the ability to lip-read can be crowding…


being able to lip-read is a fucking curse.

sitting a coffee-shop, surrounded by people, bombarded with their shite – a silent barrage of words and excerpts of conversations is both crowding and disconcerting.

a middle-aged woman, in window seat and dog-tooth check, ‘talks’ about her husband’s enlarged prostate to her (bored) friend.

a young couple, sitting opposite one another, ‘talk’ about buying new dining room furniture.  he wants oak, she doesn’t want the expense.

the Polish and the Turks remain anonymous with their espressos.

a rotund woman, with beard, and disabled wailing mother in a wheelchair, sits with her cellphone jammed between her chins and leaves a message to her husband. i ‘listen’ as she explains to him how to turn on the damned oven.


a retired couple, to my left, sit in quiet accord nursing dregs.  he has a murderous look in his eye as he ‘speaks’, lowly, of some local car mechanic and how it always seems to be the case that precisely two days after each time he puts his car in to have one thing fixed only to collect it and discover something else is either ‘failing or fucked’. [his ‘words’ – not mine!]

“total fucking cowboy!” he barks [i can hear him] “i won’t be taking it back to that cunt!”

his wife looks on, embarrassed. she raises her mug to hide behind it, sipping from an empty.

i look outside. it is raining. again.

i finish up my dregs and head out into the ‘quiet’ and most welcome water….


(c) Kat McDonald 2016






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