Military Bass

I’m in a pub with my brother. I’m telling my friend Glen, how powerful he is, if he just tries. I chat to my brother. It’s gone last orders. I try to get a drink. The choice is coffee or water. I take water.

I’m heading home. I have two. I think Snowy, my now dead dog, is at one, but I’m not sure. I’m less worried about him now. I run through dark muddy lanes with my hood up. It is both Donliegh Street in Manchester and Farndale Avenue in Wolverhampton at the same time. The sun rises, and I’m walking past a big wheel. A black boy runs ahead of me, climbing it. He looks scared. I climb after him, protecting him from an older boy, who has to win the race, who has to be first.

We climb off the big wheel. I walk downhill into town. Under a railway bridge I stop to chat to a policeman, changing his shoes for trainers at the end of his shift. He tells me it’s busy. I can see from here; pubs full of Port Vale fans. They won.

I pick up some jellybeans from a stall in the wall. The Indian shopkeeper tries to shortchange me. I tell him to keep the extra 5p.

I avoid the town centre. Walking along country lanes, I am tracked by heat seeking robot guns, swivelling to follow me as I pass. I see a military base. Inside, soldiers play tiny, short scale bass guitars. There’s a camera crew. Families of soldiers record upbeat messages to send. I feel sad that men’s role is to fight and die. What kind of life is that?



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