‘It is like living in a rabbit hutch’ She often said emphatically and metaphorically, and He replied with
a shrug, nothing to say in reply. It was; and it would take long enough to pay for. Four rooms. Eight-floors up,
eight flights of long turning concrete rubbish chute and stairs, and fire escape, for when the elevators did not
function anyway, which was often and took days sometimes to repair. A balcony open passageway at the front,
looking over the street below, now starting to become busy with traffic. They had lived with his parents for a
time, and then after they were married, in a small rented flat in The City, before they needed to afford
somewhere to live together, and to bring-up their two small children.
Both saved, and with some financial help from relatives (deceased) they had managed to get this
place. When the housing market was ‘buoyant’, and mortgages easy to get. The Home was bought with a loan, a promissory note, deposited and co-lateraled together with their combined lives and the home itself. They were
afloat. Both worked to pay-off the loan, which although it was supposed to re-duce each year did not seem ever
to keep up with pay and prices. The loan would anyway be paid-off many times over if they were ever to pay off
the debt. If this place was ever to become their own owned nothing to pay-back; then, if they managed to keep
paying-off the loan for the ‘Shelter from the Storm’ as they called Home. That they did not actuarily now own,
and may not ever, actually own, lose-lose. To sell-back at Market Price, the difference between the paid-back
buying-price and selling-price, and of which they would have lost completely to The Bank…The Mortgage
Their Home-Mortgage rent no(t)()-insurance their assured-pension against dire-poverty and
homelessness. No social-recourse and be homeless, to parents and over-crowding again, or with friends
similarly fixed, sofa-surfing their home, such as-it-was de-faulted, re-possessed. A two-bedroom apartment, she
thought of: kitchen, lounge, shower-bathroom toilet and tiny balcony onto the world below, between them and
the sky above. Each day, each month, and each successive year into the unthinkable future; two-thirds of two-
lifetimes at least, two-thirds every month of what they were both paid-in wages-for-work earned.
She did the household accounts, and she knew.
The Home. The Loan. Would have been paid for several times over by the time if ever it became theirs and The Childrens’; and perhaps even their Grandchildrens’ by the time the shared-property many-floored building was un-inhabitable, de-molished land let-again, built-on freehold not-leasehold extended for-bonus payment un-earned…re-build in the new style, in a traditional place, or otherwise breaking into home farmland and ocean beyond.
But that is the nature of the human animal, is it not? To do over, and be done-over to again and again she thought want more and more, for less and less and in the quiet mind wandering moment of pillared door, a room, a table, a bed let go and a bed sheet left behind ready to be buried with perhaps as they did in the olden- times shrouded as now by thin curtains pulled-back.
Each-Day: like a two-step forward and quick-step fox trot later backwards one-step…
Home and Away.
Worked to pay-off the loan on the house and to pay for and cook food, with bills and
extras, clothes, and nights-out occasionally.
Maybe once a month, or not at all.
Then He had been laid-off work at The Bakery.
Three-day-week and three day’s wages.
The Home mortgage was re-negotiated and they continued struggling to pay-off the loan and other loans, credited and directly debited debt from what they both earned together.
There was never an issue of who would earn more, and be the main breadwinner, they both earned
more or less the same low wages
as most the people who worked and they would do the most caring
of each other and the children: the unpaid responsibilities shared around the home, and in the world of work.
Shopping and holidays and other friends and family out there.
All indebted, or in credit day2day. Week to week, month to next month, years, minute-by-minute. They
were equal, without even having to think about it or confront societies and others’ false expectations of gender
They were equal in debt and credit, and supported each other’s frail and fragile egos with a natural
equanimity respectful and loving…
Each contributing their best and differently in-differently knowingly to make the whole; whole.#
It’s not all doom and gloom She did often think, and he tried not to think on it.
The homily homely claustrophobia only had to be relieved by going out. To the cinema, to a bar or
restaurant. But that was not very often de-finitely now there were children as well.
