I had been
waiting in the queue for about thirty minutes, before realising that everyone
had gone. It was raining and cold. I was standing all alone outside a closed
shop in my rainproof trousers. I had wanted to buy a pair of glasses so I would
be able to find my way home again. I had lost a pair getting here. I can’t remember
why I was going out with my glasses in the first place. Maybe I had wanted to lose my glasses, so I could queue.
Waiting has always given me a sense of purpose.

Hateful.

An elderly man with an unreciprocated
glance of recognition had tapped me on the shoulder while passing. He said
‘What are you doing?’


‘Something else’ I said.


The man said huffed something about
wardrobes and shuffled off to a distant car-park. In the distance I could see
how, once in the car-park, the man got out his keys, opened a swinging door
concealed in a bin, got in and attempted to drive off. I was slightly worried but decided to allow the situation.

It was light again by
the time the shop was open.


By now I had already forgotten where I lived. I
bought the glasses anyway from the uptight shopkeeper boy. As I left the shop and wore my new glasses for the first time I realized two things in the less fuzzy field of vision I now had. First, I
could now see the old man from the night before still trying to drive the rather immobile bin. Secondly, I
realized that I was in a road I had never seen before, outside a shop I had
never visited.

I didn’t know where I was.

A brightly-coloured car with uniformed men pulled up. It was as a man in
uniform who shook me and shouted ‘Hey you, you’re Fred aren’t you?’, – I
realized the man was a police officer. ‘My glasses led me here’ I said. The man
gave me a sideways glance, bundled me into the back of the dazzling car and
drove off.

I’m in a cell now. Being here, with
the dripping walls and the mumbling of someone next door, has reminded me that
I have been here before. Tomorrow I will lose my glasses again. And I know where I need to go.

And I have
realized that the old man from this morning is my father. The bin is my home.

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