Imagine a hay wagon. Imagine Hardy or Constable. Suffolk. Dorset. Imagine the gentle rocking shuffle of a summer’s day. Straw-in-mouth vacuity. Cider-born sloth.
Imagine a stallion. Imagine a sleek sheen and a surge that unnerves in its sex and its charge. Imagine wind-in-hair joy and the petit mort of clinging to its back.
Imagine a man now – stooped, cane-carrying, tight. Imagine he was instructed by his own father always to come third in his class, to never – ever! – draw attention to his intelligence. Imagine his heart.
Imagine that man approaching you wherever you are right now. Imagine his eyes – night-black, fierce. Now imagine that voice you’ll never forget, the voice of the one that got away. You know the one.
Imagine the man talks to you in that voice. Imagine he asks you two things. Imagine he asks you first if you’ve ever found a truth for which you can live and die. A reason. Imagine your answer.
Imagine he asks you now if your existence is riding the stallion or snoozing in the hay cart. Imagine your answer. But imagine that answer spoken to him by the voice of your father.
Imagine saying goodbye to the man. Imagine watching him move away from you, disappearing finally. Carry on whatever you were doing. Don’t ever think about any of this again.