The Straight Road /Johny Brown /Chapter 11/ October

I’ll sing you this October song
Oh, there is no song before it
The words and tune are none of my own
For my joys and sorrows bore it

Mike Heron and Robin Williamson,

Indeed October has arrived and Susan is singing her song.



Susan rang Sam to fill him in on developments. There was so much to tell him, she felt he could not fail to be inspired by what was going on and now she had this warehouse space sorted then surely he would join her. He had news of his own when he told her he was finally going back to university and could not in fact talk long. He was off to a party at the Rugby club.

She could hear Mumford and Sons playing in the background. He had texted her recently to ask if she wanted to come and collect the Clash vinyl etc, that it was a phase he’d passed through but maybe she could still have some use in their child like polemic. She had replied with one word: wanker. Hearing the sounds he was playing now underlined that: wanker.

And then the wanker was droning loudly down the phone to her. ‘You’ve changed Susan, and not how I’d hope you’d change when I picked you up from the homeless insecurity of the high street and made something of you, if I’d known then blah blah…’ Susan clicked her  phone dead with the frustration of it all. She knew her heart, her soul, her being was a constant.

And so what if she had changed, change is a good thing, a necessary thing, and looking at the street around her she could see the world was changing with her, maybe because the world liked the way she was changing and wanted to change with her. And people couldn’t see it because they still could not see beyond the wall of dystopia that was current media.

And current media at that moment had Hilary Benn making an emotional plea for Britain to bomb Isis Fascists helping David Cameron to win Syria air strikes vote 397 to 223 and a woman who refused treatment after losing her sparkle died but a commuter pushed under a tube train survives and man is arrested, the chance of infection in the city was very likely.

In ten or fifteen years they would see right enough, and they wouldn’t recognise their own city and maybe Susan wouldn’t either and who knows the change might not be for the better but all she knew was that she was loving the changing and all its chance and hope and the possibility of a new way of life forcing its way through and exploding around her.

And knowing she is a part of it, that she has her part to play, that she is bang in the centre and active, an activist, helping to change and being changed by it all at the same time and that dreary wanker Samuel of fine word and weak gut if he didn’t understand that then more fool him let him slide back and revert to type and stagnate and die, God she was venting.

Then a weird moment turned her mind away from the phone call.



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