Come and go

They do, they come and go. I often don’t know they’re gone for months. Like the two nurses opposite. I don’t know for sure that they were nurses, it was my guess based on the hours that they kept. Like me, really, they were up at all hours of the night. I can see their window, or what used to be their window, or should I say windows, from my studio. They looked like twins, both quite rounded, small and with rainbow-coloured hair. They had a two pugs. I think there were two. Mix and match. They may have been sisters or lovers perhaps or just close friends. I tried not to spy on them, and I’d discreetly turn away if I happened to catch a look and they were in their underwear. I’m just interested in the goings on of my neighbours, well a little. Like the man in the flat across from them. He with the long hair and beard. A smoker, like many of the inhabitants of these flats are. He is often out before 7 am sitting on the bench in the quad, in the sun if it’s shining, smoking and reading from a paperback, his glasses perched on his nose. I think a man, or young lad has taken over the tenancy of the ‘nurses’s place. I can see his arm through one of the windows and the other morning when I went into the studio for a match he was walking about in his kitchen bare-chested. It’s an intimacy I baulk from overseeing. It’s not for me. I turn away. I wonder where the ‘nurses’ have gone.

He sends me a video of him and his grandchild playing with a ball. Funny that desire to share such things. It is sweet but I have no connection with that part of his life. We are of the past not the present. I inadvertently deleted your message, he says. Yes. I can imagine you did. This is no two-way conversation. It never really was. I wish him well. He is still a handsome man.

I think about writing as I walk. Yesterday it was art. I am pulled this way and that. Betwixt and between. My back grows tight from the fear of doing, of failing in the doing and then in the not doing. How best to manage it? Try it? Perhaps. The sunrise was lovely, not magnificent but gentle, a trace of pink. There are more people about. A family of three walked from the beach as I went past, still in shorts and bare-foot. Bins spew out McDonalds detritus and there is a lingering smell of barbeque smoke. It’s the small things that comfort and sometimes delight me. As he does. Such kindness and care. Going off for his walk in his shorts, bag across his chest like a paper boy. I am blessed. Truly.