RESISTANCE

I make my way through a labyrinthine network of paths and alleyways. The blocks of flats are identical and even the decay is uniform; peeling paint on the weathered boards, rusty stains on the bricks from the leaking gutters, the graffiti repeating itself, the same tags and faded colours.

Most of the shops I pass are empty and no-one is at the centre of the parade. The Advocacy Bureau is closed. There is a hand painted sign above the door and I study the flyers and posters in the windows but none of the dates are forthcoming.

I move on, and walking alongside a wire mesh fence at last I find my way out onto a vast expanse of rickety paving slabs. It is more of the same here but the flat blocks are bigger and taller. It is deserted and desolate. It seems that living here is a covert operation.

The old woman is standing on the balcony and ranting. Her voice croaking and unfettered by humility. She doesn’t trust her flat, not since her husband died.

‘I don’t trust it’, she yells. ‘Not after all the trouble with the electric and the plumbing and the watermarks on the ceiling they remind me you know? All the time, you know what I mean?’

Her granddaughter is clinging to her skirt but now she pulls away, and begins to fidget.

‘He was so ill at the end’, her grandmother continues, but calmly now, and reaching out she places her hand on top of the girl’s head in an effort to still her.

‘He didn’t care, how could he like that?’

She moves to pull the girl close again but her granddaughter has stopped fidgeting and, for a few seconds, she stands firm and won’t be moved.

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2 comments

  1. Tony Single

    It’s the moments that you focus on that always grabs my attention. Ordinary moments that seem a little left of centre, but really aren’t because it’s life happening right now. Yeah, I’m not making much sense, but your writing does.

  2. markrenney1

    Thanks Tony. I have had this in my head for a long time, working and reworking it, but at the start I rarely know what it is I am trying to capture, just that it must be written and your comment is very welcome.

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