outwait outrun outwit


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Smoking my second cigarette of the day, I watch clouds envelop the top of Benbo. It's grey and wet and windy; weather to suit my mood. A lone rook surfs a current, dips and rises and dips again, while a tall young man lurches down the street, unheeding his environs.

He's grey-faced, his neck livid-red. Where did he come from? Probably a pub, maybe someone's couch. Did he watch a football game, does he remember last night's bare-knuckled fight, does he think of his future, a future of grey days and Sundays lurching pale-faced down the street? Killing time, like every young person in this small town with not enough jobs and too many dealers selling from bungalows. Time killing him, days of cigarettes and pints and chemical highs.

I want to feel hopeful, but today is the grimmest of days, after a year of grim news. The view from my window trembles, dropping red blossoms and thinning by the day. But I take small measures against grey days, Swallow vitamin D and folic acid. Read and share a poem. Write a mean review about a book that's supposedly about a girl, but she's written as a cipher, a blank beautiful slate with which men can relieve themselves from their trauma and guilt up to the implausible end of the story.

I want her to write her own story: burn the world down and remake it, in which the history of her suffering becomes the bedrock of a more just place.


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