Thursday, 24 June 2010

Yea, though I walk through the valley...

"There isn't time!", Morgan snapped. "Get on the f^&king bus!"

I was sad. I'd left my bag of Pom-Bar on the kitchen counter.

As I sat down, a man leaned across the aisle and whispered into my ear. "Is it really him?" Being used to the attention by now, I slowly turned, unfazed and replied. "Yes, it sure is."

"Can I talk to him?" replied my new friend, gently scratching his wool-covered torso.

"Now's not a good time, I'm afraid, sir. He skipped breakfast." Dejected, the man slumped back in his seat and turned to face the front. He began searching for his MP3 player as though it would apply a magic sponge to his embarrassment. Fumbling with the device, the opening strains of Boston's "More Than A Feeling" winced from the earphones. Suddenly, his day wasn't so bad.

The reason for Morgan missing the most important meal of the day, you ask? The same reason an innocent bag of ketchup and cheese flavour snacks lay abandoned on the unforgiving granite. Morgan needed new shoes.

Nothing stirred up such a furious passion inside him as the prospect of new footwear. His last pair had seen him through some tough times; a scuffle outside the local bakery, an impromptu foot-race with an angry Latvian prostitute. Passing these trusty companions on was like the setting of a brilliant sun. Necessary to start anew, but at the same time, a gut-wrenching farewell. The excitement was tangible.

As the bus reached it's destination, he sprang from his seat and made for the door. The driver couldn't open it quick enough. I struggled to keep up, my years working for a Persian rug maker telling on my knees. He faded into the distance and turned the corner.

Out of breath, I arrived at "Sole Train" a minute or so behind him. Opening the door I could see that Morgan was already in his element. Conducting the efforts of two shop assistants at once with the flair of a Hans Richter or a Georg Solti. It was a thing of beauty.

The shorter of the two assistants rushed to his aid with a pair of delicate Italian slip-ons in brushed suede. Looking them over, he nodded with rare satisfaction. He put them on and stood in front of the mirror. He turned to survey the prospective purchase from the left, and then the right.

Like a flash his legs twitched out, his ankles a blur, and after a short burst of movement not uncommon to a fitting magpie, he came to rest. Looking glumly into the mirror, his bottom lip quivered. "No," he lamented. "I can't dance in this shit".

Monday, 21 June 2010


As Morgan and I looked across the chess board at each other, something occurred to me... his face was that of a battle-scarred warrior. A veteran of a million seductions. A million more rejections. A tireless campaigner in the sea of uncertainty we only know as 'life'. He broke the silence.

"What did you think of Bruce Almighty?" he asked, with a wry smile.

I pondered my response. Knowing that a reply of anything but the most calculated praise would send him hurtling into a blinding rage. My buttocks tightened as I desperately searched for the words. Beads of sweat crowded my top lip like schoolchildren craning their necks to witness a playground fight. I suppressed the fear, and slowly, opening the chess match with my oft-utilised Benoni defence, I looked Morgan in the eyes and uttered my reply.

"Well..... " I said. " was crap."