In the city…

 

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‘Up the Junction’ cafe. The waitress, new to the job, smiles at me. A young red haired girl comes out of a shop cradling half a dozen eggs in her hands, singing as she crosses the road. Donald Trump on the radio, customers murmur. Steaming plates of sausages and mash. The cafe owner doodles on his order pad. Outside the smell of mens’ cologne mingles with diesel fumes and stale beer in the doorway of the Central Bar. A woman in her car, sits smoking a last cigarette before her shift starts. The city’s recycled glass piled high at the edge of the quay. Gulls sit, picking amongst the shards, fragments of music pitching, falling, twinkling in the sun.

The picture framers.

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Charlie Marr, picture framer, Leith. The shop – fluorescent tubes light the archive of forty years of scoring, cutting, nailing, stapling, glueing, fixing, stringing. Frames hang from the ceiling, row upon row of windows waiting to be filled with a pastel portrait of a first world war soldier, a photograph of a loved one. Landscapes you painted of a favourite view, the place where you fell for her, where you forgot to bring the flask of tea, again; to be mounted and boxed and glazed to keep the dust and the dirt away from what time does to paper and our memories.