after and with apologies to Mark Halliday
The missing blog post has gone AWOL. Never sure of its place in the world, it exists only as a hum, a lump in the throat, a murmuring, a shrug. It contains the summer, the concrete grass, the burnt glare of classrooms emptying for the last time. The missing blog post aims a champagne cork at the sun, but misses it.
The missing blog post wanted to be about the election, about learning, about class. Instead it finds itself remembering that time on the beach at Sandwich, the fire and the sun setting, a plastic bottle christened The Good Ship Ballesteros, its message stoppered inside. The missing blog post cannot remember that message, only the bottle. The missing blog post does not indulge this as a metaphor.
The missing blog post has picked up the phone, and put it down again, preferring to write letters in worsening handwriting about grief and influence. The missing blog post reads a phrase by Thomas Merton, this day will not come again, and knows in the pit of its being that this day will not come again. The letters are mailed, the room in which they are received far off as Mars, and as nervy.
The missing blog post spends an hour watching a fly bounce on the windowsill, mere inches from the open window above it. The missing blog post thinks about the Budget, then thinks better of it. The missing blog post witnesses a man and a woman squaring up to a man in a suit holding a tray of coffees from McDonald’s. How the missing blog post would like to intervene, secretly hoping others might do so, knowing they will not, for we are British and this is a High St in broad daylight. The missing blog post considers its gene pool; it is not reassured that culture is mostly learned. Neither is it enamoured with the alternative. Weeping of the missing blog post.
The missing blog post wants to listen to the cricket, but will not for this is a working day and discipline must be observed. The missing blog post notices a boy coming home from school, jabbing the air in front of him as he marches up the street. How the missing blog post wants to be that boy again (this day will not come again). A glass is raised, a toast given in an empty room. A confident young blackbird, brown, with a beak full of worms, looks through me.
The shouting couple. The sun beating down. A boy with summer ahead of him. The missing blog post includes these but measures its success on the things that remain out of reach. A man speaking Russian into his phone. An ordinary day so unlike others as to be unique. The missing blog post left behind its sketch book. The missing blog post is tired.