Question & Answer 1 – Amanda Johnston

Question 1

There’s a Glaswegian guy outside with me as I call
……….the store and ask them to let me in. He wants
……….a coffee, he’s celebrating because his team
………………..won and I spend the morning
……….wondering what he means when he says ‘team.’
Maybe he’s talking about some drinking game last night.

…………………………And my manager whispers ‘are people shopping already?’

Or maybe he has been pushing hard for 2017, cheering
……….it to finally usurp 2016 and showcase dominance
……….for three hundred odd days. Or maybe he just
………………..talking sports. Probably sports.
……….I want to meet everyone, get their stories.
Don’t you, Amanda?

…………………………And my manager whispers ‘I haven’t set up the coffee yet.’

He comes back in an hour later to get his Americano
……….and pays with money he has earnt busking.
……….I ask about his team, and he gives a small
………………..cheer and attempts to rouse the
……….whole café into supporting Celtic’s victory
over Rangers. It’s a pretty fun, kinda great moment.

…………………………And my manager whispers ‘Dave is here.’

Dave walks in with all the nonchalance of a man
……….who doesn’t look malnourished, and unloved.
……….The Glaswegian guy walks out and Dave wants
………………..a mug of tea. He mumbles
……….and dribbles on the floor, too much saliva
for his beard to hold. He looks like he needs some help.

…………………………And my manager whispers ‘Dave’s a convicted paedophile.’

– Aaron Kent

Answer 1

……….“Choice. The problem is choice.” – Neo, The Matrix

An architect stands over your life measuring
the width and scale of your lungs, the minimum
amount of oxygen needed to toil through
the coming day’s expectations.

You count the ways you could have swerved, left
the surface of existence, and plummeted below
icy water on your way to the passing of time:
a desk, a line, a pre-packaged opportunity.

The man looking down from heaven is always a man
even when you know better. He guides you back, right
with subtle there, there winds that gently bend you
to kiss his feet at the altar of divine sacrifice.

Ahead of you waits the mountain you were told
not to climb. Too little oxygen up there. Too cold.
You grip the wheel, knuckles frozen, and press the gas
as clouds drift in and out of your mouth.

– Amanda Johnston

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