Ash McClenaghan

A pair of pink plastic "venetian bliners" or "shutter shades".

[This piece was written in response to a collection of objects, each of which appears in it.]

Arrgh, these new glasses are uncomfortable thought Sitzn
walking towards home, though the park, rose in hand for his valentine.
It was, of course, a plastic one.
Long gone the days when a buying real flowers was a possibility.
In front of him the grassy path was strewn with debris – litter.
A plastic handle, a vape cartridge, a Matchbox car.
Whaaoo, thought Sitzn, they dredge deep.
Forty years since he bought a Matchbox from a vintage toy shop.
A scamper in his peripheral vision – boy these glasses are ‘good’.
More movements. Ah yeah, here come the rats.
He remembered the rat’s teeth sinking into his calf
as he walked into his uncle’s pig pen all those years ago.
Tentatively he walked on, meandering to avoid the rat packs,
berating himself for having on Twitter – that old social media –
boasted to his mates about the attack at his uncle’s.
He exited the park into his street.
Bin bags had been piled up all over.
Some spilling out. Then the smell.
Unbelievable! Not the smell but the sense of it.
How do they do that?
Sitzn hurried along his smelly street to get to their house.
He went around the back to hide the rose in the shed.
Even the garden was a mess: dirty socks, old trainers,
… a teddy bear’s head – really!
Hey darling, he shouted, going in though their back door.
Jess came down the stairs.
It looks beautiful outside, she greeted him brightly.
Was she just winding him up?
In his own house he could finally take off the glasses.
What a punishment! He’d only dropped one snack wrapper.
You’d think that they were living in Zurich or something.