who I’m calling on
Deep in enemy territory, where even the help’s clothes are more fashionable and expensive than your own, and an overcoat costs more than your car, someone says–
“He’s just back from the laundry.”
“Is that code for something?”
You follow the lights dancing on the surface of the coffee in your cup, and they mean as much to you as what you’re hearing. They’re blue, lilac, pink and green.
“Hey kid,” someone now declares, “everyone’s got their photograph of a pair of shoes. What you need is to move up past that.”
Turn your head: you won’t see who it was. It might anyway be you.
“Ten past three. No, ten past three. And can you leave the key at the church.”
Later, from the window of the train, everything–fields, hills, buildings, hedges, trees, warehouses and distribution centres–will look shadowy but at the same time palely-lit. It’s a strange light, that you might see in a picture but never in the world. The train races to meet the wind. Leaves are blown everywhere. Birds are blown across the sky. The wheels on the rails–or perhaps it is the motors themselves–sound like a sung mass performed by some famous university college choir. Modern music, but full of echoes of earlier settings, earlier ways of listening.
“As it shall be,” you hear, “in Earth as in Heaven.”
Container trucks: YANG MING, HAPLAG-LLOYD, DONG FANG. “For some reason I always think it’s the end of the week.”