Sel-dom. did extras make their mark, clothes bought carefully a piece at a time, re-placement rather
The cupboards filled with groceries and emptied by the time the next weeks shopping is needed and the
next week’s earnings…already spent.
She was awake, first this morning, and she got up from the bed on which he still lay awake but not yet awake enough to leave its’ night-time warmth. She went through to the next room. The bedroom led across the narrow-passage to the living room, which led directly to the tiny gallery kitchen and balcony on one side and door to the front room, on the other side balcony corridor and more doors along.
Except it wasn’t the front-room, exactly fronting only unlike the Front-Room of her-childhood playing on the
street and door directly to the rugged ragged matted smell of cooking from the stone wall white-washed country kitchen. Uhpstairs two bed-rooms and on the gallery landing for the children
and a closet room to flush away with a basin of water from the kitchen sink-tap and toilet-well into the slurry sump, where you could hear it ‘slurry’ all the way down, filtered to spray on fields all around; and then back downstairs to replace the water from the kitchen-tap and outside clean-well.
Pumped-up from the well, refilling the fired china clay bowl for washing and zinc-metal bucket, ready
for the next use.
Log grabbing toughened steel plasma-cutters hydraulic-ram chassis panel welded together.
Put-together giant wheels axle brake
Pumping-oil to cool the engines’ turbo diesel s-carbed grapple telescopic arms the claw car-crusher Mattress-shredder then the skid-board tracking
Carbon-fibre e-road automobiles solar-panels
Wind-farming blades and wave-machines
Generating heat&power and swimming in clean-air&water:
Low-No: installation& maintenance#
At her first childhood home, bed-time children first, then the adults. Rats nested runs, beetles and
cockroaches were kept away by the domesticated cats and dogs that shared the yard and house with horses at the local stables for the carts and filed machinery; to ride, at week-end day-off, and many Holy
Days. Each week, several times into the market town for food supplies, and the children’s treats.
Their whole world a Living Market Place of Work Trust and Play.
Now, great enclosed parked superstores and supermarkets and factory outlet warehouse.
Where goods are now transported she thought of: to-and-fro and by foot and horses’ hoofs carried and
motor vehicle, train and massive-tanker and container-ship
electric-like cutting through the air
Or the hydrogen&helium of outer-space
A one-metre flight through almost nothingness
One-click: Low-No-cost subscription no-way out…
< N/nnn…paid-up…again and again.
From the docks and airport, at the city harbour hub humming away, remote yet directing everyday life, everywhere.
Media-control: Holiday Passengers, and Freight Cargo.
The affordable flight, to get-away from-it-all: a change; a charge necessary move, once in a while, and
Every year; but, to visit family here and there and elsewhere, or else you’d go stir-crazy.
Do a night-time flit, flip! leave the rent, the mortgage, un-paid.
Only, to otherwise keep on fighting for the bargains: cheap-est with-in budget, to get through to the
Next-day and the day-after-that.
When debts and fines could not be paid, the debt collector bailiffs.
The-Auctioneer: selling- off of the personal possessions; sometimes, on the Global Markets;
and then sold-out: the personal; and, T.V. public…the laptop computer on-sleep and awakened, opened, placed on the table, booted-up and She
blogged instantaneously her-thoughts:
We all need a roof over our heads…and to put Food on the Table! without any other word or contextual continuity that did not remain obvious to this early morning.
Everyone and anyone in the same and similar circumstances getting the same hastily tapped-out messages excluding, those without tablet, home or food; and those with patently far too-much those who employed had an Administration to do that for them and her-thought continued in the context of the mindful moment and that which we all have to pay extortionately for over and again even when the food is eaten and the crap washed away there remains a nasty stain, a nasty taste.
Original wages sweated over day upon day, and loans ever in negative equity to who?
Income-Tax&Corporation-Tax paid/un-paid through government-deal(s):
Extortionate debt-interest credit-profit and volatile prices, losses on last-accounts records ever higher BINGO!
and pay…ex-terminating…share-prices collapsed…
Looking up, and down again now, not in dejection, but circumspection against ever apparent possible failure.
