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When it works there is no more beautiful thing

Ninety minutes before start of play, Jon parked in his usual place. The first thing he noticed, getting out the car, was stillness. And the angst of stillness, as if the world were guest at some cosmic party, and suddenly realised it was talking louder than anyone else in the room. He used to know a council employee, who told him noise reduction in Nottingham was thirty-two percent by the second day of an average weekend. However they measured it, this was more. It weighed in momentous and pending like the pause before a starting pistol, with a gravity of commemorative silence. There was no traffic. No one walked in the park or along Central Avenue or went in the Co-op. It lasted maybe fifteen seconds.
Jon observed it with his door open and his hand rested on his floppy hat on the bonnet. He felt vaguely responsible. Under the nail, his right pinkie was bruised and the cuticle ragged. The skin had been between his teeth all the way down Trevor Road, though that was no worry. The street hadn't changed in eight years. Then he got to Tudor Square, where the shopfronts were new brick and double glazed, the pavements curvier. He tore his finger away to take the steering wheel in both hands, negotiate a convolution of mini roundabouts that diverted him past the police station, all the time wondering if this really, really was a good idea. But the meeting had been set. So he, like the silence, was nervous but resolved. It fit his situation so perfectly he moved his lips to shape the word ‘yes’.

Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes.


January 2015



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