Friday, March 21, 2014

Dan Murphy's

I used to live just near a big Dan Murphy's. Each day out the window I'd see this red-nosed old geezer in brown corduroy pants and a dirty white terry-towelling hat shuffle down the street to the Dan Murphy's and then shuffle back with a brown-bagged bottle of something in hand: mission accomplished. Sometimes he'd stop and lean back theatrically and pour some of the bottle's contents into him but that was all the variation I saw.

In my mind I turned him into a loveable old drunk, and my heart did this happy little origami when I saw him: shuffleshuffle.

And of course when I ran into him on the street one day I looked him in the eye and gave him a jaunty knowing grin, a kind of hail-loveable-drunk-well-met! kind of vibe.

So it was a shock when what I saw behind those eyes looked like nothing so much as an abyss, an infinite empty void, cold and mechanical, absent of anything I recognised as human. It'd be a stretch to say the abyss even looked back. I guess it just kept the feet shuffling, one after the other: off to Dan Murphy's and back. Or y'know maybe he was just having a bad day and I have An Overactive Imagination. There are signs pointing - no really! - in that direction. X


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