perhaps he’s married?
no, he doesn’t feel married
the school, the street, the flat
he gets the impression of isolation

As if chiming in with his train of thought
the old man continues
– & what line of work are you in, yourself?
Annie works in a shop up in the village
I guess you know
we all thought she could have gone on to college
been a teacher, a lawyer, anything
but Mickey did for all that
not that it was his fault, of course, poor lad

– I’m a teacher
so much seems true
at a Language school
– Oh, a teacher, educated man
that’s good, that’s good
you’ll be a bit of reader, then?
I like a good read myself
not novels, biographies, mainly books
about real things that happen
I read a lot about UFOs, that kind of stuff

No answer seems to suggest itself
he does know, vaguely, what a UFO is
though the significance of the word itself escapes him
the old man notices his hesitation
& shifts tack to another line of conversation
– I spose you don’t get much time for reading yourself
with all that marking, watching kids in the playground
I always thought that Annie’d make a good teacher
not that she’s ever had kids, mind you
but she seems to understand them pretty well

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