• Vol. 09
  • Chapter 12
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Man and Boy

I been trudging these streets. Up and down, back and forth. The amount of shoe leather I been through don’t bear thinking about. I got to know them on my round. Ladies and gents, lords and ladies some of them. I give ‘em a wink, a smile, a wave – careful not to overstep the bounds. Not too familiar, just friendly-like. People like to know you notice them, could spot if there was something amiss. Nothing ever is. I used to hope sometimes that I’d happen upon a pile of unopened letters, newspapers, uncollected milk and the like. I’d be able to report it – be first on the scene like. Call in the law, give a statement to the local press, maybe even get on the telly. Just for a couple of minutes.
    But nothing ever happens so I trudge on, up and down Acacia, to and fro on Chestnut, back and forth on Sycamore. I could walk that route blindfold.
    They tried to give me a bike one time but I never took to it. Heavy, wobbly thing wouldn’t stand up at the kerb or by the fence. The front was always so heavy that it pulled the rest of the confounded contraption round in a circle and down to the ground. ‘Sides which, I just prefers me own two feet.
    Nowadays I got one of them trollies. It’ll lighten the load, they said. What they meant of course is that they can give me twice as much, double the length of me round, taking me all the way down past the station. I thought at the time, some poor sod’s going to lose their job over this. If you double all the loads, you only need half the men. Or women. Stands to reason.
     Kept me head down and the chop passed me by. Lucky that time, I thought to meself. Lucky. Head down. Keep moving. It’s harder to hit a moving target. So I don’t stop. I give my smile, wave, wink. Never over-familiar. And I keep moving. Up and down these streets till there’s no more letters to deliver.  Else, what’s the point?

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