Making faces at the bus-stop. I like to burble at the sparrows and tell jokes to the neighbourhood cats. They feign disinterest but I know they’re cracking up inside. Poker-faces. That’s what cats have. Yet they’re no good at cards as they’re too easily distracted by making your hand into a tunnel, or spinning your chips so they shine in the light.
The Cortina doors are rusty and creak when they’re opened. I think Elvis should have oiled them when he did his first post-humous tour of Basildon in ’78. Cortinas were big then. As were the neighbourhood cats. It was tougher in the seventies. There hadn’t been years of Garfield to acclimitase people to obese pets.
There’s an old tape machine that likes to chew up tapes. Some people say it’s because it’s an old heap of junk. I like to think it’s exercising its musical conscience. Supertramp and Dana are chewed, the funny compilation tape my uncle made of Polynesian folk music for my christmas present once is not.
The Cortina has a body in the trunk. It is not mine. I do not know how it got there. But it has made a new home inside the spare tyre, and talks to me on long trips. It talks about highways it could have been on. And fishing. And where ghosts go when they’re tired.
I’m sitting alone in a Ford Cortina. Waiting for my mojo to turn up.