Last weekend, I found myself at a grubby reclamation yard. Not in a revelatory, momentous, personal kind of way. I simply mean I was there. In person. At the reclamation yard.
This is important because I was there with my wife and not my children, who are beautiful, all-encompassing creatures who fill my days with joy and nonsense. When I am with them, they have my full attention.
This is also important.
We went to the reclamation yard because we wanted to buy a wood burner on the cheap and we’d dropped the boys off at my parents, so we could get stuff done. It's a strange place, the reclamation yard, three portacabins jigsawed together beneath a corrugated roof that looks like it could go at any minute. It is cold, damp and full of curiosities.
We quickly found the wood burners. We stood by the wood burners. We talked about the wood burners. We had questions about the wood burners. My wife left to find the man. It is almost always a man.
While I waited, I looked around at shelves and shelves of tat and treasures. In that brief, solitary moment, all I saw was stories. Stories, stories everywhere. Stories and questions.
That piano, with its broken-teeth keys and filthy lid. Where did it come from? Who did it belong to? Why did they stop playing?
I took out my phone, swiped up to access the camera, took a picture.