Tuesday, 6 January 2015
The Walking Wounded
Jenny Anne leaves the house at number 17 with her heart almost bursting through her chest.
She’s pregnant, ‘with child’ as she read somewhere - just like the girl who was on the cover of that magazine – Jenny’s really really happy, she’s already deciding how her new home will look. She only found out while her Mum was making the toast and tea and the little line turned blue.
At number 22, the curtains twitch as Sam Lot watches his little distraction, Jenny, walking down the street - bless her. Tonight’s the night he’s going to have to tell her it’s over; his wife is beginning to suspect.
The Butterwaite twins, Fred and Irene at number 31 leave together, saying ‘good morning’ together to everyone they meet. As they run up the street for the West Town bus, Irene wonders how she’s going to tell her brother about her job up north.
Next door in number 33, Geraldine paces the floor – ‘born worrying, die worrying’ her mother used to tell the neighbours. But the lump on her breast makes her pace faster.
‘Lucky’ Jim turns into the street after finishing another night shift at the old plastic Works. He knows it has its bonuses - Jim had no trouble finding stuff to wrap his wife up in. And every morning when he finishes work he buys a newspaper, ten menthol cigarettes from the corner shop and wonders if this will be the day they find her.
In the little shop on the corner, Andy, the milkman, delivers another crate of cream and then creeps out having failed to ask Matilda - who works there – if she’d like to go to the park on Sunday.
Matilda’s heart is almost bursting through her chest as she waits for Andy to ask.
And Hugh, big strong Hugh from number 36, can’t tell anyone (not even his best friend) that his black eyes - which he covers with his wife’s makeup - are not from playing sports. She’s warned him, if he acts like a child then he must be punished like one.
He’s hidden the packed bag in the shed for the day he leaves her.
At the white house on the corner, Alice takes in gentleman callers until her husband gets back from a far off land.
And in the bus shelter Eddie drinks a can, not to brighten the dull day but to tone down the colours.
And from every house on the street comes the screech of silent screaming that
only the dogs can hear.
bobby stevenson 2015