• Vol. 06
  • Chapter 05
Image by


I’m supposed to say what he does for a living. He gives me three guesses He’s in good shape and he’s already let me feel the muscles in his arms His teeth are neat and white like he’s had work done and there are stars in his eyes and his smile’s as wide as a crescent moon I say he’s a bus driver for a magical mystery tour – it really is a thing They pick up busloads of old people from the care home where I work and they say to ‘em buckle up cos they’re on the road to adventure and they don’t tell ‘em where they’re going He laughs, says he knows where he’s going but he don’t know what he’ll find when he gets there He spreads his arms wide, tilts and lifts himself onto his tip-toes like he’s a bird rising on currents of air He smells nice – like green tea and lemons He calls me ma’am, is real polite and not at all pushy I want to kiss him and put my hand down his pants I say he’s an airline pilot for a travel company making everyone’s dreams come true He performs a countdown then and when he gets to zero he punches one hand sudden into the air – like Freddie Mercury when he’s singing that song about how we are the champions I say he makes fireworks for big art shows – I saw a programme once about this designer and he does that He made a seventeen hundred foot ladder that was hoisted into the sky by a hot air balloon and when it was lit there was a fiery ladder reaching up to the clouds – like the one Bible-Jacob saw in his dream and flaming angels climbing that ladder He shakes his head, says I’d never get it even if he gave me a hundred wishes He leans in close and whispers ‘No way,’ I say Tells me he’s a space-walker Up there in dark empty space, only he says it’s not so empty as you’d think and not so dark neither ‘It’s brimful of stars and sunlight bounces all around you As for the silence of space, sure there’s no sound – ‘cept you can hear breaths and heartbeats and the whispered prayers of church-people ascending



And there isn’t the tug of gravity so though you’re walking it’s not like walking at all, not even like floating which is just defying gravity cos out in space there’s no gravity to defy It’s like you’re not there except as a thought I reckon that’s what it must be to be god,’ he says, ‘looking down on earth’ I don’t believe a bullshit word of it, but I kiss him all the same and put my hand down the front of his pants He’s breathless then, his lips moving, and he says I’m an angel. I tell him he’s the one who is a fucking angel.