The buses are largely empty but have not forsaken Hamilton! One spider plant hangs on in unhappening space shedding on filing, and over on the bookcase, a client gift presides: a pail of gourmet salt, the sentiment, pure Los Angeles, the crumbly stuff, pure Essex. I dash in and out of the Ladies leaving taps running on full and, in my flight, knock a phone clean out of its cradle. Now an aseptic voice tells empty sunlit desks: There are no valid calls in the system.
Earlier, a figure coughed in the street and the cough hung around, like a stray. Distracted, we ran across the road, tripped into a binman’s expletive-rich aerosol – binmen not making the radio’s keyworker list. Much later, recovered, we Zoom from home to home, and the team ask fondly after the mystic salt – so, we rattle the pail end-of-era-wise, much like we thumped random desks at school in those last moments before the future pitched us out into the street, furiously.
First published in The Spectator