It was around twelve years ago.
We were on a wee holiday down in West Cork. Herself wanted to visit Bantry on market day. That was fine by me. I like Bantry.
Anyhows we arrived and Herself wandered off. I pootled after her with our Sandy [the Rough Collie we had at the time]. It was a sunny day, the kind of day when no one was in a hurry anywhere.
I was wandering past a stall when Sandy took an interest in a dog who was lying under the stall. I got chatting to the stall holder who had a lovely display of leather goods on sale. I don’t know why but I decided to buy a belt for the trousers. He duly selected a fine harness leather belt, cut it to size and promised it would last a year or two.
I have worn that belt every day since then. Every time I buckled it I thought of that sunny day in Bantry with Sandy by my side There were little marks on the belt showing how my waist had expanded and contracted over the years and had finally settled into a familiar notch.
Yesterday I was down in the village. I had to call into the pharmacy and that’s where I felt a sudden tug at my waist. My jeans fell down. My precious belt had expired. It was now in two irreparable halves. Fuck!
I hoisted up my jeans and smiled at the other customers. The staff know me well and are used to strange events occurring when I’m around. They just carried on as usual.
I called into the hardware store after. He was clean out of belts. He offered me a length of clothes line rope instead. I declined
I’m making do now with a plastic belt I found. It’s not the same.
I miss my belt.