I remember him now and then When I’m feeling brave enough to recall my childhood Mr. Strathclyde He was a welcome break from the ceaseless banality of the suburbs I’d see him every Saturday morning on my way to work Damp panatela clamped between his gums Stained string vest and pyjama bottoms Smirking like he’d just told a racist joke that no one had heard ‘Morning sport’ he’d yell at me over the thrum and whine of his lawnmower I hated sport But I liked him ‘Morning Mr. Strathclyde’ His lawn was immaculate Set square perfection He’d tend that lawn until they took him away he used to say I never saw Mrs. Strathclyde, although I knew she was lame Sometimes you’d see the curtains twitch in the bedroom upstairs
One Saturday I was walking to work when I noticed a weed growing in the centre of the lawn Right in the centre, defiling it The next week there were more weeds The grass was getting longer Clover and moss burst through the pristine layer of grass A crisp packet lounged in the corner, its garish maw gaping obscenely After that my dad lost his job and we moved to the other side of town I never saw Mr. Strathclyde’s lawn ever again
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