Saturday, July 01, 2006

The photo I never took

I'm not going to make a secret of the fact that I was on Portugal's side this evening, though my overwhelming feeling was (as usual) indifference. I am up in Lancashire and I slept through most of the match... we went out for Chinese food during extra time and worked out the result from the deathly hush which descended over the town about halfway through our starters.
I have hated the flags on cars and the preponderance of red, white and blue nylon shirts which are made in Chinese sweatshops and will be landfill tomorrow. But I know a lot of people are really sad, and I like some of them, so I am sad for them. I can do empathy. Sometimes.
I went on a wander through deserted pubs looking for Mick the builder, who has changed his mobile number without telling people in that way that builders do. I gave up after guess number three: it was all a bit edgy ghost town, with a heavy (for this part of the world) police presence.
Walking back, I saw the perfect photo opportunity. Four teenage boys - two in red, one in white, one in blue - were sitting in a row in the bus shelter outside Spar. Their heads were bowed in dejection and the evening sun shone on the St George's crosses dyed into their number threes.
My hand reached for my camera, but it wasn't the sort of photo you should take without asking, and they weren't looking like it was a moment they wanted recording for posterity. So I just watched them for a while, till people started staring (they don't get many hippie types round here), and I walked home to drink posh red wine with my dad.


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