Howard Firkin
That’s it. The place that launched a thousand miserable careers. I hadn’t thought of it in years. The ex-mail boy returning slowly as he dares; a saunter up the pebble-coated stairs to face the great unscene of memory: a boy, a tray, a franking machine, the mail room, mini skirts, and typists who were keen: Joan and Zina, Sue, Janine, where are you all? The reps and clerks gone with the screwed up paper ball of office cricket matches—down which hall? Shane and Pat and Bert and Mister Kimber who retired hurt; his vacant eyes and in-tray seemed to say "In thirty years of service I’ve done nothing to deserve this…" All gone, but this survives somehow: a building of the nineteen sixties kept its time and place while all around were losing theirs. Who cares? I lost mine with the body shirts, the mining shares, the brown toned suits with wide lapels and hipster flares, patchouli oil, the barbers’ chairs, Ted’s postal van that had no spare, parmigana, steak tartare, moustaches, sideburns, shag pile hair… our holes so round, our pegs so square. I’m standing in the here and then. You had to be there. Not again.