The reality of bent nostalgia and good drunks

The rain of Monday’s a washday a long time ago. The off days of disinfectant and coal shine mornings. The wonder of living here in the dirt and wet winsome overgrown willows. A garden of comfrey and rusting railings spiked with hawthorn barrows and troubled rabbit dropping bramble. A boy hiding shed that has lost its outline and is leaning towards death. A coal hole of darkness dust and small secrets to hide inside.

The wash day of wooden old top heavy cloth maidens beside a fire in Summer, morning drawn with newspaper and Father’s time, dead drinking too much and early. Donkey stones for white steps and rubbing dollies in rippled metal tubs. A mist indoors and the wet light deepening the wringing out colour of aprons, underwear and sheets. The indoor washing line pulled on from the cracked above to drown the single piss smell wet light bulb with its hanging decorations. Red smart hands and always grey on grey water pouring down grids in corners.

Beats and bustle and under the feet. Crusts of bread with red ketchup or banana treats when someone arrives from the market and the grinning grunting washing rubbing stops for a while.

Where is my dinner and my bloody clean shirt?

Always beating when alone and drunk slobber. Farting, saying “good arse” as the mantra of good manners. Break the nose for lies from our lad, but always have the good arse manners. Sing out of tune about the likes of golden dreamers and tell them all it never did me any harm.

When he hit, boy laughed. Small fearful, feral laugh. Who knows why? But he did and boy knew when.

Stinging red faced spittle frantic escapes, some intent, past caring, but small boys alone did, couldn’t, would not, should not show. Laughing fearful, perhaps less than perfect protection. Particularly when stinging hit again. Always the face, always stop the laugh. Nose squint, dull weight in the centre.

Drunk home at mid afternoon, sweat sleeping and fart rising to working men’s club drink again. Close call to the bellicose belligerent temper, causing the thumping tears from a failed man in a sweaty vest and over large front gaping underpants with dirt stains like maps. Beer swilling breath and wet stain boy sobbing scared. Piss on stink forgiving the always, once a year, bought cream trousers and tear off the foreign legion seaside hat from the once again suicide excited laughing. I’ve honestly done nothing for this nothing boy. Don’t do anything for this, not to be hit. Except not to be laughing, giggle not in pain, or more for fear of what was coming and remember. The smack that never did harm was the loaded, ever loaded lie. Did you some greater good, showed you what is fair and you know what to expect, little shit and what is that bloody smell? Get, find, hunt, hide. Smack, smack, bloody smack until boy shits himself.

Get me up, now don’t forget. What are you doing getting me up? Kick, smack punch. Get me up to drink, what are you doing, waking me at this bloody time? Kick, laugh, cry, smack punch. Those were the days of where?

The reality of bent nostalgia and good drunks

Kenart

Joined January 2008

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Artist's Description

A Confounded Letter of Childhood.

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