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The belishas are planets

Glassy half-moon reflected as dull black in the laminated windows of the sidestreet Victorian terraces. Roads that were untapped for years, being as they are beyond the normal walked-through mainlines. This feels like a sample of a similar night, a long time ago, when I marked a surge of hopeful forces as my body ached and careened through the lonely but golden serenity. That night (or those nights? It was probably more than one) I love to remember, especially the floaty shout-echo of voices Ė some possibly memories, or added-to memories or completely made up. A long time ago. The graceful clearness, mingled with eagerness for the coming days, and soundtracked with the community-close swishing of traffic not here, but behind the houses, in other places. This time: eerily similar, but sadder. Dark-train rumbles past on the Medway branch. I go into Ferndale, attack it from a new angle. A tranquil breeze-less evening. Gathering sentiment. Soul-pricked. Quiet, apart from a dispute at the corner store, as Brixton high streetís growl diminishes, muffled to a hush. Terraces a gold-silvery tint. Silences where there should be sound. Rubbish-bound wine bottles rattle and plastic echoes where there should be silence. Lives right there. Green-pitch on gigantic plasma through upstairs window. Books piled ceiling-high on wall-mounted shelves. Mild-light effect made by landing bulb halo entering door of dark bedroom. Iím hope-bloated while basking in the glare, a bit because of this unfamiliar territory so close to home, a bit because I convince myself this is one of those earlier nights. Head silhouette spongy and light black, a contrast to the steamed-up glass it sits behind. Gigantic totem. Sense the earlier days. The sentimental buzz of that pocket pub is too strong. A locked longing, Iím clinging to a wintered-down basking, so itís hard to let anything else in. I ache for progress. End-of-week vans bomb through. Shrapneling the silence. End-of-week dreams bulging, loading hope with naivety. The Belishas are planets. I feel golden. This route is so new. Flimsy airstream night. I have a golden smile. All is clear. Sodium streetlight on toy-car windscreen. Broken-up thunder railway. Driven on, harnessing a spirit my youthful self would have been proud of. And would have flowed with. Now itís a trace of that feeling. Brand-new flavours on familiar stomping ground.

© Copyright 2017 John Maher