“Damn gears,” he groaned, eyeing the gradient’s rise. He should’ve had the Mini 1000 in first, but there he was at the hill’s foot, his own foot planted firmly on the pedal, and engine labouring in third. Wipers were on intermittent, smearing the drizzle that smattered the windscreen. Waterboys on radio; he drifted with the song…out to sea: Wished he was a fisherman, abound by wind and wave, being tumbled about his trawler. No sign of land to any quarter. His head too full with fishes and nets to pull to care for his memories. No ceiling neither for his claustrophobia, save for clouds that split ‘for the starry sky above’. The tune took him in. Young Michael craved a special fish, a girl fish, a mermaid in his arms. Woo, he sang.
Down to second gear. Another wipe from the wipers. Less moaning from the gearbox as the gradient flattens to be the crest. Radio sings to you, Michael, and you hear it thus: as you slow out there, you speed in here. Way, way too fast. You should be the brakeman, on this charging, creaking, frenzied train. Cannoning across the country; windows streaked by rain. Waking all the sleepers with whistles, clunks, and burning coal. Field and town a-blur as you pierce the night’s soul. Don’t you wish you had a girl, Michael? That passenger girl in first class, a maiden in your arms? Woo, you sing.
Down to the Mini’s lowest, whining, gear. “Damn wrong choice again,” I leave the hill’s brow, the drizzle, and eye the gradient’s fall to the glimmering matrix city below. “Ho hum,” the radio crackles with interference, but splits to reveal the third verse. I sing, I sing for me: come the morrow, comes the freedom from the shackles that have held me fast; loosened enough for me to slip through, they’ll clank no more and tumble away, at last. And on that destined morrow, I’ll be a passenger on that steam train, I’ll be a merman in that sea. The new light in my life will be you in my arms. It’ll be one, two. I’ll be one to thee. And thee’ll be one to me. Woo, I’ll sing.