The sleet rat-a-tat-tats on the roof of this…shack? Three feet ‘tall’ of ‘U’ shaped bricks and a sheet of iron roof. We lay underneath, our wet and frozen feet spread out. In the soot and grime of these low walls you find a face you drew as a child, still defiantly amateurish and still defiantly clear white against the black. No trains rumble through here anymore. The face will survive as long as we allow.
As kids, this used to be the Witches’ Den, filled with clothes and toys to tempt children into annihilation. Until, as teenagers, you grabbed my wrist and told me to guard the entrance whilst you pissed. Even as a mature 14 year old I was nervous, but you shot me a look…. oh come on…grow up…I need to pee. Except it wasn’t your urine that troubled me…
You snuggle into my chest and I take a deep draught of your long hair – filled with grease, smoke and underlying tones of coconut oil. Bending your knee to get comfortable, I dance my fingertips on the frayed denim, tracing a love heart over the blue fabric, skin and bone.
When you speak it is vibrations through my chest, but I hear every word. You begin with a smirk and then you mumble into my ribs; I can’t imagine anyone else doing this right now. I ask – again – where you found the courage to draw the face, so young, but you pinch my stomach and laugh.