Suburban Flight

by Dan

We escaped here.

Down the duel carriageway to the side street of semis. To the lines of Cherry trees whose blossom covers the spare car.

This land is Paul’s land, This Land is my land

From the tanning centre to the teeth of Rylan!

To the very best in barbeque equipment and hen and stag nights in Vegas!

And we’re not ashamed of who we are, we’re not ashamed of our big coloured nails!

If we want a tatt we’ll have a tatt, and if we want a tatt removed, we’ll get it removed!!

And now like a ghost you walk into my salon and ask for a haircut!?!

And part of me still wants to impress you but I’m angry at myself for that.

The teachers liked you at school, and the boys did too. Paul did.

I think you went out with him as a fashion statement, “go out with a footbally buildery type”, more street cred,….. for five minutes.

And I was so jealous, then you got bored and dumped him after two weeks!!!

And now you don’t recognise me. Or if you do you aren’t letting on. Fair enough, it is over twenty years ago now!

Paul said your name in his sleep once, a weird dream I suppose.

And I hear all about you, cos mum still lives in her terrace in Splott. And you live five doors down, with Stefan your folk-singer boyfriend!

Amber, our daughter was fourth in the X Factor and has sung in the West End! Stefan probably earns peanuts and dresses like a tramp!!

But if I talked about her you’d dismiss her as beneath you somehow!!!

If you actually talked at all!

I have tried to mention the weather three times!!! And you are just sitting there with your eyes closed!!

And you turned down the free cava we offered!!

I’ve got to say I’ve no idea how of all the salons in all the world, you came here, to Cut and Dried!?!?

Anyway Shelagh I’m all done,

“Have it on me love! I hope you enjoy the bald look!!??”

You stare at yourself dumbly and then hurry from the shop, still without a word, but maybe in tears …and I feel a little bad.

But still angry!!!

Shelagh got home, having run back to her car crying. She’d forgotten the Pergola she’d gone all that way to get.

She’d realised who it was straightaway but couldn’t remember her name. She should have left then.

But instead she had pretended to be asleep.


She had been subjected to out and out physical abuse, the kind of thing that would have incensed her when she had worked at the women’s refuge.

Now though she got her woolly hat out and put it on.

And after much gnashing of teeth and impotent outrage from Stefan they had both just decided to accept what had happened.

Because deep down she felt guilty that her differences looked so much like entitlement.

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