Clay

“Are you the farmer” I asked the man with stringy dirty orange baling twine trailing from his tattered Tweed jacket.

He looked at me and my dog with a glazed expression and muttered something under his unpleasant morning Cider breath, before turning toward his Mitsubishi, getting in and driving off, no indicators, no seat belt with a “Fuck you” to any day dreaming drivers.

I tied the dog up outside the shop, having to unhook the lead from collar, thread it through the ring and double it through the handle again before clipping back into the collar, as the rain dribbled down my back, and my glasses slipped down my wet nose.  I took them off and stuffed them in my breast pocket pulling out my filthy mask, I must wash it soon, its foul, what must people think?

The shop bell chimed as I entered, the red faced shopkeeper behind a smeared medical visor, the result of the shop door being opened and closed all day long, hot and cold air and the sweat beading permanently on the man’s forehead, before making its way down the road map of his brow and dripping from his nose. He wiped it off; another smear.

“Weather’s rotten” I said wiping rain from my forehead as I placed the paper on the counter top. “What do they grow in those fields? They’re absolutely sodden”

“It’s clay.” he laughed, “more chance of a fucking unicorn stud up there. That’ll be £2.50 please”

I paid the man in loose small change and sticky car dust i’d cobbled together from the filthy central console in my car before i’d set off to walk the dog.

“What an eloquent bunch” I spoke to the dog as we walked back down the road through the mizzle.

“Bloody Tourists” said the shopkeeper to his wife as she brought him a steaming cup of clay coloured coffee.

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