The plane tree stands firmly before the house more deeply embedded in the rocky soil than the house could ever be; more green than the house but for that the house was once my home and once Mum had green curtains across each street facing window.

That the house is still there is a miracle, that there’s still the tree though more gnarled and more woody is doubly surprising. The house jars now with its brand new middle class Tony Blairised neighbours although it is now undoubtedly middle class, not like it was when it was Mum’s den of inequity.

Little red brick house with friendly back yard where fairytales were obvious and magnolias where bright where Mum grew her spinach which I’d never eat sitting from six to eight at the dinner table the lamb cutlets and mash would be gone but not the spinach. “Bed!” Bed. Bedtime sory of the bears eating…sleep. Woken sometimes by strange sounds but still – sleep – school in the morning.

Teacher big red hair and long talon nails (I wish the bears would eat you I want to be home with Mum and hugs). Teacher glaring at me with non-care, with hatred almost, even tho I’s clever and always did my homework and always answered questions with perfect accuracy still the hate.

Teacher with beg red hair and long talon nails her husband visited Mum, you now know.

That the tree should be such a bastion and grow so steadfastly strong surprises me now as I contemplate once being six. Ah well… Mum’s dead and me thirsty.

The public house (white walls dirty) hard lived faces with pint or plonk or cheap smelly liquor and nasty little barflies drowning in my pint. I always walked past here on my way to school, but never went in. I was too young and taken away before the thought could even cross my mind. Now that the thought’s crossed my mind I’m thirty two and quite able to handle a drink or ten. (Twenty drinks later—then I’m the guy you tut at on the late night street).

The little local—crowded this Easter Monday typical British way of being the local’s more home than your sex filled bedroom, as I’m sure Mum could testify from her grave I’v just visited up the road. Psychedelic purple and yellow Tulips like the ones in Regent’s part at springtime. Me and the pastor burying her, what a famous farewell, no Elton John singing a hackneyed song esp for someone else. Small tine criminals never get grand tributes.

Teacher, small and hunched grey and wrinkled smoking a Superking sittting on a barstool and drinking gin and tonic sees me and smiles. “I’m sorry I judged you because of yourt mother, that whoring bitch!” she says, with venom. It is half an aopology, at least.

FIN

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