January 13


Clean Slate 13/1

In london, the East End to be precise. Down a notorious street, near a market is a house. A double fronted place. Behind a well painted door lies a corridor, with rooms of business hiving off. The biggest acts as the jewellers. A large glass display counter dominates the room, and is tastefully laid out with gold and silver items. New. Old. Pawned and never collected. It’s all the same in this shop. Staff bustle efficiently about their business. Happy in their work, they smile and chatter amongst themselves . Unless the proprietor is on the floor, then they are silent. Only speaking when dealing with clients Wary rather than fearful, the change however is noticeable.

Between the counter and the wall beyond there’s a private room, where you can buy and sell items, discreetly away from prying eyes. It has a table, some uncomfy chairs. That’s not the room we’re interested in.

Ours lies at the top of the narrow stairs. On the surface an office, it’s also a sitting room. In front of the iron stove which heats the room and serves as a cooker, two wingbacked armchairs take pride of place. Old, spotlessly clean, they smell of leather and love. A child’s drawings line the wall. Family are shown growing up. Two people. Uncle and child. Through her eyes. From strangers to best friends.

In one corner there’s a small truckle bed. In another a chair with a cushion. On the shelf well thumbed account books show a business as affulant as any in the empire. Perhaps more so. On the window ledge a milk bottle cools.

A desk with two chairs dominates the scene. Empty, save for a blotting pad, ink-well, and pens. Life and death decisions are made at this desk.

This is the house I see via a clean slate.