Tea Bitch

Long ass grey days. Spinach drying up on the floor. Squeaks coming from no-where. The empty eyes gaping back at me. The dictionary of a seemingly foreign, perhaps even alien, language pressing into my chest. My mouth is dry. The there are sounds outside; the occasional car or bus, the footfalls of people up before the sun. The sheets wrapped around me. No sign from the postman.

No letters enquiring how I am these days out here in the outpost. No one to write them, I suppose. There is little to do but head for the cafe, when it opens. There, a scoundrel can get a slice of bread with some beans and a cup of a kind of tea. I’ve not been able to identify it but, as they say, it’s hot and it’s wet. The tables and chairs were taken from the church when it was destroyed. She waddles down the aisle, her teapot steaming in her paws, chin high in the air, stagnant meat juice smell chasing her.

I bang my tin cup upon the back of the chair of an elderly woman to get the attention of the tea bitch. She turns her head without turning her body and extends an arm. The tea pours; tiny, boiling droplets hit my forehand and yet this is comfortable. The warmth assuages the pain. I continue to enjoy this sensation. On and on it goes. The droplets become bigger. My eyes open to the point of popping. The bitch is pouring it all over my hands; I twat her with a bible – the only object that comes to hand – and leg it.

I hold my hand out into the rain and it is a comfort. The cold assuages the pain.


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