Fat Stinking Purple Sofas

by Susanna Bardsley

The first day we leave early. I hate saying good-bye to my velvet eye-lashed children and feel wretched and torn. The city sky is bright honest blue, the air cold and crisp. We jump on the first train and our journey has begun. Travelling over, through and under London land; eating into planned time, devouring foreseen seconds and awaited minutes. The underground is dirty, gritty and grey. Skins the colour of ashes, bodies intimate with everyday pollution. The vibrations shake our bony segments, quivers in the spine. We are unfathomed city walkers; now wear country customs in our smiles, even if we were, once, little London kids. We stop at Euston, jumping from our train, meandering in a psycho geographic fashion. I retread steps from my teenage stomping ground, visit the station where I would wait for trains after reckless weekends with Z; drinking, smoking, pubs, girls pissing behind cars after too much beer, raiding parental fridges as they slept upstairs in circumstantial sleep. Later, now, he and I, drink acidic black coffee on fat stinking purple sofas in an ugly latté bar. The station smells of old cooking oil, rancid and sweet. I kiss him as he photographs the trains. I smile, happy, and our telephone rings.

Susanna Bardsley was born in Reading and nearly died four months later. In the spring, she loves daffodils.

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