With desperate optimism, toward un-realistic perfectionism.
Only mechanized buffer-traffic building-up as soon as into a busy rush-hour congestion be-low… Cars and buses, bicycles, motorbike and motorized delivery truck from here, only another view.
two-sides; and every side…
the bedrooms along the passage corridor
the sleeping children slept, earlier peeked into soundless in beautiful dream or dreamless seemingly startling worrying death-checked for breathing.
Crossing from night into daytime TV remotely automatically turned on, confirmation, that
life goes on…
The living-room she entered bore all the chatter and the silence of one who listens. Still and safe, cosy and secure. The other rooms took over the emotions and needs: sleep and food, love and silly serious and abated arguments. The central room, the central chamber, looked on and awaited eventual, almost inevitable, but never certain re-conciliation, and rest.
Indulged-in social-(e) vents, noisy chatter and quiet evenings indoors.
The furniture was adequate and filled the room. Table, chairs, television, a drawer and shelved cabinet standing against a wall, displaying various special icons; plastic flowers family photographs in frames, a portrait of a film star, or a print of a famous oil painting.
Ornaments, statuettes, figures of worship and of novelty. The furniture, the infrastructure, from the
livelihoods and eventually the roof over our heads…’in over our heads’ heard as if originally spoken.
There were unopened envelopes and cajoling leaflet advertisement: everything: pay4Media:
Kill your debts! Die debts!
she thought of letters and bills for payment, propped up behind a ticking clock.
There was a picture postcard from someone-else’s holiday forming a picturesque frontage to hide the stack of demands for reply and payment which lay beyond.
She-drewback the curtains and looked out of the window across the balcony, with its unflowering plants growing in flower-pots. There was a real still rising mistiness outside from the early morning warming; and she gazed over an area where many lived, and it seemed to her, this morning, where they too just only lived-out their lives: day to day, week to week, minute-to-minute…
They too thought to-themselves as she looked-out onto the dawn of a gradually opening new day that
the world must have always been this way.
They had stayed together and with two little ones, one of each, girl and boy by the time they’re both about to be in school, they could not risk another to bring up, and the cost of it. They only hoped they would hold on to their jobs and they worked hard. Difficult hours, and some days-off. When the rota’s didn’t workout for childcare, family or neighbours, parents now friends of the children’s nursey and school friends who lived conveniently nearby, the social network from the cradle to nursery school to work to death to grave-given…
They had met when things were starting to get a bit tight, to get difficult again.
situation for most working families, for those looking for work and those in work things had not got any better; any easier, really.
During the so-called Good-Times and both parents were needed in credit and debt, to work to keep the family going…
Voluntary social-networks antithesis
Anti-social behaviour became all the more significant
To: reciprocal SharedCare and
Circles of Support.
With child and adult inter-action social and meaningful,
Shared-Lives. They had both kept their jobs in more or less ‘essential services’ although
not without the job-cuts, longer the hours never-the-less, ever the less, ever the more, when things got difficult all a-round. When the Bakery Factory where He and Family lived&worked, went on three-days week, and pay to match. He, had more time to be with the children, and helped the same with her awkward shiftwork at the garment factory, and later She at the hospital, for the Children, then training there, working there. he had done some building work on the odd-days, to fill-in.
She had done some shop-work and garment-making before all the ‘Shop Jobs’ Retail’, were filled,
and not-hiring. Not selling either. Queen of Queues at the cash-tills to no-one at the field-tills home-farm filed-fields closed for bankruptcy. They had moved to his folks in The City then: suburbs really, inner-urban, something-lik(e)that.
His mother had worked at The Old Mill and got her a job there; and then Him at The Bakers’ Factory, at the top of the road. When and where, the area they had moved to with Family and friendly neighbours nearby already there: People, their people…
They had moved-in together; and had kids.
