Fog (55)

It suited my mood, the fog, for I’m in one, lost. As now, always. So be it. Is it such a bad state to be in? The fog was nice this morning. Autumnal. The dark was diffused, almost made light. The streetlights making the space yellow. I’d become used to the black. The absolute dark of the Mediterranean. No compromise, utter pitch, then the sudden lifting, as if of a veil. What do they call this? Light pollution. No, we are never truly black, like our hair apparently. Never the bible black of Dylan Thomas. It is dark sometimes by the harbour but even then there are the occasional lights of a fishing vessel and the on-off flicker of the warning lights by the quay. It still frightens me but now I walk into it, letting it take me. The Spanish dark was different, rich with smells. Have I told you of the scent of jasmine out there? That and the smell of baking bread from the panaderias? I would seek out the streets with the jasmine trees (or are they bushes?). The one with the chemist, the one with the Asian Restaurant whose sign wasn’t long enough for the whole word so they’ve abbreviated it to Asian Rest. It’s like walking into a wall of perfume. Clichéd I know but it is intoxicating, I almost reel with it. Sweet, luscious, a night-scented joy. And the bread. They are up early the bakers. I peer in as I walk by, always taking note of the floured-footprints outside. They work in t-shirts, shorts and aprons. The one in town has a radio on. I see the ovens, the cooling racks with their tier after tier of baguettes. Lines of fat, crisp fingers that must be eaten that day, else they turn to rock. Flour, yeast and water, a simple affair. The stuff of life, eaten without butter, a mopper-upper kind of bread, not even worthy of a plate. A basket maybe but mostly it rests on the table cloth, broken by hand. They come for it in vans, white vans their back doors gaping open filled with plastic bags of them, some in paper sacks.

The students have returned while I’ve been away. Freshers littered the early morning Prom. There were police vans and ambulances parked up by the town clock. They chat with the kids. Just a presence, keeping an eye, watching. The spiders too. They’ve taken over the house whilst we’ve been gone. An enormous one on the stairs. And the geraniums. He said he’d water them. I think he’s done so but they looked very unkempt. Blousy girls. I dead-headed before I walked. St Michael’s looked ghostly in the fog. A Monet painting, blurred like a grey haze. The lights were on. A cleaner?

Walking down Gt Darkgate Street a driver was talking in his lorry. Alright mate? His voice was loud, sharp. Was he talking to me? Or on a phone. Alright mate? Silence. Hello? Hello? I walked on.

I am an escaper, a romantic. I want to run away. Didn’t want to return. All the post, the emails and that flashing answering machine. I still haven’t listened to it yet. Not yet, soon but not yet. The silence is good, I almost didn’t turn on the radio. I’d grown used to the silence out there. Pottering. Reading five books. Letting the stories take me over. Drawing, a little. Writing, a little. Absorbing the light, a lot. Ready, in readiness for winter. What will come? Dreams of being in vehicles. Not being in charge. Acquiescing. Time to address it all. Go through the post, the phone, listen to that answering machine. Time to get back to my life.