Night Beat

The mists dark and unfamiliar scenery of home crawl past like the hours of mints and close hysterical chatter. I drive past swaddled shapes of houses, the wetlands, tired factories, the slumbering shops. A blue and flickering lighted window where I pause in envy like a restless, unsettled Yorkshire spirit. It’s me, it’s Kathy, can I get my head down?

The insomnia of the supermarket is a spaceship landed on the dead industrial site. Like Dreyfus through the Star Trek-inspired doors and onto the convenience aisle
I step into the future and I am embraced by the Tesco’s Mothership, arms wide in resignation. Clubcard points and a wire basket. Chocolate milk, a glossy magazine, some aniseed, a microwave chicken Korma, plain naan. A bottle of Sprite. The woman with the cantilevered blonde hair flirts and slides my card into the chip and PIN salaciously before she artfully steals my seed and probes my brain. Do you want some cash back with that, darling?

Cocooned in tin and plastic, the dashboard warm and comforting. Another mint lasting 30 seconds. Another random observation on a fat woman’s calves in fishnet tights. Another near miss with a suicidal rabbit. The submerged lights of an oncoming Ford Focus. A saint who places his hand upon my head and breathes a private blessing in my ear. Some moment in time fixed and noted. Remembered in that instant, knowing I will recall it with caution, revised and expanded for years to come. Annotations and illustrations. Been and gone.

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