Social response to industrial tech-revolution generational confuse price/cost value to shareholders, themselves, Pen(s)ions&In(s)u®ances lies-trust broken-trust rent/profit free from well-being gross domestic product¬product money…
FARM-HOME. ELITE not-middle working-class
Income2spend from Public/Private
Capita(l)-banks channelling opportunities liberal physiocrats
Steady. 20% Family Equity
Capital Communally taken as given and worked harder for more, less hard for less, but none less than the Universal Domestic Income (UDI).
His father’s family had been transient, transitory migrant millers, horses, wheat and grain, before that, gypsies, owned business.
Machinery, finding digging the wells, water, oil from the oil swamp, brick building and tarmac road, growing taking fruits and nuts from the side of vegetable and allotment gardens.
Moving around other-farm to other-farm, funnily enough she thought like Business-People nowadays do… Looking across the roads, below, leading to The City. To: The Airport to visit: Sales-People: to the Re-tail
Biggest Shops in the World: BSW in other words: Big Business Commuting by-airplane as They might, if They could afford to. To: go on Holiday. Abroad. They, to meet Clients Meetings’ here and there and everywhere. Cities all over, to do deals on a massive Global-Scale, then worth millions, now worth billions and trillions quadrillions of whatever the currency.
Sometimes-dealing, unevenly, unbalanced, in the local and World currencies themselves exponentially they marked an inverse ever increasing and decreasing rate of ex-change.
They took on a Shop Franchise Family-Bank loan to rent and stock and share.
In the past when the work dried-up, landfill fertiliser, phosphate-polluted arsenic-poisoned wells and
rivers and seas and Oceans…
His Gypsy ‘family ‘moved along’ as they were constantly told.
Or, stayed with their stores. Shares of the crops of the fields, and water, natural and free from the
Clean-air and water-well waited, weighted looking- for different and more labour Corporate-City: farms&factoryies time&motion…
She thought of them, then her own family. Out of work, they always found something. Fed themselves from great-gardens and small-farmyards. When the work was finished, they moved on. When the Great-
Corporate moved-in, took over, sold-off Master-Slavery Corporate-style servant-salaried first month free wage- worker weekly, daily, hpourly by the minute: along the roads and waterways, they, her family, had a farm in the countryside for a while, and the parents, lived there. Hers. Through the Industrial now Techno-Future: The Soul of The City commute only tumultuous-Towns and vicious-Villages. Across the River, across the tram tracks, and railway, by the station. The Heart of the City.
Just beyond The ROAD&RAIL AIR ALL PORTS signage.
Settling-in. The-City. Walled and castellated.
Transport and Trade-hub thronged and His parents self-employed en-thron(ed.) their own bosses;
contractors, worked-out on the Building Sites of Towering Sky-Scrapers lining:
The River and lit-up, from the Sun.
Oceanic flag-sails in the wind.
Her-Family. Employed, not their own boss.
Both, as themselves, on some land, renting, from they pay.
Then, they… He and She eventually, buying:
Home-Owners, now. Investors in their own future, and their children’s children, and their’s owned, in-return.
Like: The Home-property itself, capable of being, and being dis-owned propertyies owning
Legal&General traditional owned anyway.
But, for the Mortgage Home-Owners H.O. Corporations and Companies, and now indebted to sums
Monthly affordability or-not.
The-Bank(s). Building and Maintenance Trades. Education, Social-Care and Good-Health first… taxied to meetings and desks. School, HomeWork. Out-and-Out working: Home-Owners and Private and
Publicly Rented-Sector: Community Housing-Association(s) and: under-val(u)(ed.):
Market- Economy: low-interest rates low-wages affordable-payments #4×1% rates
69% late at the office
To: 90% self-Employed advertising tax-paying costs and prices up and down depending on what side of the Power-Play had been Won.
Every second milli-second playing in relation(s) to each-other…
Soon the television was blaring as usual in the morning. In the main room that was empty again for the moment, and beyond where she was now dressing hurriedly, and he was brushing his hair frantically.
There was the noise of children getting washed and dressed, with incessant commentary and conversation to each other, and any other, or just to themselves.
