A quiet kind of heroism

Once you've put into writing the truths that have hammered your life - your commutes, your streets, your nights, your finances - into a spreadsheet of fear, you're changed.

You take a solitary walk all around a PVR complex, and you get a cup of coffee on a night so cold that the mists rising from your lips and the cup mingle and waft into a drizzle, and you look for an empty bench and when you find it, you sit and gaze into the hazy throngs of young people - up and down, arm in arm - knowing that curious stares are hemming you in, but you sit, hands wrapped around a toosweet-toohot cup, unhurried, because you'll be damned if you can't do this; a stranger with big moustaches heads towards your bench but when you fix your eyes on him, he changes direction - for you sit bang in the centre of the bench, feet stretched, head at rest, in a wet bubble of falling night-sky - and you go on sitting there, looking at nothing, spotting a familiar boy hurry past with an unfamiliar girl clinging onto his arm, and when the coffee is gone and the sky is still, you get up, toss the cup in the trash-can, breathe deep, and walk away.

Posted 21st March 2007