Driving past

by little red pen

Last night I drove past the street where I flatted as a student. Nothing unusual in that; I pass it most days. But there was something about the dark, the lit-up takeaway joints, the erratic student reversing down the one-way, and suddenly I could taste something, or maybe smell it. As I drove on, towards my partner, my sleeping children, I tried to hold the scent, to decipher it. And there it was. Gin, Pringles, and a slight undertow of Trade Aid instant coffee — the sort they don’t sell anymore now that they’ve got flash and moved into the ground coffee and paper-bagged spices and dark chocolate market.

God, but those were the days, weren’t they? That funny, cold, wobbly little cottage with the walled back garden, where we learnt politics and love and friendship. That earnestness, that ability to pour a stiff drink whenever the mood took. I wouldn’t go back now, but I did like the little taste I had, driving past.