Lines in the Weston sand.
I was due a hair cut. Mostly bald I may well be, but what was left was becoming long and scraggy, a friend had told me I looked older. Older? Never. Lynn our normal hairdresser was ill so while in Weston I popped into the very Gothic, Blakes 37,established 2009. The dusky tattooed young man was busy with a young child. The kid’s mother, torn jeans et al, was encouraging her boy “Stay still or he’ll cut your ears off.” But young Timmy was in fidget mood, his mother got louder, tears. This was a version of Norman Rockwell famous picture First Haircut.(see link). It was Timmy’s historic first.
A few minutes later it was my turn. I saw on the basin an Arsenal calendar. Rich was also a fan. We were brothers. How we moaned, how we laughed. My number one shearing cut didn’t take long. I told that although our team was doing well, they were as convincing as a drunk who somehow gets home. He told that his dad supported Liverpool and his support of Arsenal may be part of the Oedipal tendency. I know about this, Leo despite heroic trips to Highbury as a lad supports Chelsea.
The Weston front like many others is lined with wooden benches, most dedicated to those “who (once) enjoyed the view”. One caught the eye. Dedicated to a 22 year old whose birthday would have been yesterday. Balloons, streamers and sad cards “celebrated” this never to be forgottens 24th. It was difficult not to the be moved, to stop and think. A fellow walker drew up ,I asked did he know anything about this sad tale. He had been a local cricketer who had died in a car accident. You never get over such events,the family never recovers. Hows that. I lost my 26 year old boy,it was a late night party, he went to bed and never woke up. I have other children but the hole remains. But he is in a better place. Yes I expect to join in him one day.
The Regency was a nice pub behind the front. Unlike most it didn’t need to trade on price, it has skittle and darts teams, quiz nights, poker leagues, good food deals. Ten or so middle aged , mostly men jollied along the bar in an easy community. That night there was also an attractive woman, she had drunk too much. She had two glasses of house white in front. One of the regulars came over. Betty I’ll get you a cab, I think its time you went home. Thanks Pete,God I’m fool, I should have gone hours ago. Up comes Fred, hello Betty ,fancy coming back,listen to some music. She leans on Fred’s shoulder, giggles, sips wine. Pete comes over, taxi is here. Just a minute I’ll just finish this, stands up. Spills bag. Fred’s turn. Are you going. Bag put back, one more sip, out the door. But so is Fred. Pete goes back to his mates at the bar, all shake heads. Two guys for every girl.