Portrait from a town

On weekends he witnesses car accidents. A picture in words. What does he look like in person? Does he live in your town?

On weekends he witnesses car accidents. On Saturdays he drives to the supermarket car park. He sits and waits. Sees it. Then tells the at fault driver he is innocent. Hands over his details. He has been a witness in 47 accidents in 3 years. Each time he has told untruths. Each time he has said the wrong person is at fault. He wonders if any insurance company will ever figure it out. He does his shopping on Tuesdays. There are never any accidents on Tuesdays.

He particularly likes Christmas, there are more accidents at Christmas.

Every evening, he comes home from work. He gets out of the car. He could walk across the grass to the front door. He could. But he doesn’t. Instead he walks down the short drive and out the gate and around on the pavement and in the front gate, up the front path and goes inside the front door. He likes the feel of concrete under his feet. Concrete is firm and resolute. It makes him feel in control.

He is not in control of the grass.

He works. He has done the same thing for ten years. He has done it so often he does not know what it is. He isn’t certain anyone knows what it is. He likes tuna sandwiches. He watches western movies. He wants to ride out across the open plains. He cannot ride a horse. Instead he secretly longs for cowboy boots with tassels and patterns stamped into the leather. But this is England. They would stand out. He does not want to stand out.

He has pictures of cowboy boots on his phone.

He is secretly in love. With a woman on the train who he has never even made eye contact with. She reads books instead of looking at her phone. That is odd. She wears clothes that don’t quite match. They could be odd together if he could just speak to her. He cannot speak to her. Maybe she is mute anyway. He waits for the day her wedding ring is missing. One day the wedding ring is missing. He almost takes the opportunity to sit in the same carriage as her. He could sit behind her looking at her calf. He thinks about her calf. A week later the ring is back.

He does not sit in the same carriage as her.

He watches pornography. He does not watch pornography. He has it on as he reads the paper. It is not the same thing. He was married once. He has a vague memory of it. There are pictures. Of him smiling at the wedding Maybe in the spare room there are still pictures. It was a long time ago. The dog has been missing. For years. Perhaps it is in the spare room too. This weekend he will wash the car. Last weekend he washed the car. He has cleaned the outside of the car every weekend since he bought it.

He has never cleaned the inside of the car.

Inside the house is the furniture, it has been there a long time. The TV, the couch, the bed. There is not much else. He should go out drinking with mates more often. Take up a hobby. Leave the house more. Perhaps he will get another dog. He looks at the beer stashed in the corner. He should take in a boarder. Except in all those movies, boarders are serial killers. If he wants to survive he should not take in a boarder.

He wants to survive, there is no safe boarder.

He takes a beer from the stash in the corner. He switches on the TV. He thinks of how he needs to make a change. He will make a change.

Tomorrow he will walk across the grass.

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