Waiting and wilting an eternity, and when the last drops of Life fall through the crack'd pavement-slabs in big pearly blobs you rumble the beast of a Big Red Bus bustling and bullying to the brink of Archway Hill — at first a faint phantom of red, two broken beams of yellow war-time search-light, faces smeared against the greasy glass of the upper deck, a moving Tower of Babel illuminated with the last bulbs of Christmas, as high as Heaven the Big Red Bus screaming and sliding to a halt on the slippery slope of black ice.
You clamber the platform and grasp the rust-ice chrome pole burning the skin of your palm, and nod to the conductor frozen and disinterested like a waxwork dummy, the wheels (on the bus go round and round) rumbling under your feet; and you scramble the spiral staircase on mother’s coat-tails, steel-tipped steps as big as concrete blocks coated with dog-ends and blobs of spit that slip and squish beneath the soles of your sodden sandals, and safely to the top you emerge into a sea of yellow smoke and steaming sweat, a disjointed devil’s choir of disgruntled voices, and shuffle along the aisle bumping legs and bags and babies, and slump into your customary seat at the front, your pink finger tracing rude shapes on the grime-grey glass, you peer with shock and awe at an unfriendly world, and the angry smog smothering babies in prams, and controlling the cold chrome rail with both hands steering from the cockpit of a Spitfire.
Fired with the holy spirit of the Lard and fresh from the infection of a sixties’ Mormon Sunday School lesson, mother’s cheeks glow a rose-glory-red: pupils pupate and sparkle like supernova diamonds of the highest ecstasy, soft pit-a-pump steps as if walking on water, the blood-smile plumps, and a sudden fear overwhelms your unformed mind of the high danger that mother-dear might throw hard her smack-palms to Heaven, cry Hallelujah! — Praise the Lard! Praise the fucking Lard! — let me be consumed with the blood of baby Jesus! — and sing the love of the Lard to the unsuspecting and unsolicited people of the top deck of bus 279.
For every Sunday morning you bear witness to mother’s soul enflamed with high passion and rapture to the addictive pull of an orgy of object lessons, and with eyeballs as big as flying saucers, and a strange unworldly shine, you feel the joy of being blessed with the lesson of a deck of cards — for the good Lard himself, oh game sisters and brethren, might not Lard baby Jesus be likened to the Ace of Spades? The Morg (joker’s wild) prophet (Herr Stompenführer Joseph) likened by the sheeping flock to the King of Spades. And perched upon the throne of Solomon at the front — for, lad, is not Bishop Mengele the most important man in your life, and don’t you forget it — the lizardist man with the divinest duty to frown unceasingly, yeah, until the fourth generation and beyond, likened to the Jack of Spades ... And you know full spanking well with your seven-year-old sense of fully matured cynicism that the shuffling of so underhand an analogy is hardly appropriate for an arch-right-thinking Sunday School lesson: but, senses benumbed, finally, after thirty-nine bus-stops with the screech of rubber and metal and glass on ice, you heroically decline to puncture the rapture and rhapsody of mother’s happiest moment regurgitated over Sunday dinners again and again and again to the ends of time: fresh, conveyer-belt, pink-hollow-cheeked missionary-innocents gushing and slobbering with sacrificial offerings of Sunday crucified chicken, (no seasoning and no salt of the Earth), no escape — count them, come back, children, for the last time, where are you? — with the orgasmic enthusiasm of a young lover, mother delivers this fresh analogy for the first time, for the next fifty years for ever rehearsed, Sunday dinner rehashed.
Suicide faithful friend from the grave an honourable option against the suckered mother-infected misted glass at a slate-grey stale brutalist world: sister, brother, low deep inside the membraned sac the last semblance of soul is dead, and the sense of dread — deep dread — drenches your sensitive heart — with a strange upsurging of rebellion, that now — now — is the wrong time and place — Not now, dear, for Heaven’s sake — behave — Life has tricked you with the cruellest deceit, and you should never have left with your back turned to the picture show and the Cave of the Unborn. For every hour of every day your old familiar friend Despair — will fuck you, fuck you — will dig deeper the longing to be far away from this wasteland of withered analogies, from the waking of devilish depression, and dark, deep, downright dire, dreary dread of a grey unfriendly world of walking dead.