Marmalade Cat

I was sitting on the wall when I climbed the little hill above Llanbadarn Road. It was a while till I noticed it. A big furry, orange cat with a very wide bridge across its nose. It stared at me and grew alarmed. Sitting up it then bounded off the wall. Then obviously having second thoughts as to the threat I posed it stopped by the end of a driveway, sat down and curled up its tail. We held eye contact for minutes, maybe two or three. Sometimes it leaned its head to one side trying to make me out.

Two men passed me on the Prom clearly returning from a night out. One, in a white shirt and thin, straight black tie, called out to me. G’day, he said. Hi, I replied, temporarily thrown by being spoken to, or even noticed.

Each of the benches along the Prom have a red piece of paper taped to the ground beneath them. Wet paint, they read. And yet, the benches aren’t newly painted or indeed wet. They’ve been there for over a week now, have they forgotten them?

The sea was balmy this morning, just lapping. I close my eyes when I reach the Perygyl and I can imagine the Mediterranean, that same glugging as the water curls under the rock, the screech of gulls and a pipping of an oystercatcher as it flies across the ocean.

That was when I first met her, he told me as we sat in the sun, when I went up to school to see my O’ Level results. He was sixteen, she was fourteen. She was coming out of her house, he said. The house is still there, the one on the right as you come out of the gates. We pass it everyday. Does he think of her still? He seems content not to see her.

Sir Kenneth Allsop was on the radio this morning, I said as he got out of the shower, was he Debs father or Fabian’s? Fabian’s, he said, and he wasn’t a peer. I’m sure they said sir, I said. He killed himself, he said, something to do with a pain in his leg that wouldn’t go away. He changed their names, you know, from something quite ordinary, he said. He was on Sounds Natural, a replay of an old 70s radio show. I like it. A gentle start to a Sunday.

There ought to be night jars here, he said. Yes. Yes, there ought.