Hot Dumplings (2)

We talked about going there last night. I fantasise about it. It isn’t a flash hotel. There are few facilities, and those that are there are a little tired, lost in a seventies time-warp. I don’t mind. We don’t mind. We go for the lounges, in particular the adult lounge. We go for the pots of tea in stainless steel pots, brought on trays with paper doilies. We go for the quiet (there is no piped muzak). We go for the clientele – almost all over seventy if they’re a day. We go for the warm rooms, the sun on the terrace, the view of the sea. And there is always a puzzle on the go. I love that. A group puzzle – residents amble past and get distracted and sit for a moment, a piece in their hand trying to find its home. We talk about getting a suite, mid-week just for a few days, to sleep when we feel like, to read, to stare, to do nothing.

Town was quiet this morning. Have all the students migrated home now? The sea is a steel blue. The rain comes in showers and it is cold. That book has taken me over, it is insidious, potent, unforgettable. Jack overwhelmed by his introduction to the ‘Outside’ and Ma (will we ever learn her name?) struggling to maintain a hold. Both so inured to life in the Room – how will they fare? I’ve almost done. Book endings are always an anti-climax, I am so in them that to come out is a wrench, a discomfort.

The row of pearly lights, like those around a theatre dressing room mirror, were still alight when I passed the Hot Dumplings Chinese Take Away. I’ve never seen it open. Wrong timings. Another life.

Flat cleaned. To work now.