Blue Moon

The moon wasn’t full. I was wrong. It is tomorrow, at least that is what The Times says. And it is to be a super moon. Two full moons in one month. How does that work? I ask him at breakfast. I don’t know, he replies, I’m only reading what it says here. They call it a blue moon. Once in a blue moon. Do they say what a blue moon is? I ask. No, he says. Blue moon you saw me standing alone…

I went out dressed for rain. I wore his coat, under which were my waterproofs, including two pairs of waterproof trousers, two pairs of socks, a hoodie, a hat, a scarf and a pair of two-layered gloves. It didn’t rain. I was sweltering. Girls in tiny dresses with no sleeves or straps teetered past me in stiletto heels. I like the invisibility that wearing his coat gives me. It smells of him, a musty, male smell rather like I imagine a racoon or a muskrat must smell like. It drowns me. I pull the arms down over my fingers so that they hide my gloves from the rain. They too, like my trousers are meant to be waterproof, they aren’t. Or perhaps it is just the Welsh rain, too wet.

The moon makes me scratchy, unsettled, snappy. Not nice. I don’t feel nice inside. I watch my behaviour with others. I watch my temper, my irritability.

She was twenty minutes late. I was so cross. It wasn’t her fault, it was the client before me. I could hear him going on and on. And she is so sanguine, not a someone who forces, or takes charge. Come day go day. A nice quality. I tried to smother my crossness. Sorry, she mouthed at me as she opened the door. I said nothing. Be nice, Ellen, I kept saying to myself, be nice. Sorry, she said shutting the door. I’ve got a meeting, I said, I’ve got to go by 12.45 at the latest. This isn’t quite true, I said to myself again, is it? One o’clock would be fine. Yes, my internal voice continued, but I want a little time to sit and gather my thoughts before the interview. I know, I continued, but be kind, you’re making her feel bad. I want to, I replied, if only a little.

You see the struggle. The struggle to be kind. It shouldn’t be, it should be innate. I felt uncared for. If she cared she would of ended the prior session on time. Ridiculous. It was in my gift to make it OK for her and I didn’t. She makes me uncomfortable, I said to him afterwards. But it isn’t true. I make myself uncomfortable. Anyway, she prodded and massaged and the long and short of it is posture. I need to stand up straight. So that you look like you are five six, she said. That would be good, I said, only realising afterwards that I am five foot six. I feel clumsy in her presence. She is confident in her physical self. At least I think she is. It’s the being told off stuff. Just memories perhaps. Stand up straight, don’t slouch, pick your feet up. And I try, I try Mummy, I do.

The café was busy and noisy. Several kids were shouting. We bickered over which table to choose. He went for the tea and banana. Two in the end. Do you want toast with that? the woman behind the counter asked him. She is impossibly cheerful, he said. Apparently she offered him a bowl of chips too. The smell of chips pervades. A young lad brings people’s orders on a tray calling out, two plaice and chips and a mug of tea? I watch a small man in an over-sized chequed jacket scurry away leaving behind a large blue rucksack. Has he just gone for some more food? I think to myself, not sure what to do, is it a bomb? Should I contact security? Then he is back. I smile at him. You forgot your bag, I say. I know, he says, I’ve got an interview and I’m distracted. Good luck, I call after him.

She was on time, looking a little different without her glasses. I offered her tea but she declined. She let us take a photo from behind and was fine with the recorder. I lost my nerve. I felt self-conscious. She seemed happy to be there though. Wasn’t phased by my questions. I wanted to find a way in, I don’t think I did. I will listen back, perhaps there will be something. I’m very methodical, she said. I love to sort out the threads. Her auntie taught her to knit at six. She was neat. People commented on it. My first thing was a blue scarf. Who needs scarves in Hong Kong? she said laughing. Little bits come out. She doesn’t have any on her walls. I left them behind with my husband. They were all in boxes. Friends tell me that I could’ve got sixty, seventy quid for them. Her hands are neat. Her hair a long burnished red tail. I wanted more, I think. Keep going, he says. It will come right. Doubt is OK isn’t it? Isn’t it?