Missy America


Oh yes, honestly, I used to know her.  I mean not well, but well enough to know what she was like.  And she was really kind, back in the day, believe me.  She was so beautiful.  Everyone just wanted to be with her.  We all used to copy what she was wearing and try to listen to the same music as her.  We were in awe of her.  And it wasn’t all surface stuff either.  If one of her friends was in trouble she was always the first to help out.  Seriously, I know it’s hard to believe now, but back in the day everyone used to love her.  Even the people who said they hated her secretly wanted to be her.

But then, as she got older, a few people started turning on her or, worse yet, ignoring her.  And I guess she just couldn’t handle this fall from grace.  She started snarling at people.  She got really bitter.  And then, just recently, she started banning all known facts from her house.  She declared them dry and pointless.  Not surprisingly perhaps, she became unwell but still she banned all specialists from her home.  Before we knew it she was sitting alone, rocking in her chair, singing random songs about the old days and promising to anyone who would listen how things were going to get much better in a minute.

I will be loved again, she promised.  Just give me some time, she kept saying.  But by then time was the one thing she didn’t have.  It breaks my heart to see her now, really it does.

Up on the Roof


To ballast the loose things in my head and get away from the others in my flat I’d sometimes go up onto the roof.  Across those noisy London streets I could only just make you out, up over there, equally alone on your equally flat roof. Perhaps it would have been good to meet and laugh and exchange a special look but I never did work out who you were or where you lived.

And now, I’ve come to think that being vague and distant remained your greatest strengths: perfect for the pointing out of amusingly-shaped clouds, the Etch-a-Sketch jet trails in the sky and some embarrassing waving over and above the traffic.  This was the closest we could ever get, I now understand, to singing a horse with no name at the top of our voices outside a fetching café in an unspecified European city.