Burns night and exhausted

God I’m pooped.

There’s a pub next door to the site where I’ve been working. The Flying Horse. I am covered in dust. I’m sitting like a sack of potatoes with my phone in my hand writing this as I stare past an untouched pint of porter at a similarly fucked Tristan. I do not feel like a flying horse. We’ve been earning our keep this week. Day off tomorrow thank the gods.

I thought I was going to have a Burns Night at my flat but I really really can’t be bothered to play host to anyone but my demons so I sacked it off. Tristan can come. He’s an honorary demon anyway. I’ll buy haggis on the way home and kill it in a few hours. We will eat. I will sleep. Tomorrow there will be no work. Oh the joy the joy. I don’t intend to do very much. I will certainly not take down any walls.

We tore all the walls down across a whole floor. As darkness set in we pulled the last bit out of an awkward corner where it was hiding and we ripped it into component parts, and stamped the skin off it.

We are swift, silent, uncompromising. Today we have at least been accompanied by the mimblings of cricket commentators.

England is playing South Africa men’s and it looks like they might have discovered some opening batsmen that aren’t going to fold up like wet paper. We had the BBC cricket social playing all day, which is an endurance exercise no matter how you look at it. People discussing wallpaper or obscure points of cricketing history while occasionally telling us what is happening in the game. Aggers sitting with a gin in South Africa getting overexcited about parachuters. It’s good that I enjoy the game or it would have made the day even harder. As it is it helped pass the time – when we could hear it over the drilling, tearing, swearing and banging.

My knees are wet from sweat behind the kneepads. My back is crawling with dust and aches. My hair is full of bits. Don’t ask about my shoulder. But I’m still here, I’m still able to work, and as always I much prefer to have a focus to my time. Better learning another new skill, challenging myself against another idea of what I can and can’t do, throwing myself into unusual work in an unusual building.

Now I’m going to stop writing, and cross town to find a haggis…


Burns Night festivities mostly cancelled I ate meat with Tristan after work and we broke down this week we have had in one another’s company and found poems. There’s a lot of poetry in the world. Just as the day is winding to a close and my stamina is spent I got a message from Brian, miner of good poems, once again on form. I will share it with you while I get in the bath with a poetry anthology.

20200125_231307

SURVIVORS by Norman MacCaig

The last wolf in Scotland
was killed two centuries ago.
I’d like to meet it.
I wouldn’t ask
why it opened the throats of deer and
tore mountain hares to pieces.
I wouldn’t ask why it howled
in the corries and put one paw
delicately in a mountain torrent.
–It would have nothing to ask me
except, `Why am I
the last wolf in Scotland?
I would know what it meant,
for I am the last of my race
as you are, and she, and he.
We would look strangely at each other
before it loped back to its death
and I again put one foot dangerously into the twentieth century.

Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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