Chasing the sun

March 13, 2011 § 2 Comments

There is this man and he is sitting under the heavy stone entranceway to the bank, and he is sucking on a lollipop. His two piles of possessions sit to either side of him, tucked, as he is, just inside the shadow formed by the marble steps and the streetlight overhead.

He is invisible to the people passing by on the way to their evenings, and that’s his intention.

It wasn’t always like this.

There are three reasons why a man like him would end up in a town like this, at the far end of the continent – chasing the money, chasing the sun, or chasing a woman. That’s why everyone else is here, after all.

In his case the money always stayed in the hands  and wallets, and bank accounts – of estuarine men called Dave and Barry, who’d squeeze the life from you as readily as they’d shake your hand.

The woman, too – or rather, the women, because over the years they’ve been too many to consider, coming and going – coming in on planes from Manchester and Gatwick, and going on the arms of those burly men.

The sun, however, is constant, and free, and, it turns out, unrelenting. It won’t let him hide away from its interrogation, despite his best efforts to secrete himself in these doorways and shadows, these past months and now years.

You’ve to take your pleasure where you can in this life, he’s thinking, and this evening, this lollipop is his simple joy, fizzing as it does on his tongue.

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