To each other a one-way argument. Older to younger incited over some triviality, shouted back in frustration. At that point the only-game-in-town, and to be fought-out until one of them is crying, and the other shouting-the-odds; before calm is brought.
Evens by one or other parent, supervising, managing, supposedly, to each-other, at least while they all got ready for work, school and pre-school nursery. The sound of the kettle screaming on the kitchen cooker; and television advertisements conveying to deaf ears, and blind eyes, but perhaps receptive memory:
‘The Best in the World’; Or:
‘Longer-lasting’ or whatever the dubious selling point perhaps to be unconsciously recalled later that day, at the supermarket.
At present they seemed to be of no avail, both rushed to get the children to school, and themselves out to work. To earn the pay that would pay the prices at the Super-Market later that day:
‘Where is my shirt?’ he called:
‘Where you last put it!’ she retorted as She entered the living room. She found her shoes under a chair and stopped in front of the television. The networked advertisements ended and the programme returned to the main story of the day:
‘Today there is no money to pay share dividends, or to buy shares with…’
She flicked a channel and got:
‘Group and individual share prices have collapsed or become so high that they have become worthless…’
‘Confidence has collapsed, debt un-diminished…’
‘Price increases have been blamed. Increases in pay and pensions have been blamed. Increases in
Business-Bank Personal-Investment interest-rates and maximizing profit-levels at any cost, have been blam(ed.) Each of these, has pushed share prices ever upwards. As cost and share prices and shop prices overtake the customers’ ability to pay and the ability to pay pushes prices-up, and costs pushes pay-down…’
‘Not pay-up&prices down then?’
< >Profit margins narrowed > Man-Date. Re-captured only by increases in:
Reading-screen: Interest rates on banking and other loans, have pushed share prices up even further on costs and price…’ and a view passed across the screen to locked Factory-Gates and closed down Hospital corridor(s0)…
De-fence: Air: Ports and Sea and Land-Borders: closed to traffic or trade. It did not seem too bad, or even unusual: the Television Experts and announcers liked to make a big deal out of anything She thought: it was their jobs after all. The pictures shifting shift(ed.) to City Office-Buildings.
Steeled glass to the very Sky! that only a few were being allowed into; and then to the squares and circuses around Town and City Centres. All over the globe, all the streets and roads and highways leading there.
A TV reporter turned away from the camera, and let the scene, somewhere else: could be anywhere else, speak for itself. In the kitchen radio-reports followed from the stock-markets around the world:
‘Tokyo Nikkei Shanghai Shenzhen Hang Seng Bangkok: Dubai-Delhi: Bombay: Carib. Africa-
Saudi-UAE: Israel and Egyptian Stock Exchanges…’
‘RTS Moscow Deutche Frankfurt Cape-Town London… and Canada Stock Exchanges: New York Wall
Street and Rio…’
‘Iran-Dubai: Trading-Ports for Oil&Money…’
‘Defensive-position(s): Buenos Aires to Lima…’
‘China. Venezuela and Bolivia. Bots-Wana to Brazil: JSE Securities Nairobi and Nigerian, and
Sydney Stock-Exchanges…’ as she went to look for tea-bags. He got the cups out and put some bread under the
grill to toast.
As the cups were emptied and the door was opened to go-out: The Stock-Market Reports were interrupted by the radio-announcer:
‘We have heard in the last few minutes that The International Conference of Governments and World Banks meeting in Geneva are to make statements, at midday mean-time, on the current state of financial affairs across the globe. The Economic Crises’ around the world…’
They stopped and looked at each other as they heard the announcement:
‘What will they come up with this time I wonder?’ She asked aloud to him and to the radio speaker and
as she went to the bathroom door:
‘Come on you two!’ to the children, and to him in the same breath:
‘What time are you finishing today?’
‘On Lates!’ his reply; with a shrug, noticed, as she said:
‘I’ll have to clock off early then, get a re-placement:’ and She thought another opportunity to sack-me, but if school finishes before work what are we supposed to do?
