No 10 - January 2000
from crash poems: mary tavy
it gets dark without the amber pollutin familiar around. all the more so: when the headlites go out.
doin me head in. i’m gonna fuckin killim. if it hadna been rainin i problee still be waitin. cept i wouldn’t. i still woulda taken first lift, whoever was drivin
oi! stop pissin around/fuckin about/putcha fuckin lites on slow down/drop me now & watch the fuckin traffic! jezus h.tapdancing/i cannot believe this
you know there’s no need to get so aggressive if you really can drive then why are you hitching?
just do me a fava: put ya fuckin lites on alrigh pal?
i can’t: the car’ll breakdown see it’s jumping now
switch ya fuckin lites on!
i can’t: powers gone
then how cum the engine’s still runnin?
well it cuts in & out/i wouldn’t try fooling...
once we get back to tavistock...
look mate i ain’t gonna tavi
fuckin askin you nicely: putcha fuckin lites on!
no roadsigns right now. it’s all fuckin hedges. left turn here/ phonebox there/village to the right abit/a mile down there: house with lites on. doan need this i do not fuckin need this traipsing round cardiff/travellin all day/adding miles for the sake of this dipstick who’s drivin (what’s driving him?).
roads get smaller/hedges get taller, he refuses to illuminate our arrival. i stretch to switch but he crowds me out/hafta accept he wants ta drive the darknite can see me bouncin out any moment. bring rucksack from footwell to knees can’t take much more of this/don’t care if iss him or me gota remove as soon as kappish.
can see: nothing; odd glimpse of field & proximity of bramble. can feel: we’r increasin/descendin a vale, reach foot & there’s whitehouse litup & fuckit! a pub! (well spotted my son/another tick in me i-spy book of madlifts on dartmoor) goes by too quick&dark to spot swingsign or logo
watchout! fuckinell watch that van! lites on! lites on!
you cunt/that was close!
now will you leave on ya lites yes or no?
(froma turn by the pub a transit edgd out taxi’ing punters from snug to the countryhouse nearly taking us out in the process)
& all this daft twat has ta say to me?
would you mind not calling me a cunt please?
he’s acceleratin. steady but definite/unnervin. too dark/too quiet don’t deserve this/this hurtling.
“courtcase” “funerals” drives like a suicide ah fuckinell robson what you got inta this time? he’s replaced the puppy & sweets witha dry lift & weed you dozyarsed prick you’r in schtum; any fuckin where for all that you know. i wanna panel im. i do i wanna panel livin fuck outa him but he’s drivin & if plant: we’ll crash, fast enuff to kill there’s no way i’m going out cos of whata prick whata complete fuckin prick i’m reliant on in where the fuck’s that leave me? this a new one: in fear of me life jus cos of uncertain in passt when i’ve crashd i’ve relaxed due to inevitable
any second now!
get on with it/it’s gonna happen/nothin can stop/let’s go with the action but this? this: bizarre/this: if survive do i batter or run? think wise/gain control: this guy knows tavi, best leave befor we hit town.
estimate distance from landmark ta landmark with attention to direction & stars. (farmhouse/sideroad/something goin down home/ about two mile/turn/the other side of/shadowy sign stuckout from hedge: can’t read it. downhill/sharp left/every detail stored/ checkt til the next snip of info/always know the last lit thing passt my window.)
there is: little traffic. vehicles turn off or lite hedges in distance. but we are losin power/slowin down i realise we climb (gravity, the shape of nature) there’s a rise but i can’t see what distance or gradient. look out the side. edge slows to focus: few scratches if lucky/a possible soft landing. decide gotta risk/judge & conquer the distance/use all of me skills hid since childhood gymnastics/since winning the longjump (torfaen mini olympics) we are talkin: gold; champion; podium position (befor i let monmouth suck out the energy). gota pre-empt force on the engine & loosenin of revs/abandon as changes/forces box to the edge/the crest befor accelerate/scream hill, element burnt face, pick me moment. listen to revs.
the precise shift & soft clunk of seatbelt undone so as not to arouse awareness of plan/turn to up lockpeg/pull back the handle
i’m gon pal!
most calm. did me job well (congrats, land any second now) & slam! roll inta hedge & mud, chchcheck for possession of bag & ankles aren’t done by the impact or act of arisin & run! run like kinell; scarper like fuck to the pub at the turn where we nearly hit van, don’t focus/look back, the aim for the moment is: haste (i’ll be downin a brandy/usin the phone/tellin me story/acceptin a smoke & like
you will not believe what’s just happened to me!
don’t worry lad, this one’s on me
any second now).
