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TrentBridge

How Jon Really Feels When He Sees Trent Bridge

Because it's been eight years, and I didn't think my last entry fully documented his reaction.

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When it went wrong, when he could no longer be the pastor, the one face he prayed not to see was Mrs. Hoffman's. Every familiar thing caused him some pain, even driving down the shops. He thought he couldn't manage the daily jabs so he moved away; as much as possible he avoided entering or crossing the county. He gave up his oldest passion. For eight years, and it worked. He had regained his old faculties. He saw sunshine now, enjoyed the sharp outlines and envigorated colour that came with it. And when he caught a glimpse of his destination, a slice of the old stone wall, his nerves also were miraculously cured.
He couldn't help but smile. He walked faster, then jogged. Reaching the intersection at Hounds Road he had to stop, and grab the collar of every emotion that would charge into the street unsupervised. The rapture of recognition--the pavilion's turrets, the white stands, the Dixon Gate. This was Trent Bridge. The name alone evoked, but to see the painted faces of Larwood and Voce gazine down from their pub sign.... He blinked his eyes, and when he couldn't keep back tears he pretended to have an itch. He hid his wet hand in a pocket. This was more reaction than he'd expected. How did a place go beyond being location and materials? How did it put the plug in the socket, if that wasn't the clumsiest metaphor for a jolt of reconnection with a fundamental?
But something had changed. He crossed the street to study the white building that plugged the gap where the old wall ended, a ticket office with a cashier's window. The pavement outside had been resurfaced and hedges planted to make queuing orderly. He sniffed at it. He felt sure the basic structure had always been there, but couldn't bring to mind its original size, if that differed. A small dent in his joy was noted. Had he not gone away, he'd have been on hand to observe the renovation, memorise details. This lump sum impression excluded him, reminded him there would be work to do before he could say, 'I know this place'.
He bought his admission. He positioned himself in front of the gates, took a deep breath and checked the roads and pavements for anyone approaching. He heard two stewards behind him talking.
“I were at the Oval in '64.”
“When he took his three hundred?”

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January 2015

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