‘I’m taking them in, anyway!’ he called.
‘I know!’, she replied:
‘We will have to go to the SuperMarket tonight.’ added knowingly: a reluctant necessity when it came
‘Or tomorrow anyway…’ as she kissed him on the lips, quickly, tantalizingly, knowingly this weekly and often daily shopping trip is what they did all this for.
Along with the mortgage-rent and love of their family and children smiling he went out of the door, onto the communal hallway:
‘Another financial crisis!’
He called out, with more than a note of sarcasm, which did not need any reply, other than a disinterested:
She went back inside the living room, and went to turn the television off, as the announcement of the impending declaration from government leaders and world banks were being repeated:
‘Won’t make any difference!’
She shouted over the noise of the
She left the house soon afterwards.
He took the stairs with the children, two-at-a-time one in a pushchair, the other just learning to walk, and they headed-off together for The HERE&NOW Corner Shop turning at the top of the road, pushing the baby buggy uphill, the as if unmade pavement now, in disrepair.
Showing, the lack of maintenance through the good times, as well as the now financial recession, austerityies desperate times. Telling The Walker as He and She said to each other in jest the children laughed at that…Child no-longer holding on to the buggy called-out to:
‘Hold on to the buggy’ answering the constant questions:
‘What’s this?’; and: ‘What is that?’ at the same time and having to say:
‘Be careful!’ every second, and:
‘Stop! making me have to say:
‘Be Careful’ every second!’ and they giggling together, at what, he knew not what.
Not even imagining a time when he and She would not be going to work, and the-children to school and nursery, then keeping them in Our-Dotage: going to pick-up the fallen.
Walking running-off child grabbing the perambulator again, and continued walking hand-in-hand on at the road:
‘Do Not Walk!’ pictured then:
‘Do Not Run!’
The walking-child only hearing the last-word as usual:
‘Run!’ to the other-sibling:
‘Walk!’ and the-other wondering what all the shouting was about, and running:
‘Stop! at the edge!’ hearing all the words this time: more thoughtfully the-elder:
‘Walk. O.K.!’ trying out these new words heard from them and at school.
‘Walk. Stop!’ and stopping in the middle of the pedestrian pavement.
To get collided into and rolling on the ground giggling in the middle of the road! getting-up and running-off laughing, looking backwards,
‘STOP!’ at the corner, turning into the next junction:
‘Stop! at the Road! Kerb. Pav(e)ment…pedestrian…’
He catching up, pushing the pushchair ahead, the walker hanging-on, over the kerb and into the road.
Looking both ways, and then both ways again.
Then back again, one last way this time: too quickly…going to Run! the way the traffic was headed, moving slowly, one car stopped, busy with traffic and pedestrians a polite hand to let them across, to a wave returned.
Watching-out, for all three; and to the oncoming-traffic split by traffic-lights commanding:
Stop, Start, or
Pause…to the other side to the other safety-kerb:
Children chasing on ahead to HERE&NOW Corner Shop.
The ‘little-one’ in the buggy trying to get out to follow, shouting, and pointing with one, then both indexfingers, toward the road:
‘Taxi!’ swivelling around almost falling-out.
‘Taxi-Bus!’ the other returning, giggling:
‘A Taxi!’ correcting POSHish country teacherly-voice, and then it seemed as if they passed the:
‘Shop!’ pleading verbally and non-verbally tugging and whining for sugary sweets:
‘The-HERE&NOW!!’ the other:
‘Helicopter!’ shouted-heat camera-singing and pointing and swiveling around again:
‘Sweets!’ categorically usually not until they came home from school and nursery.
Even then only some days, and if they had been good at school or nursery. But always worth a try…. pointing jumping up-and-down, on the buggy the other falling-out of buckles unbuckled by the older one:
‘As long as you two be-have yourselves today, and they’re not too-bad for your teeth, and you clean your teeth!’ they knew that.
Giggling both, all the more, at some reference only they knew.
