At the worst of times I’m an anti-poet atheist; at the best of times I don’t give a monkey’s; it is so irrelevant that my mind remains unblemished by such filth. And more importantly I’ve got to get out of this place – the lyrics of a song swirled briefly – if it’s the last thing I ever do. Did the words refer to the factory the singer, or at least the song’s writer, worked in, still living, squashed, in his parents terraced house; dreaming of a future with his girl friend? Poetry, of course, is simply smashed up prose. What some people do instead of getting to grips with the real world.
To be honest I have no idea how many ‘floors’ I have already descended. Didn’t she say two floors down?
I was supposed to be finding the Trumpet Trawler courtesy of Pring the Poet. The thought of bashing my head against the wall suddenly appeared to be the height of sanity. It might help. But look, is this a hopeful sign? The landing I was descending towards was a blaze with lights and not only that but I could now see vast double doors; ancient polished oak with lustrous brass fittings. Surely this was worth a blast of trumpets! It was only later that I, with delayed panic, wondered what I would have done if the doors had been locked, but instead I yanked eagerly at the left hand door and it swung open with delicious ease and I was confronted with a dazzlingly bright morning. Half blinded I staggered down the few steps, ears assailed by the scream of gulls. Smells of the ocean, of fish, of diesel, of people bewildered me. All my senses were working overtime. I had to eat what saw. I had to taste it, touch it. Milling crowds pushed me this way and that, but always closer to the hive of activity on the wharves. But this wasn’t the non-world of luxury yachts this was work, real work. The life dragged from the oceans glittered in variegated mounds. The knives of those gutting and cleaning flashed in the sun with impossible speed.
I felt the hand slipping into the inside pocket of my jacket but by this time my hands were trapped at my sides by the press of the crowd. It was too late to fight. And then I was falling on to the deck of the Dreamboat. I was grateful that nobody bothered me as I lay in semi-conscious dreaming only in some tiny part of my mind aware that the Dreamboat was edging its way through the throng of boats towards the open sea.
But why was it necessary to have all evidence of my past and only life removed?
Move up there, a male voice, harsh, brittle. I tried to move but it didn’t seem at all easy.
Then he leaned in close, are you a friend of Massimo’s?