I got it wrong. I’m not good at the logical stuff, the lateral, linear stuff. The clocks went back so the mornings are lighter not darker, though it is hard to tell the difference. Winter creeps forward and I am already chilled by it. I am tired today, snappy and cross. Such a long journey but such a good, important trip. I needed it. I needed to see her, love her. She looked beautiful, brimming over with joy. That is enough, isn’t it? I made her laugh. She was relaxed and so was I. The sun shone. It was joy. And that night I flew. I soared, swooped. A few nights before in my dream I had climbed to the ceiling of a large railway waiting room and expected to fall. When I let go of my hand-hold of the cornicing, I thought I’d fall but I didn’t. I was suspended. Even in my dream it felt odd, where was my gravity, my ballast? But the night before last the flying was for real. I dived, hovered and soared over an urban landscape. I wasn’t meant to be out, was meant to stay in but I went out flying instead. It was marvellous, joyous. An expression of my joy about her, I think. Don’t you?
You got a lighter? he was saying. It took a moment before I realised he was talking to me. You got a lighter? he repeated, though he didn’t pronounce the ‘t’. He was with a friend, they were dressed identically, in black hoodies. No, I said, I’m sorry I haven’t. That’s alright, he said, no need to apologise. He spoke slowly, drawing out the words. No need to apologise. No need.
It was a lovely walk into the town, all downhill. You get about halfway down the hill and suddenly there is the bay, a curving wall of lights reflected on the water. Stunning, even in the dark. The town is poky, clustered, but the harbour sweeps out to sea. I love it. I could live here, I told her. It is always the same. It’s the light. And now I have another reason.
We had fun didn’t we? Laughing, cosy-ing up under the duvet, a picnic in your room. Laughing about the cold. And I had my walk, ending it with a caress of the Barbara Hepworth statue.
He was hard on me. I needed it. Though I really wanted him to be soft. I have to make it clear to myself or there will always be this vacillating. When I talk to him about it it all makes sense. I know I’m right, he says. Yes, you are, you always are. And I love you for it.
She was there when I left the house, a figure in the gloom. It’s funny how you can tell when someone is awry, lost. It’s in the stance. Are you OK? I asked her. I think so, she said. An old woman, her hair unkempt. She wore ankle socks and an anorak that was unzipped. Are you lost? I asked again. No, she said. She’d walked towards me, seeking reassurance, I think. I walked on and heard her scuffling behind.
A gull flew across the skylight as I lay on the carpet doing yoga.
When we got home there were four or five spatters of green bird shit on his windowsill. How could that be? I said out loud. Nothing on the window. No sign of any distress. Did a bird come in? How could it, the window is too narrow? A mystery. A mystery. An omen, an omen of death in a house. Could it be? He had bird shit on his coat, several white blotches. Good luck, I said, that’s good luck. Get the girls to get it off for you, I said. Yes. Do the lottery, boy, she said to him. Do the lottery.
Home with all this stuff to do. Breathe. All will get done. All will get done.