An Old Acquaintance 

An old acquaintance 

________________________
I met up with an old acquaintance,

we sat in the bar we used to frequent 
on weekends in the eighties.
He told me he was doing well,
had a place in Dalston and three daughters, all at university –
although he wasn’t sure what they were studying.
Recently divorced, he’s now dating a girl called “Summer” – 
Appatently, she used to be a model,
but now she works in a Whitherspoons.
He reminded me of the time we were beaten up,
when he managed to escape and call the cops.
I remember him running away,
but I don’t recall the police arriving – 
although in truth, I can’t remember much about that night.
He spent most of his time texting as he spoke.
I bought the drinks, looked into his eyelids and watched his thin mouth move.
Eventually, his phone rang and he ran outside speaking so loudly that I heard his conversation from the bar.
When he returned he mentioned that it had been nice meeting and “catching up” with me.
He disapeard knowing nothing about me at all.
He seemed to part in slow-motion,
out into the narrow alleyway,
which exaggerated his shadow 
into an absurd characature.
An image flashed into my mind
of a giant weeping willow,
flayed by a merciless wind,
spewing leaves over a small concrete tombstone. An Illegible name
and year strained to be seen through
thick rust coloured moss…
The image sent an uncomfortable chill through my heart. I dismissed it. 
I took a breath and walked out the front door.
It was raining. A beautiful warm, late summer rain that washed over the City and into my soul. ©DMM
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