Passing the site of the summer's impromptu floral tributes to Amelie, the wind picks up with an invigorating rush. Unburnished copper leaves scuttle across the road, brittle and sheenless commuters late for a train, or scurrying from the rain that will soon drench them to mulch. Perpendicular contrails slash the clear blue sky, shooting stars frozen on still frame. I recall the face of the kitsch Christ on a card of remembrance for the family, tacky and touching at the same time - a quiet sob hurled out in space from unknown to unknowns. The shock and sadness ongoing.
The Light of the World.
As a young child I played football here with my father, Dad a reluctant but patiently indulgent goalie as I played out the matches in my head, with team-mates unseen, sliding in to tackles with invisible adversaries to achieve the desired muddied shorts and socks effect. Lost in my own little world, innocent and safe.
Further on I pass the Red Lion pub, once a sorry dive inhabited by quiet old men, idling over their Ben Truemans. Now it's home to Filthy's rock club - a carefully manicured dive contrived to bombard the young with speed metal and fleece them for weak lager served in a plastic beaker. Pictures of Pete and Dud, Sammy D. Jr. and a collection of actual guitars are pinned to the walls - selling them a scene, off the peg. Happy now? Poor, poor 'yoof'. Poor, poor youth. There's a poster in the window for Rick Buckler's band - The Gift. Yes, that's The Gift as in the Jam LP of the same name, just subtly hammering home the pedigree, the name that's being traded on. The glories now long gone. The past casts long shadows. And I consider now what once seemed unthinkable - the thought of one day dying alone and unknown.
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