Romance Optional.

There I was, sitting on the bench by the bridge, watching the river flow past turbulently and crunching on a small bag of pork scratchings with a certain degree of inner nonchalance. I’d tried them earlier with some chalance by itself but it just wasn’t the same. You have to do the full nonchalance bit, or you’re missing out. On what, I don’t know. These thoughts were buzzing in my brain as I was watching a pair of cormorants drying their wings, it’s such a sight to see. They hold the wings out at an awkward angle and give a little tremor. The water drips off. The cormorant resumes its statue-like poise and stands still and silent, dreaming of sea bass and mullet most likely. Trying not to think of the scales and scratchy little bones.

All upon a sudden my reverie was broken by me old mucker Jane who, walking past and spying me sitting alone, had decided that I needed her company. There are worse things to need in this world. Jane sat beside me. We exchanged familiar pleasantries.


“Hi yourself” I replied.

“What you doing?” She asked me.

“Eating pork scratchings and watching those shags.” I replied. “You?”

“I thought I’d come and say hi.” Is what she said.

“So hi” Said I. “You know when we were at school I used to love you?”

“You didn’t love me”, she said. “I used to sit on your pelvis when you were laying on the grass at Skiver, but it wasn’t love. I was testing you.”

“Well? Did I pass?” I asked.

“You never told me how you felt, although there was always a lump in your trousers. But it wasn’t love. It was your hormones and biology” Was Jane still testing me?

“Actually it was the way you squirmed. And as far as I’m concerned, if someone masturbates six times a day at fourteen and he’s thinking of the same girl on at least four of those occasions, then that’s not only loyalty that’s love, and you’d best believe I’m in love, ell-you-vee. I was then, at any rate. You know?” We were New York Dolls fans at the time, so that last bit was loaded with meaning.

“Am I supposed to be ¬†impressed?” Asked Jane of me.

“No, I suppose not. Anyway, I’m going home. Bye.”

“Seeya”. Said Jane. She went home to hers and I went home to mine. They’re not the same.