Trestle Press Feature
I Should Have Seen It Coming
It started five years ago when the bank I worked for announced it was outsourcing to India. I’d been with the bank for ten years, since leaving school, when they said they were laying me – and a few hundred other people – off.
One grey Saturday afternoon I was clearing out my cupboards, looking for stuff to sell, when I found the tarot cards Angie had given me a few birthdays ago. She’d given me them as a laugh, saying that I was forever saying, “I saw that coming”. They’d never been opened. I don’t know why I didn’t just throw them in the ‘for sale’ pile but I opened them instead, and the book that came with it. It said you didn’t need ‘the gift’ to read the cards, the book would teach you all you needed to know; it was just a case of letting them pick the cards then giving them the interpretations.
I’m sitting in my chair; I’m always in my chair. I just have to wait until she turns up to make the coffee and do the dishes. I shouldn’t complain, I suppose it could be worse – we could be in a home. At least Olive still comes.
Do you know what frightens me most? Strangers. I’ve never told anyone that before. Why would I? I’ve had to keep secrets all my life. Had to pretend Peter and Paul were our real brothers, not our cousins. They were too young to remember their mum and dad dying so our Mum said we had to keep it to ourselves. They never knew. I thought it was wrong, I told her that, but Mum said I had to keep my mouth shut.
Excerpt from Inside
I look at the building, half-demolished, as the cranes plough away at the guts of it. I see wires and tiles, the sinew of the building being ripped away. There’s stuff I never even thought about being there. Cars drive past but I’m still just watching. It’s been going on for days now, apparently, but this is the first time I’ve seen it. There’s less than a third of it left to flatten.
People walk past with strollers and tut cos I’m in their way. Pedestrians stare at me as I stare at it, the ongoing destruction of a building that shaped my life in so many ways I can barely comprehend. I remember my daddy taking me in there when I was still in my stroller; I used to beg to go on the car that moved around, music playing. I remember him once even taking snapshots of me as I was jolted around, giggling.
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