Read introduction

Following on from actually posting the letter, here is what happened.
This was about three years ago.

The Letter (2)

Fdf5205c-8b5b-4da8-a6dc-63fe28d680a9by Billy J. Stewart20 Apr 2014

Right.
Window down, press button,
Ticket,
OK, got it..
Park car,
Lock, walk, walk, walk.
Can’t swallow, mouth dry.
Up the escalator to the foyer, scanning like Terminator.
Exact fit.
Ah there he is, he hasn’t changed, phone to ear, life and soul,
He sees me, ends call.
We meet and I just can’t help, what’s wrong with me…
We shake hands warmly, sincerely.
Tripping over small talk and forced banter, forced laughter, forced joy, I discover,
It isn’t forced.
This is not in the script.
Food hall.
Tea for him, black coffee for me.
And finding a table near the back, beside the plastic plant, we plonk down.
Listen I…
Don’t.
And thanks for the letter, I never expected…
How…what…
If we are spotted it’ll be in the bush telegraph in seconds,
East meets West, North meets South, Black meet White,
War meets Peace.
No hang on this isn’t right, there are real issues, unfinished business,
We’re here to…I mean aren’t we..?
I find myself asking about his daughter and the pain opens up the old sore,
But not the war.
And my issues and “rights” and justices seem somehow…
Small.
Tiny in fact.
I swallow my black coffee in gulps, swallow, swallow, swallow,
Its bitter, and strong, and burning, and dark.
He smiles like the old scally I know he is really.
So he asks about me and we swap our humanities,
And before I could stop myself it was out,
I was sorry.
Didn’t handle it well, with hindsight.
Felt like a prick now.
So did he.
We shook hands again.
And in lifting my cup I went to swallow the bitter taste again,
And found,
It was gone.
And so we parted, into the afternoon, him to his phone again,
And me,
Back to the car,
Money,
Ticket,
Ignition,
Out.