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The bar is sepia but satellite brings a slice of real life as two supporters wait for kick-off and organise drinks. They have a young girl with them who fidgets until she spills her cola. When the barman brings her a fresh one she smiles for the first time. She wears baggy trousers and a team strip. Her yellow hair is tied into a bunch of tangles and knots. Her colouring book is open but she pushes her pencils into her drink. She tries to engage her father who doesn’t take his eyes off the screen to glance at her. His mouth says ‘yes’ but his eyes say ‘no’. She taps her wooden pencils against the rim of the glass and watches as a woman enters the bar. The woman looks uncomfortable with her friends. The mood of her lips comes through as loneliness.
- Benjamin F Jones
Pre-dawn sleet melts diamonds onto the girls hat as she finds her position on the bus. Half-term has wiped the roads clean, the lights through the one way system are green and we’re two minutes early. The driver stops outside the newsagent. I watch him through the window as he flirts with the lady behind the till. He buys cigarettes and rests his hand on hers. Light shines through the open door like a wedge of homemade butter and spreads itself onto papers tied up with string. The window of the shop is a screen that reflects the lights in the bus. Words are borrowed from a silent movie. Two minutes. As the credits roll the driver locks himself behind a sheet of Perspex, with holes so he can breathe and a slot for tickets. He closes his eyes and releases the brake, she is the only person he will touch that day.