nearer & lisend for sound ofan engine: nothing. worries. gota sprint like fuck/gota sprint like fuck cos can’t turn back he could freewheel this gradient & still take me out like permanent.
reachd door then stopt/bangd on & pantin like fuck you really shouldn’t take a draw if ya gonna run this fast
a woman opens door, realise i suspiciously unknown.
i come in please?
i use the phone?
i jus been jus hadta jump from this hitchin see wrong turn this nutta this car wi no lites jus hadta jump! hadta he coulda taken me anywhere fuckin scary so i gota phone fora lift scuse language but can i please? nice safe cheers
there’s a youngman here wants to use the phone
who is it?
don’t know, said something about: i dunno...
tell him we’re closed
will you deal with him? he looks, uh, you know...
ay mate i’m jus using the phone, won’t be a sec: priority one
pushing thro door & meeting head on/ova threshold & warm, gets all kindsa looks, there’s what? six of em tops. i smiles like enter their igloo ina polar storm
chchcheers where’s it to?
through there/in alcove/passt gents.
i follows me nose; finda coin & phone. she takes: time to pick up
she expectin a call from marshmills about now/i tries to explain my dilemma
where are you?
i have no idea.
scuse but: where is this pub?
they look to each other. barman replies
what you mean mary tavy!?
mary? mary tavy? so wass-a/west of plymouth?
no east, old son
i tells sal/tells: lock ya doors, drive fast. she sez
mary tavy? where the fuckinell’s that? & what pub?
jezus christ! i’m in: scuse? whass the name of this pub?
i puts down phone/hit bar fora wet one
sorry bout that hope i didn’t freak you out i been hitchin from kahdiff/headin for plymouth & i jus had a lift froma deadweird geezer & i hadta jump! froma movin vehicle any chance of a pint while i’m here?
we’re closed now son.
i’m not bein funny buh if you could jus do me a brandy i’ll just pop it & gon... gota wait for me girlfriend: she’s coming from town
you can wait outside.
yeh but he’s a nutta/could come back, kaarn i jus like, hide?
stood outside. i am: moored. realise in the bigblue countrydark from which i was runnin; remember an american werewolf in london (thanks a fuckin bundle); figuring what next when headlites beam ova rise & fuckit i’m off pounding life out me legs, by time i get anywhere the car zooms ahead/ceases to exist cept in hearin. i am: in a clearing, see gleaming. in the fuckin carpark see metaltrim shinin. look back to pub: see em curtain twitchin & they are i realise so fuckin scared for their motors.
i have few options. my time-distance gridzone plungin pre-zero/ plummet passt normal/thro an inferno of dodgy emotion & dubious cognition juss fuckinurryup creepfeel sacrificial & i ain’t keen.
hide between cars/behind hedgerow; peer between thicket & branch; see abstract dark-lite-dark/unrecognisable vehicle travellin at knots, recoil: proximity of hubcaps (was it him? did he see?) feels like fuckin banjo country/come on!/me nervends split ting.
pub door opens. a bloke scans carpark while a woman leaves talkin towards me. takes out her keys. walks to a car opposite me & the two between which i am hidin. gess in. glares as she’s lockin. puts lites on fullbeam (locals gon rabbiting; realise to them i am unknown, territory skulking. i am: solitary; deadmeat/roadkill up befor jury. they sense me: bad omen).
she drives off. publites go out. dark unknown everynite forces are active. i hear it. unable to roll a fag cos shiver & hide; redglow giveaway disturbin. my leg aches. my hand hurts (bangin for entry). imagination panics me to rapid shifts to see noises behind, or not. keep still/keep waitin, til certain of safety.
car comes direction i’d been runnin, takes junction. slowcrunch to carpark. keep hidin. engine runnin, insects hummin, door open & from lite: bastards check thro pub curtain.
i recognise the revving (madtwat or girlfriend?) i know sound but no specs/can’t rely on nite vision, reckon two in car. spot the heave of the chassis & frontlamp arc one of them’s: woman, both: are woman, one is sal’s flatmate (bit coincidental) then realise driver is sal. scan. then run
ina car!getna fuckin car! quick shit putya fuckin foot down!
& im in & slamshut &
turnround take a left left again so you’r headin back out i’ll explain ina minute but for now: putcha foot down!
she does. but she ain’t fuckinappy wi me freakin her out.
i’m noting roadsigns on way home/explain, shock. lit by beams
tavistock (you put ya foot down please)
crapstone dousland walkhampton
crownhill & plymouth (amber glow)
stick kettle on while i gota get rollin/gota stop rollin/escapin this headshot fucktup holymoly/fuckin hitchin malarky: who needs it? from now on i’ll hide ina toilet on train (lifts from strange geezers? fuckin mug’s game...)
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