2 old ladies
watch a girl pass.
She is riding a bright yellow bicycle
that is perhaps too big for her
and wearing a skirt
that is perhaps shorter
than the 2 old ladies would like
not that they are nasty,
the old ladies,
just old and attached
to fashions that have faded,
things as they used to be,
the past when everything was different.
Brian is waiting
for his girlfriend, Joy
who was the girl with the short skirt
on on the bright yellow bicycle
He is on his second pint,
he has lost his mobile
and Joy is late.
Joy is late because
she has had a slight accident:
she has been knocked off her bike
by a van which did not stop;
she is shaken, not badly injured:
a bruised right arm,
a scraped knee,
a cut on the top of her head.
However the 2 old ladies
who saw what happened
called for an ambulance
which has taken her off to Hospital.
She has tried phoning Brian
That is why she is late.
Of course Brian does not know this.
Later he will feel guilty
about feeling irritated
when all he should have felt was
When Daniel, the van driver, gets home
he feels stiff from driving,
so far, so long.
He has driven non-stop from Coldstream
to his house outside Dunfermline.
He lives there on his own
but likes it that way.
Simpler that way.
He organises his life
to avoid problems,
unaware that problems are also solutions.
He is unaware of lots of things, Daniel,
unaware for example
that he had knocked Joy off her bicycle
when he took the left turn
onto the Saline road
but when he notices the scratches
on the left side of his van
to his credit
he wonders if he should contact the police.
He does not know of course
that one of the old ladies
had made a note of his number.
Nor does Brian know
that his lost phone lies exactly where he left it
half a street away
on the chair outside the really good restaurant
(whose name he could never remember)
where he had put it down
while chatting to the Bulgarian waitress
with a degree in Modern Languages
and whose English was so idiomatic
it sounded foreign