Poor Poor Pawpaw Hans

When cutting a headstone in an as yet to be determined timeframe, the family of Hans Rausch might well consider remembering him as a man of precision.

Not the sort to be late to his own funeral or indeed anyone else’s.

That’s not to say that Hans was an impatient man. On the contrary if he were a man to believe in such sanctities as sainthood, Hans Rausch could hold his own with any halo bearer in a game of wait quietly and, quite frankly, would wipe the floor with even the most patient pietist who dared challenge him to a quick round of who blinks dies.

Simply put, Hans was a stoic soul who would not stand for sloppiness, tardiness or unnecessary delay.

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Trabbling The Crystal Maze

I’m in a room with mismatched curtains, wooden floors and freshly painted skirting boards. There’s nothing here except for a computer and an office chair on a rug that’s rucked up around the edges. I can’t see what to do…

“Come out! Come out!” screams a voice in my head and then I remember this is real life and not the fucking Crystal Maze and neither Ed Tudor-Pole nor Richard O’Brien can save me however much I beg, plead or wheedle.

Besides, it’s an automatic lock in.

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February

Today marks the 25th time that I’ve been fortunate enough to sneak some of my words past the editorial team at Literally Stories. They’ll see through all my limitations one of these days but until then I intend to wallow in the thrill of people I respect enjoying what I have to say.

The new piece is called February. I hope you like it.

 

Harry’s Table

“I told him it wasn’t on the menu but he said I should speak to you.”

“It’s fine, don’t worry. He’s been coming here for as long as I can remember.”

Harry Shaw didn’t hear the conversation from the kitchen but he was confident of the outcome. His starter portion of veal tonnato on a Thursday evening was the ballast that held the unravelling of his life firm and steady. He was as much a part of the A Tavola furniture as the black and white shots of spaghetti-eating celebrities that filled most of the walls. For Harry, Thursday nights offered up the perfect mix of ambience and peace. Enough noise for him to bask in the warm, familial murmur of a well run machine but not the overt harshness of a full house weekend.

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The A to Z of Airports

A little something I wrote while killing time at Cape Town airport this afternoon. Big thanks to Rebecca Field for reminding me of a storytelling construct I’d forgotten about!

Airports.

Bloody Airports.

Can’t keep track of how many hours I’ve been here but let’s just say it’s been a few. Delays. Excuses so lame no doubt that they aren’t even bothering to communicate them.

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Lefty

This morning I woke up in bed with an old man’s hand.

Not a severed hand from a different, older man.

Nothing as sinister as that.

No suggestion that I was, in some way, being sent a warning message from some aging mafioso masquerading as a perfectly normal member of the Twilight Valley Nursing Village who, for reasons best known only to himself, had given up on the cranial end of horses and settled for lopping off the hands of his fellow residents before depositing them in the beds of strangers under cover of darkness. There was a suggestion far back in my family tree that there was some sort of Italian connection to my heritage but even so the link would be tenuous at best. It’s not like I’m the direct descendent of Guiseppe “The Limp” Panettone or some such.

The hand, I confess, was my own.

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The Lost Sense Of (Be)Longing

Going home or, more accurately, travelling from your home to a place you used to call home years ago drowns you in familiar dislocation. Perhaps it’s the lack of sleep or the fact that these journeys so often start in the soft hours before dawn that heightens our sensitivity to the weird. Either way, you feel like an interloper in a land where time, unlike your memories, has ticked on.

Bypasses plough their economically booming furrow through the land. New buildings thrive in the displaced earth on either side. That’s what it said on the slideware so it must be true, right? I wonder what happens when there’s nothing left to bypass.

Didn’t so and so used to live there? Next to the roundabout? Wait…was there a roundabout there before?

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