Thursday, August 30, 2007

I'll Be Seeing You 

“Boobs and teeth. Boobs and teeth. Boobs and teeth.”

Stella, my eighties style yuppie witch of a team leader, had a big meeting at eleven – highly important small and medium sized business men and women were winched in from all over the Ribble Valley, movers and shakers, hotshot deal makers, the cream of the cream of central Lancashire's power broker set – so she needed to be on top of her game.
She spent the preceding hours pacing nervously around her office, waiting to be summoned, checking her hair on her webcam and smoothing out the folds in her blouse, all the while repeating her mantra over and over - “Boobs and teeth. Boobs and teeth. Boobs and teeth” - psyching herself up into a state of near impossible executive preparedness.

Creepy Keith from Accounts hung around outside her door, pining like an abandoned mongrel chained to the wall outside Sainsburys, perplexed as ever by her continuing rejections.
“I'm everything you ever dreamed of,” he said, and she replied “Too little, too late,” gave him a pat on the head, then wandered off to fill her trolley.

There's a drowsy end of summer atmosphere lingering in the air. The sunflowers have been and gone, the sweet peas too, and with all this rain, the nasturtiums never really got off the ground.
An ominous feeling of dread swills around the pit of my stomach, like when the school holidays are all but over and a new term beckons, and I have to remind myself that I don't actually go to school any more, nor do I need to fret over incomplete homework, and if I want to dress up in a school uniform then that's my own free choice, but still this mood lingers.

Now Pietersen is coming in from the Stretford End and England are looking solid in the field – seventeen for one, thirty one for two, thirty three for three – and the afternoon passes hazily through a faint radio crackle, like molten jam being pressed through a sieve, and he delivers a short one to Tendulkar who top edges it and is caught by Flintoff in deep square leg, but the signal is weak and listless, which infuriates the hell out of Mike who complains he can only get the cricket on Long Wave, when Stella breezes back from her meeting, pumped up on adrenaline and conference room power buffet, and says “If you want cricket, buy yourself one of them DAB radios. My friend Becky gave me one in June and I've been getting it down the allotments all summer,” and outside my window Rex the security guard is bashing his sunflowers against the datacentre wall and gathering his seed in a polythene bag, while away in the distance, beyond the twinkling dual carriageway and the rinky dink toy town car showrooms, Preston, city of lovers and undeterred optimists, glistens sweet and inviting in the lovely late summer sunshine, like strawberry jam in the birthday cake of life.

Tonight at barbershop practice down in the rifle range, we will sing -
“I'll be seeing you in every lovely summer's day, in everything that's light and gay, I'll always think of you that way...” -
and there will be heated exchanges on the nature of Constitutions and matters of principal, accusations of sharp practice, but I will not be distracted by points of order -
“... I'll find you in the morning sun and when the night is new, I'll be looking at the moon but I'll be seeing you, only you” -
and I hereby pledge to do my solemn best to stay the course, steady my aim and hold true, because Autumn is lurking in the shadows, dark and menacing like the unwanted attentions of a grimy accountant, and this time I'll be ready for it.

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