Sunday, 12 January 2014

The House


A long time ago now on my way up Hornsey Lane to work I passed an old lady standing on the other side of the road next to an easel with a picture of a house.

"Have you got a cigarette?" she shouted across the road.
"I don't smoke" I shouted back.

For a long time after that the old lady would be there each morning building the house in the picture. For some reason she started with the roof then the walls and ended with the foundations. 

I never saw anyone help her and think she built the whole place by herself, which was really quite something for a woman of her advanced years. It took her months. 
(I don't know if she worked on the house on the weekends.) 
Every day I passed she would shout across the road: "Have you got a cigarette?" and I would shout back "I don't smoke."

A few days before her house was finished I passed by as usual and she had opened her mouth to shout "Have you got a cigarette?" when I beat her to it and shouted "I don't smoke."
  
"Prick" shouted the old lady.


*

When her house was finished the old lady went away and no one ever lived in the house. I don't know why, perhaps it was all that non-existent cigarette smoke that put people off.




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