Alastair Howard Robertson
There I was, sitting on a park bench talking as earnestly and finally to a girl as if I were in love with her; a sort of formal leave-taking in a tiny park perched above the river while the freight-trains below shunted in the noon-hour sun. They were to alter the landscape there, build on it, most likely have, by now; it will undoubtedly improve it, but the physical fabric of the past disintegrates, and I am not sure what else there is. The houses I have been happy in, old, small, comfortable, curious dilapidated places, have mostly been demolished; others, cold, featureless substantial stone Victorian terraced rooming houses endured a month or two, are still standing. I am not nostalgic, only obscurely disturbed; I am not sure what else there is, except a sort of formal leave-taking; I was coming here, and she going to work in Marks and Spencer’s in Newcastle. There was the warm, serious talking of friends, and nothing else: I have not seen her since, nor heard of her, nor the place, which is, probably, altered.