Back to the Old House, Slightly

Last Thursday night on the way home from Leeds I took a detour of sorts that cut out a first stretch of the M1 and took me back up and around by the first house I owned. Miners’ houses, two-up-two-downs, mine an end-terrace in the middle row of three, with sets of three all about us, vari-coloured stone, some blasted to the colour of sand, others still wearing the blackened fact of where and why they stood.
Five years I lived there, and thirteen since I last drove by, although every coming up or down to its motorway junction has a pull on me and on the wheel, which I resist with knowing it’s probably quicker to press straight on. Thursday I felt no urge to resist, and after a majorly boring wrong roundabout exit I came upon my old familiar roads and the funny-peculiar of one’s fairly recent past (I still have clothes I wore then): the Chinese I used to drive to; the shop where I once bought some hangover-masking Angel Delight; the turning up to the cricket club whose bar sprung coincidentally onto my sales patch; the barber’s at the end of my road where I had my hair cut on a Christmas Eve afternoon and made a well-meant remark to the owner which she took issue with and where I never went back.
Signposts of a slight existence; a perverse and bland hiatus for which I hold no fondness – and it is realising this much upon slowing the car to a near-halt outside the new-to-me door that gives onto an unlit and unpeopled sitting room, that makes me ultimately glad I have no ties to any memories of this house, this street. I start off again and hear the boxes slide in my boot, full of books from my parents’ house, destined for the charity shop.

east ardsley

About Stevie Mitchell

I come from a long line of cartoons and beer. I was once peed on by a tiger. Hoping the resultant super-powers are yet to come, cos if these are they, then, grrrr....
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