An extract from The Singers Tale   

Nothing like feeling old and in the way.

On a crowded high street, a gang of girls are walking towards me – straddled across the pavement like an impenetrable wall of young women.

I stand my ground or I could be swerved into the gutter?

They show no sign of seeing me. Closer closer. As if I am invisible, not here.

What will I do?

‘Perhaps I should lie down and you can walk over me to save you the trouble of giving way?’

Said me to myself & I.

 ‘I am a nuisance, old and in the way.’

Girls laughing chatting with each other, filled with the enjoyment of their own wit.

I stand my ground – avoiding the gutter – refusing to be elbowed out of the way –

with my bag full of vegetables – fruit – two pots of red geraniums and a loaf of bread.

‘Hello? ‘ ‘Excuse me?’ Louder.

They do not register me until almost nose to nose

I stood still, not moving left or right.

‘Where did she come from?’

‘Mad old bat or what?’

‘State of her?’

Shrieks of scorn as I pass, they barely part the line they make across the pavement.

‘Look at the Hair.’

I am madder than hell, shaking with indignation.

Move on ‘old gal’ move on you’re in the way. Fuck off and die

Da ya get me? Understand what I’m saying?

Know what I mean?

I am dismissed, sneered at and pushed aside.

They are still laughing at the audacity of their own words of ribaldry.

Some people are in this world under the illusion that only they are important-

only they have right of way – the only pebbles on the beach –

At the centre of all things human.

Bikes on the pavement bells furiously ringing, get out of the way.

Loud phone calls on trains – do we all need to know about their lives?

Legs splayed and elbows on both armrests on Bus and Train, with no intention of giving room, giving way –  ‘My space mate, I was here first.’

Backpacks swinging this way and that. Oblivious of a mound attached to backs, twice as wide as the people they knock flying.

Meandering along bustling streets, eyes and thumbs busy on Phones.

Annoyed if you are there, ‘How dare you to be in my path?’

Gossiping on crowded high streets, in exits and entrances on the Tube Train platforms.

Excuse me? Again Excuse me?

Surprise and a reluctant move an inch – no more. The lack of a queue – courtesy kindness Push shove – ‘Thank you Gov?’ No! Old man or old woman, pregnant girl, boy on crutches ‘Out of my way, me, me, me first.’

 Gonna have a dance now that I have vented my spleen xxx 

For every Areshole there are lots of lovely people.


One thought on “London Tales – Feeling Old and in the Way

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