Streeeeam of something…
by Brendan Strong
Early. Cold. White breath from white men. Mist hanging, a chill blanket. Shite.
Bleary. Coffee, hot, steaming, adding – no, fighting with – that chill blanket. Toast crunch melted butter coats mouth, throat. Coffee clears it, sweet, hot.
No one about. No one to pay attention. Car. More white haze. Adding to the rest of it – breath, coffee, mist. Bag, boot.
Bye the byes, and we’re off. Before, the seats were huge, warm, in one car heated in this weather. Not now. Cloth, no heating. Wait for engine to warm, then be able to loosen coat. Christ. All change. All the same. Hate it. Early morning, driving, coffee.
Smoke. Yes, smoke. Thank Christ – you see I can only if he, so when he does, I can. Looks at me. Says it. What’s on his mind. Small mind. Deeper purpose, I tell myself. Bullshit of course, just laziness. And drinking last night. Can’t be bothered. Some days. Is this it? I ask. I’m a fucking fool sometimes. Convince myself there’s a higher purpose. He drives on, we talk a bit. About morning news. No direct conversation. No. Not me, not him. Other people all the time. God will this head shake at all? It’s always the same. Never get a stomach. Just a head. Sore. But sometimes feels really expansive, like I could fit a field in there. Full of ideas too. Like:
“Fence posts passing by frightfully fast” Not on its own, of course, but could fit in somewhere.
“Forget last night, fuck her anyway. Love her all the same” Again, not on its own, but fit.
So the gallop ends. Traffic. Traffic lights. Maniac drivers and their bizzarre lane exchanges. Shooting looks, cowering when challenged. Do it or don’t. Come on. Jesus Christ. You shouldn’t be on the road. Etc. Should sit in front of bathroom mirror and do it for thirty minutes every morning. Two reasons: Get it all out in one. Why stretch it out? See how stupid you look. Not threatening, just stupid. Stupid actions are threatening though. Threatening lives. We all condemn the others to publis transport. Convinced, if you can’t drive properly, you shouldn’t be on the road! But of course who can drive properly in this traffic?
So then, it’s the bloody traffic lights. In fairness, they are stupid. Grown like weeds all along a road of beautiful flowers with petals that say Mercedes and BMW and VW and such. You see what I’m getting at. Not great, but there’s something there for later. I wish I had my notebook, but that’s in my bag. Mind you, with stop start traffic, maybe? No. He’d only think you’re a bit odder than he already assumed. Don’t do that to him, prove him wrong. No. Prove him right, that way lies recognition of your genius. Understanding his. It’s the white male way. Even now, after liberalism. More lights. Jesus Christ. Irish driving measured in curses per mile, that’s how it should be. If you have less than 7 either you’re going too fast, or you’re driving drunk. New law. Everyone arrested. No more cars on the road. Doesn’t quite work. No, no – doesn’t work at all. Scrap it. Delete it if only you could.
God, awake now. Nearly there. Need more coffee. Get it going on. Cart by the tram. Get it there. Handy. Should get friendly with that guy sometime. We’d get on, I’m sure. Gah! What is all this anyway? Where’s the news?