Gin and It

Gin drains her glass, and winces. ‘That was too sweet,’ she says. He’s standing an arm’s length away, polishing the bar. ‘You were smacking your lips earlier,’ he says. ‘Well I’m not smacking them now,’ she says. ‘You mixed it too sweet.’ ‘I always mix it the same,’ he says. He moves further down the bar. ‘Miserable old drunk,’ he says under his breath, but not low enough, and she catches a word. She raises her glass then bangs it down. He gives her a look. There are hundreds of bottles in front of her, so shiny and soothing, the … Continue reading Gin and It

OUTAGE

The night of the power outage, Bernie calls me to check that I’m okay. This was about two weeks ago. I tell her yes, yes I’m fine, then ask if she’s okay, but it’s all very quick. And then I feel some sort of jittery guilt that I didn’t talk more with her, so I call her back and ask her if she’s really okay, that she didn’t sound herself just now, which is a lie. She sounded perfectly alright. She says she’s okay, really she’s fine, all with a smile in her voice. I tell her I spoke earlier … Continue reading OUTAGE

WAITING

I’m waiting for the tram, at the junction. Waiting where the streets cross, and the lights change, and the cars stop and go in regular patterns, repeating over and over. Passengers stare and I stare back, like we’re sizing each other up. My tram’s late, so I have to keep waiting. And all the time more cars in streams of colour. Different colours, but they look the same. They might as well all be grey. Where’s everybody going? Why am I the only one waiting for a tram? Just now, somebody else arrived at the stop. Another. He stood behind … Continue reading WAITING