The coach and four bound for Hull winds its way along a ribbon of stone and dirt. Not long departed from The Bull and Mouth in the fledgling city, a hard day of toil ahead.
Tolls paid at Halton Dial the traveller’s carriage labours up the leafy tree-lined hill. The new turnpike unfolds through fields and English countryside. A rural idyll.
A double-decker 401 to distant Goole, grumbling hot and sweaty out-of-town. Diesel fumes spewing into the wet, grey, winter evening. ‘Home is where the heart is’ and mine is by this noisy tarmac world.
A fast-flowing river of cars, trucks, buses, and helicopters chasing sirens. The traffic is fast talking, rude, selfish, rushing, pushing, parking, crashing like a bad-tempered married couple bickering all day long.
Some days this street lingers like a bad taste of sour milk. The road looks worn and tired, like it’s had a smack in the face from the back of an angry man’s hand.
Another bus the 19 to East Garforth as if that’s different from West Garforth. Rows of blank faces staring at the tarmac, like rows of blank homes staring at the tarmac.
Faded pebble dash, dirty brown or is it grey just like this night. A linear world from 1 -1000. A nod a wave to those around but who knows who in this hectic place. Gates, fences, hedges. So many lives pan out behind locked doors.
Lines of shops and houses looking for all the world like a badly built drum kit. A sickly smell of food wafts through the evening air, fish, chips, curry and diesel.
The 402 to Selby, a much more streamlined single deck affair. The driver eager with his nearly empty bus to reach home, dreaming how life could have been so different if only he was Sly Stallone out there in LA.
Over time I suppose our dilapidated home has seen it all, rings, kids, dogs, cats and all those flaming frogs. This old house envelops us like a warm, and comfortable winter coat.
Life really is all about geography my point on a map called home or was it golf, a metaphor too far I don’t even like golf.
Rush hour almost over there goes the 165, still many stops en route to sunny Castleford. One day soon I’m going to Cas Vegas.
Pizza for tea look out for the delivery driver. Tomorrow’s another day the gutters, the pointing, the driveway. Hundreds of jobs to finish. Here’s the rented video Apollo 13, they had it good compared to living here. Great the pizzas here, now close those bloody blinds.
Today, tomorrow, next week road works, cable, traffic lights, islands, bus lanes, bike lanes. Things are bad the road is clogged and crumbling what’s that, it can’t be. Did the old turnpike just say “help me?”