They walked down the street feeling like kings, they knew what it was to be treated like pigs; life at home was tough, the winter unforgiving. Every Saturday night the rage and disappointment pickled their minds into disorientated idiocy. If they were lucky they stumbled home their faces in chip wrappers, if not they ended up collapsed against piss sodden walls. They tried not to think about how they would manage when they returned to the cold grey city, a home they loved but a place that made their hearts ache with sadness as it was a dark and miserable place to live. For the first time in years they wore thin shorts and brown sandals their chests bare and bronzed, they loved the attention they got from the girls, it made them feel like men, desirable. The women at home didn’t look at them like that, the women at home scowled in their faces, swore, asked, what the fuck they were looking at. It was a bright day in paradise, the sun was beating down on their faces and they didn’t want it to end.
Photo from, The Slab Boys by John Byrne. Story by Nikki Kilburn