My silken haired sprite entered the bar. A can of beans clutched in a firm and angry grasp. Before the door had even shut behind them the can was hurtling through the room.
“Here’s your tea” they screamed, if it is possible to scream through clenched teeth. Thoughtfully the can-opener came flying next.
Each bounced off my body as I scrambled at the air in front of me, trying to fend the objects off. They hurt. I fell to the ground from the high stool. Dignity was a stranger to me at the best of times, but as I lay slumped on the grubby floor I took a moment to reflect.
Slumped, I was, one foot caught in the stool my arms in Picasso-like contortions alongside me. I took a breath. I thought. Why am I here? How did I end up half laying, half hanging from a bar stool in a back street pub, the sound of an angry door slamming (how is it possible to slam a door on a sprung hinge?) mixing with the low rustle of a mid afternoon boozer getting on with it’s minor business.
I shut my eyes. I tasted the stale remnants of a thousand spilt pints and a million dropped fag ends. I pictured a garden. Long ago, so long ago. I have not thought of it for years. Yet here it is, suddenly I’m back there. The herb garden was always my favourite part. The smells, the bees, the butterflies and my favourite; eating the leaves, a myriad flavours. In a moment my very soul longed to be back there. Not just a thyme in this plot, many thymes, the summer sun sparkling off the sage bush, no, a few, a Garden sage, a Russian sage, Purple sage and the best of all; the Silver sage. I’ll never go back there now, I’ll never taste that glorious leathery leaf on my tongue again. Here I am. Adrift and counting the days. Much much closer now to oblivion than to those beautiful comforting sages. Finally my foot frees and I slide to the floor. Done.