Humming

There is a hum. There is no real silence. There is a hum by the Old College, I think it is a generator. There is a hum coming from the Samways truck that waits down by the harbour for the fishing boats to come in. From Port to Plate in 24 Hours it reads. There is a hum coming from the public toilets by the Castle where I stand for a moment stilling myself by the hydrangeas, that are coming into leaf once again. There is hum in our home from the boiler. There is a hum in my head that is my blood, a life force throbbing. Well, perhaps not a force. I am not a force. Perhaps I used to be once. I am happy to be less than that. Something more gentle, more acquiescent.

A day of children. Children on the radio. In the morning a little boy singing into the microphone and in the afternoon various youngsters reading out poems and religious pieces. Another boy came into the studio with his mother. He recited it by watching her lips mouth each word. Initially he spoke with his head down in his chest, barely audible. The producer must’ve said something for he began again, louder this time, his head held high. Then there was a pause. The mother folded up the paper and nodded to the boy who made to slip down off the seat. I took the headphones. Isn’t there more? asked the Producer. I look at the mother. He’s only learnt the first paragraph, she said, sorry. The earnestness of the child was enchanting.

The moon still shone out from behind the clouds as I walked, throwing a sheet of silver onto the sea.

He wrote to apologise. He’d been angered by something else. A fit of violence. He’d hit out at me, at everyone. Will I forgive him? Of course, there is nothing to forgive, for it is, was nothing. But I will keep a distance for a while. He doesn’t like me being abused, is unsettled by it.

The doctor called for him last night. I was deeply asleep, the ring of the phone jarred me, took me from that healing part of sleep and I couldn’t catch up.

Will she like it? I try to remember if my grandmother made us things. I suspect she knitted. My mother may not of accepted them. I think Nanny did, little jumpers and cardis perhaps. I will finish it by the weekend. I just need some notions. They call them notions, those odd bits, such as buttons, elastic and braiding. I have a notion. They won’t be in till Friday, he rings to tell me. It is fine. I can wait.

Enough. I am off to begin work. Then a phone to call from Spain.

And yet, all I really want to do is sleep. Long and drawn, a sleep of nothing. A sleep from the River Lethe.