Sam crossed the ankledeep, blackrain street, and setting his back to it, stepped up to the redbricked Rotten Fox. The panes glowed yellowblack and orange. He capped his brow, saluted the glass and glimpsed her therein, almost at once, a rose among ruins.
The carpet was threadbare last century. It wonders what these new feet want. The bar is backmirrored, busied. Whippet faces and bulldog faces flash and snap, mercurial. There are broken, black, crooked, cracked, braced, filled, missing and plastic teeth. Heads, cheaply crowned.
Rheumy eyes, in and behind glass, follow and swallow. Round shoulders straighten. Straight backs slacken. Dirty denim, soiled cotton, polyester, flesh: beerbelly, bingo wing, fat. There are scribbles and doodles decorating arms and wrists and hands; blue knuckles, ringed fingers of crap gold and silver. A shoe dangles from a foot by a strap. Elvis Presley, with speed jitters and knitting needles, details lament from the jukebox– ‘…train, train…’