Wednesday, 17 January 2018


In this sort of multi-cultural event, a sort of Mela affair, where there are lots of Indian women, dressed traditionally in muted reds/burgandy, sitting in approx. rows round long tables stitching similarly coloured garments. All have thick, black curly hair – sort of dead, oily, all-absorbing black, saturated – cascading down over their shoulders. I look as I walk and when they look back their eyes are red and bloodshot from the evident strain. It is when I fully recognise the girl from the Post Office, having not been sure at first, that the red, tiredness of her eyes fully jumps out, almost brimming with tears as my identity hits home with her. I then circled the event some more, making my way between the tables and other visitors, my mind always returning to this 'snapshot' of her eyes burning into mine-

I'm in a queue now, waiting behind some French people who seem to be taking forever at the cash register. I'm hoping to purchase what looks like a French stick, but is in fact a vast yum-yum. I absently pick at this as I wait, enjoying the glazed sugar. It seems I am buying this as well as time. The girl from the Post Office gets up, offering to make tea for her fellow workers, gathering up their cups, glancing in my direction several times as she does so. I understand. She heads off to an old Belfast ceramic sink that, though it is out of sight, seems clearly located next to a window in my now anxious mind. The French couple continue to haggle-

I emerge from a step/rooflight onto a semi-flat, semi-angled, neatly slated roof. I can hear great football chants being roared in the distance but the only pitch I can see from this high vantage point is a sparsely populated affair, bringing to mind lower league or Sunday football. An Indian woman in a red dress sweeps past me, heading back down into the building, away from the invigorating sunlight-

I am now lying in a pool of sun with the Post Office girl. We are both sad, snuggling closer as we recall our lack of time and lost, long gone opportunities. Though her mouth is close to mine I confess I have a girlfriend. She laughs and talks about how could she think of her children. I don't immediately accept this, being a little shocked, but I know for a fact she mentioned no husband-

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