Knurled

Neither of us knew it. He’d asked me to find out how the windscreen wipers worked. Specifically how to get them to come on intermittently of their own volition. I leafed through the manual. And there it was ‘turn the knurled wheel’. A lovely word. It probably means ridged but it makes me think of gnarled wood or even turned wood. I like words that sound tactile, their stand-alone meaning becomes unnecessary, the context in which they are placed is all.

I woke from a dream in which I’d just seen a book cover. It was all type, bold, black and white, with only the first word in red. It was a flash, a register of the image then gone. The cover took up all my vision, I could see nothing else. Was it attached to a book? I couldn’t tell. OK, the title read. And this was in red. OK, it said, so how happy is your practice?

Is this a book I should write? I thought as I walked. Kierkegaard walked, or so her poems tell me. It was clearly an essential part of his day, as it is mine. For me the critiquing of poems is not linear. I have to find my way into them. My associations. How do I make sense of them? How do I orientate myself into them? My practice is rarely a happy one. I don’t know how to be happy in my work. Think of that? What a nonsense. But I feel nothing I ever do is good enough. This is habit, a default experience. I can change it, if I want to. The new is scary. This is what I’ve always done. I thought by working through the day on it I’d defeat the fear, find some peacefulness, it didn’t work.

I heard singing. I was walking past The Angel, which was shut and then out into the little square by the town clock. Singing. A group of kids outside the Why Not? Singing. That’s a good song, one of them said. And then at the bottom of Great Darkgate Street a young man was dancing in front of his friends. His body was nimble, fluid.

First day back at work and it was OK. I let it wash over me. 145 emails in my box. All about nothing. Flat wanted, baby car seat for sale and so on. Back in in an hour. An intense day. So be it. I can read the poetry and make a relationship, find my intimacy.

I think about her the most. My nemesis perhaps, like she was. And yet there is love. I know this.

I caught a bit of the book of the week about a man trying to find his way through the grief of losing a child. He is setting off on an adventure, camping with a friend, I think. I will listen again when I have time.

I am weary, my eyes long to close.

Surely you can find a free weekend, she said. No, I wanted to say, I don’t take weekends. I work. I just work. K did too. He denied himself the falling, the falling into love, the mundanity of it, the familiarity of it, the goodness of it.

Must go. It’s feeling more like home. It’s taken a week. I was journeying this time last week. And oh, what a journey. It’s good to be home with him. Safe. For now.