To the words, the noises, and the tone of voice, the bedtime:
‘Clean your teeth!’ pause:
‘Properly!!’ The older-one repeated, and they went into more fits of giggles into the Newsagentcomegreengrocers preserved and processed foods and confectionary shop and sometime tobacco cigarette and Alcohol&Tobacco FAGS&MAGS. licensed off-licence like FOOD&FUEL. HERE&NOW as where He, and She, and They stopped each morning, for bread, or a newspaper. On the way to Nursery&School, when it was His turn, always the possibility of both half-mythical and real: after-school sweets maybe as well.
As they crashed through the door the older one getting deliberately, or so it seemed in the way of the socalled by the sarcastic sardonic caustic almost-Elder ‘Baby-Buggy’ bragging asserting rights over the other smaller and weaker and re-leased both leaning-up at the shop-counter not un- usually; but, always pre-dictably in the morning rush-hours with so many other things to think about the only- thought un-able to think about anything-else:
Children! Shopping tonight? outloud:
‘Children! Shopping tonight! Newspaper? Teeth-rotting Sweeties?’ The buggy almost tipped over in the
raucous, the older one falling over the younger, strapped-in, before strained at the straps, snapping painfully- back. Letting out an ear-piercing yell. The Older-One: still giggling, until the younger stood lashed-out as only younger siblings know how too and the older one let out a Yell! then a Scream! apparently exaggerated explication of pain from both now and claims of un-fairness (I)d(i)ot! StooooooopPID! etc.
‘Come-on you’re the Older One, you should know better! Do you have to have to fight and argue over everything! No sweets!’ and then he knew, as soon as He said that that he was A Beaten Man.
A yet louder exclamation set-up.
While the younger looking on in glee, quieted and puzzled, twisted turned looking upwards to The
Father for some re-solution to the questioning plea and fell out of the buggy, unbuckled:
‘Me a’ well?’
Looking up from the floor, the older standing and going to stamp on the younger, smiling sweetly now, the other sprawled on the floor as if felled:
‘Smiling Assassin!’ He called-out from the front of the shop, in reference to the older child, and to
The Shopkeeper who was stacking shelves from remaining stock.
He, holding-up the regular National-Newspaper, the Shopkeeper called:
‘Deaf-Blind Dumb-Assassin(s):’ looking at the newspaper on the counter-pane:
‘Botched. Act-of-Terror.’ pointing to the front-page of one of the ’paper-rags display(ed.):
BOTCHED ACT OF TERROR! and
‘I know.’ nudging toward the TV screen playing silently with caption banner date/time/place:
‘You may as well keep that…’ to the loose-change coins being handed over the counter:
‘…it will be like one of those Free-Ones!’ hearing, and not listened-to until later scanning the headline:
WORLD MARKETS IN TURMOIL! the money left on the shop-counter chuckling when the remark-
‘No, I got it!’ minding:
The-Children who were not fighting but pretending to steal, sweets, not knowing any better yet, knowing better; laughing, and looking obvious.
The Shopkeeper bagged and handed over most of what it was he and the children wanted, pointed at with shrill voices
‘There you are, for later…your Dads’ change!’ the customary-sweet as a-counter-gift now in-change sometimes anyway for a small note passed across the counter.
From the Father and then the Shopkeeper to them and then him:
‘Daddy keep sweets…’
The Children looking pleased, and anxious-also, that they too might have to ‘keep-for-later’ with only the then-conditional:
‘And only if you are both Good To-Day…’
‘All Day.’ The-Shopkeeper added.
The emotional and ethical merged into puzzlement.
Sweets given to the father-patiently waiting to get away to nursery, school, and work. Again consternation, put-on, by the older child, to the younger. Pouting, dropped lower-lip. Acting-out, pretending, face pulling puzzled-at and copied by the younger. Both suddenly laughing at this, and between themselves at something they did not really know what it was to be Good or: All-Day, or To-Day; how, or what, it was, to attain this thing, one of sOh-many, s0-many, different-thing(s)…the-good.