Tuesday, September 22

Brown Sauce Enthusiasm

BY THE TIME the clock struck four, I found myself prepared for the day, in that I was showered, my hair dressed tidily, my t-shirt ironed, and with nothing in the world to do. O, I suppose I could have begun to clean the flat, but outdoors it was sunny and to leave the sun by itself seemed a great waste. On the map I saw the way to a place I visited in my youth with my parents. If not for the rain when they last visited, my family & I were going to venture there. St Katherine’s Dock. I saw on the map that it was only a few streets over. Of course I was sombre, utterly miserable and alone - my own fault, yes – but a walk would be good for me. Walking is a pleasure. I negotiated the streets, zigzagging until I sensed I was close to this small hidden dock. I had not taken the tourist route, that much was certain, walking, as I did, behind many unsightly buildings with no one else about.
I remember visiting with my parents many, many years ago. It had been winter then, all of the colours grey brown blue. We sat down by the water and my mother squeezed a sachet of brown sauce into her coffee, exclaiming—‘Wow, look at this sugar!’ We pointed out that it said brown sauce, not brown sugar. She didn’t stir the coffee but drank it anyway, while we laughed. I remember that very fondly.
The dock opened up, this big openness between the buildings pricked by masts. It was quite busy and there was nowhere to sit outside of the coffee shop. I ordered a lemonade as well, to rid myself of the tremors. I found an unoccupied bench and sat down to enjoy my coffee. On the bench was a girl reading her book. All around me were couples. It was a good place for young, rich couples to come and spend their Sunday. One particular couple stood next to me and kissed passionately, embracing; they can be seen on train platforms around the country, bidding good-bye to each other, but now they had been placed in a dock, right next to me. I kicked the dirt. The girl was pretty, she had thin legs, big white teeth that came out as she smiled around his neck. God knows what he was whispering in her ear. It made me very sad (I thought of my ex). Eventually the couple left. I smoked a few cigarettes, watching the people, always watching the people, the people and their lovers, the people and their children and their parents and their in-laws.
After half an hour, I could not stand the view any longer.
Up around the Tower of London I went. There were groups of Indian tourists scattered upon the cobbles; beautiful women dressed in saris and their suited husbands holding up cameras as they partially obscured tower bridge. I smiled occasionally and I kept my head down. There was a drunken hammers fan, holding a can of beer and shouting—‘FUCK EM ALL, FUCK EM ALL…’ and all of the families kept their heads down, too. I looked up and smiled. Outside of Tower Gateway was a young couple, saying good-bye. She was wearing a party-hat. They were kissing passionately, wrapped tightly in each other’s equator arms. They were setting the standard for how to say good-bye outside of a train station’s doors; their tongues moved lustfully and their eyes closed shut.
A different route home, a quiet street following a quiet street. All of the miserable thoughts in my head could be ignored until I got home. I took the longest path I could. That was the highlight of my Sunday; my mother was not there, neither was her brown sauce enthusiasm.

1 comment:

  1. hammers fan? What does he really care for tools?


    A Hammers fan.


    pointing out you find Indian women beautiful, gosh you're so worldly and cosmopolitan not like that horrible DIY enthusiast.


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