Longing for Manchester sun, mad dash through rain so heavy that the car stops or crash ensues. Swash swosh the whipers slop the rain, unending side-to-side. Dirty grit flung from tyre to screen, smear and scratch and dampen the joyous heart.
Mist rolls in covering enthusiasm, coating the vibrant with a single dimensional film so clinging that the soul yearns for southern Manchester sun. Precipitation in its most symmetrical form floats elusively, hiding the age old.
Technological information box piercing tranquil harmony. Sid was wrong, people asked him, people believed him, Sid was a lying bastard. Too many trees, they say, too many ‘he’s they say, to many ‘me’s I’m told. One last trip to the loo to waste the final fifteen minutes. One last ‘all the best’, one last ‘all the best’, one last ‘all the best’. A tear-filled hug, one last ‘You’ll get something soon’, one last ‘come back and see us’One last shy look at Mahad, his little lunch box containing two wholemeal bread tuna mayonnaise sandwiches, an apple and a strawberry yoghurt. Last, ‘What have you got for lunch Mahad?’ I know what he has got, he has the same every day, the same lunch for the last six years. What is the matter with him?, why doesn’t he do something different?, something unexpected, something spontaneous.
Thinking of a ‘problem’ I have with the system, I know that system better than anyone in that office, they sent me to Birmingham to sort out their downside computation crash. I wiggle up to Mahad, ‘Mahad? How do I …….?’ Just to feel that ever so slight touch of his arm, graze my knee against his, smell his hair. He would never come on office dos, never out at the end of the month, always dash off at the Christmas party. Each day a new hope of popping his husk like shelling a pea pod. Rip open the shell and out pop the peas.
Last ‘see ya’ Mahad’, ‘Yeah, bye, hope everything turns out ok’. ‘Fuck off’.
Last walk to press the button, but holding Christmas Cactus, flowered once, never again, silver framed picture of Cube, pure white Bull Terrier with ever so slight black smudge on his belly a testament to his Dalmatian heritage. An unread, will start to read it at tea breaks, copy of Bill Bryson’s ‘The Alluring Attraction of Manchester’. Last step into the lift with that creep from upstairs, leering down my top, for the last time. ‘You out tonight?’, same question, same hopeless quest. Does he really think I’m going to say ‘No, but please will you take me, here, now?’ But then I do wish I hadn’t have snogged him at the last Christmas do. The evils of drink, they should use that as a reason to cut back on drinking not all that kidney or liver or both stuff.
Last goodnight to the security guard, why do they change each week? What do they do with security guards? They must recycle them.
Out into the Manchester sun. Beams of sunlight streak past the office blocks creating a cacophony of light illuminating the paving stones, soft spongy cushions absorbing the lastness of my last day.
Everything is here, I can’t see it, wood everywhere, where are the trees? Last one-foot-in-front-of-the-other with my cactus, picture and book. Last squinting at the sun, what number bus is that? Last flash of an out of date bus pass, push past the old women with too many bags and crying buggy and tippity-tat headphones. Last plonk down and search for the first tree. Last full stop.