Cinnabar

Crosswords. We do crosswords together. I love the play of them, the images that the words form in my mind. I don’t always know what they mean. Is Cinnabar a spice, a perfume or a place or all three? It is exotic, eastern, mysterious.

He is anxious. It builds up like Etna threatening to blow. He didn’t tell me. He said he didn’t want to frighten me. It doesn’t, I’d rather know, and share it with him. Anxiety is like that, it searches around for something to fix on. It has kept him awake and no doubt increased his blood pressure. He gets angry. He shouts. It is just fear. Fear that needs to be articulated. Always. It is always worse when it is kept inside, ready to explode. Life brings them, these times when all seems bleak. It isn’t. It is an illusion. All of it.

We talk about his symptoms as ‘coming out in sympathy’ with mine. We are close. It could happen. It can happen. Like a phantom pregnancy.

Crosswords again. A remembrance. The clue was about Deputy Dawg. A cartoon from way back. My history not his. He remembers watching cartoons in the Church Hall on a Friday night. I loved them, he said, Hanna Barbera and Disney. I can see it. I love that look that comes over his face when he is taken back like that. Life was light then. And he was so loved. As he is now.