresser, and I went to bed.
Everything moves in great, long cycles. You live and live and live and then – pop – in the midst of all that living, you find yourself right back where you started. I am in Manchester Airport. I am always in Manchester Airport.
I’m back in Bristol, waiting out my two-week quarantine after arriving back from France. Jeanne is still in France for now; she’ll arrive here in a few days’ time. Then, in just over two weeks, we will leave our lovely little room in Bristol for the last time. Continue reading →
I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking ‘Eh? Eh!? Dan only writes once a month these days, and even then it’s usually half-arsed’. Yes, friend, you are right. But I feel a smidgeon bit inspired today, and lo: words. Continue reading →
We’re driving to work in the bush, the morning air cool and the windows down. Seven of us are crammed into the car, sitting on each other’s laps clutching our lunchboxes. There’s a cloudless sky above and a long day of fruit picking ahead. Bouncing reggae on the radio has us feeling breezy. Continue reading →
I always hesitate to publish articles like the last one, because of course when I write them I am feeling emotional. I’ve learned a few things during my time on earth, and one of the earliest lessons I taught myself was not to speak in anger – I still do it of course, and more often than I’d like, but I try my best to avoid it. I remember as a kid in primary school having arguments with family and friends, and feeling rotten afterwards as the anger subsides and the empathy creeps in and guilt shades everything. I feel guilty about telling Australia to fuck off, is what I’m trying to say. Sorry Australia. You have your flaws, but so does everywhere, everyone, and everything. Continue reading →
I arrived at the shift at 5pm, half an hour earlier than the job required, as I was told that if you want more work in the future you need to make a good impression. There were nine of us; two supervisors and seven labourers. I’d been told by the agency not to expect anything too thrilling. ‘Grunt work’ was how Monique had described it over the phone. I said grunt work was fine. I just need to make a little bit of money before I leave this city behind. Continue reading →