Thoughts on a van

January 23, 2011 § Leave a comment

You always notice these things.

No matter how many vehicles slide past as you’re waiting to pull out from your drive, you always notice some of them that bit more – the hearses, the model of car that your last partner drove, and those prison vans.

It’s nearly nine o’clock and you’re nearly late for work this morning when the van appears in front of you; it’s stopped in the line of traffic, waiting for the lights to change at the pedestrian crossing, and you find yourself staring at those toughened squares of glass, wondering who’s inside, and why they might be in there. Wondering if they’re looking out of those little squares at people walking down the street, waiting for the bus, herding their kids towards school, walking lurching dogs. Sitting at the ends of driveways, waiting to pull out into the town-bound traffic.

That prison van’s not really any different to any of these other wheeled cells, though – every one of them contains an uncertain destiny, and perhaps on our more blurred days we look at those whose destiny has been decided for them with a never-confessed envy.

And the lights change, and the van moves on through the foggy morning; a blue estate car flashes its lights to let you out.

Fifteen minutes later you will find yourself at your desk and the van now parked outside the back of the magistrates court will have slid far away from your mind as you knuckle down in pursuit of your own future.

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