Edzell

The village, a street. Long, but still just a street. The houses, small and crouched as they would as we try to hide away of the strong blowing wind. A pub, an art-gallery ( closed ), a bus stop ( no bus arrives ), a pharmacy and two hairdressers form the village. Opaque curtains in front of the windows. No passers-by. Inside the pub, a big screen. Ireland against Australia, I think but I can’t remember. The scent of beer and boredom. The unvarying image of drunkards, sitting in front of their pints. The suspicious glance of the barman, while ordering orange-juice. A woman in the corner, with a platinblonde haircut, spiky maybe in the late 1980s. She wears a pink jacket of a brand named Superdry, this would be quite ironic if there would be any space left for irony in a drinker’s face. Grey jogging- trousers, false but many golden rings on each finger. Her laughter, rough and meant to value the two man standing next to her. Their arms broad, their bodies massive, tattooed with large symmetrical forms resembling from afar Maori patterns. But only from afar. At a close range they look like helpless attempts to make a life look more interesting as it ever has been and will be in this pub on a long still-standing street. The men leave for a cigarette or two, the women who wears Superdry orders a new drink, ruby-red with a black straw and looks at her fingernails, pink colored and sharp modeled. The waitresses with haggard faces try to assemble a plastic christmas tree, yet when erected it looks shabby and soon the tree disappears into a dark corner. The string of light does not work, not even when one of the waitresses gets down on her knees trying to fix it. The men stare at her bum, for a second but she does not observe it or at least tries not to pay attention. Who knows? The men order more beer, a silent couple enters, he drinks beer too, she drinks clear spirit, the pub owner himself gets the bottle from a locked cabinet. The waitresses look embarrassed. But what do I know of past events? The rugby players look tired but the men with the beer howl in their direction. Howl, howl, howl, said King Lear once, but he did not mean rugby players by then. As far as I know at least. The smokers come back, the woman brushes her hair back and her voice so strident has the most unpleasant effect, but maybe it is the fear that after this night or soon, not even those men would stop at her chair, offering some comfort or at least a faded image of what this might have been a few years ago or never. What do I know? Thick is the air of all the disappointments, of rugby players running as slow as lame ducks, of silent drinkers and loud howlers and left-behind women and so much more I don’t know.

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