The Hour Passed Like A River

Neil Campbell is from Manchester. Latest novel Lanyards out now. t: @neilcambers

You went in at lunchtime with the lads. Played darts and had a few pints. The cricket was on TV. Orange buses went past the window. The hour passed like a river.

Back on the forklift, the beer in you, floating around the warehouse, radio playing tunes of the time, tunes that take you right back there now whenever you hear them. Accidents, minor accidents, yes, they happened, but nobody was really hurt. The sun came in under the opening shutter doors, maybe there was a female driver there for once. When she left the stock got put away, no pressure felt, just a drift around the loading bay in a haze of harmless drink driving.

The afternoon wandered by and then it was a short walk to where the pub used to be, and with the sunlight still shining in through the windows more beer was had, pool was played, and before you knew it, maybe you’d reached Wednesday.

This was back before they changed the city by knocking all the old pubs down and reducing the red brick walls to rubble, before the cranes went up and tall glass buildings lined the sky reflecting the big dreams of little men. ●

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