The last of the tourists

Do you wish you were here? Exchanging a walk on part in a war for a lead role in a cage? Who said that? A singer, perhaps.

We are the last of the tourists. Outside is desolation, a ravaged planet that used to sustain life until we visited the fuck out of it and installed our dysfunction as the norm. We are the last to bear witness, staring through tempered glass at the untempered ravening hordes. We share a bucket of popcorn, munching as we observe. It’s a kind of reality tv writ large. Plato would have loved it.

Do you wish you were here? A tourist in your own land? You were lost years ago. Swollen and bloated, a dead goldfish floating in a bowl. We threw you out without regret, although it’s fair to say that I miss you now. That I wish you could see this. Our fears come true.

The citizens chafed impatiently at the least touch of authority and ceased to care even for the laws.

Good old Plato. He knew. Society had to fall, like the Goddess of Democracy in that Chinese square. It seems so long ago that we had hope to shatter.


In response to a Past Postcards tweetWish You Were Here by Pink Floyd and elements of Plato.

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To my little bit of wouldn’t I just

He had an interesting way with words. An interesting way with an opening gambit. Cocksure of himself and his ribald banter. He was like a throwback to a 1970s smut merchant off the telly.

And therein lay the rub.

Every time a letter or a card arrived, every time she had to read the lines he’d written, every time she cringed inside.

“To my little bit of wouldn’t I just.”

Royal blue ink on pale blue paper. Quink on Basildon Bond. He must have stockpiled, because where do you buy Quink ink and Basildon Bond paper these days?

Just as Proust had his madeleine to send him spinning off into a distant past, she had this pale blue paper and the royal blue cursive of his confident hand.

Their hands are always confident, these men who take and take and take. His hand certainly was, with the black hairs on the fat, stubby fingers. No elegant hand, that one. A sausage meat hand. She could picture that hand gripping the pen, just as she could picture it lying across her thigh or her belly.

Wouldn’t he just, indeed? Wasn’t she such a little bit? Would he ever let her be?


In response to a Past Postcards tweet.