Nurse

It is ten past six in the morning and her lighted window is the only one I can see in the darkness. As in a Hopper painting, what I can see through her window provides a narrative of her life. I’ve seen her many times, awake like me, in the early hours. I imagine her to be a nurse. There is something no-nonsense yet bustling-busy about her. She is a rounded woman with bright scarlet hair that has been scooped up into a bun. This morning her ample body is swaddled in a white toweling dressing gown. She seems to be talking to someone sitting at the other end of the kitchen, by another window that is curtained off. She stands over a table chopping or preparing something. It is a cluttered room. As is what I can only imagine to be her bedroom where the shut curtain drapes over several piles of books haphazardly placed on the windowsill. I like to watch other people’s lives. I find it immensely restful. Just to observe, not participate.

Town is still quiet. My walk was lovely. Chilly, certainly, but not as dire as they’d forecast. My hands didn’t sting and the wind was nothing. There was a girl outside Pier Pressure shouting. I couldn’t make it out at all. Just a stream of swear words but lyrically linked. Was she Irish? And I fuckin’ did an’ I fuckin’ said an’ he said an’ I said will you fuckin’ listen an’ he said……A man was standing before her trying to calm her down, another was just staring. She was a tiny thing, wiry. There was almost an insanity to her. Is it just booze? Does she need help?

I thought as I walked. I need to let go of it all. All this worldly stuff, this constant seeking. The achieving of them, those goals, makes no earthly difference to my state of mind. Nothing does and nothing will. Ever. It is merely gratification, empty. That candy floss again. He wrote about sitting on a park bench for days and months, just staring. How attractive that sounds. Not because I long to be lazy but for its potential for opening up, shedding and getting to the nub of it all. She said that the course will culminate in a day of silence. How will that be? I want to be able to do it on my own. I try to do without stimulation, that great avoiding. I walked sans music today. I am in silence still. Four hours of silence. Of being alone. And yet, I’m not, not really. We talked about that lady for whom the ambulance was late. She died alone. She must’ve been so scared, he said. But they were devastated. Of course they were, it is their job to save, to make better, to provide succour. They let her down. They left her to die alone. She told me that her friends mother insisted that she wanted her own way. To be left alone. I was on my way to my mother. She died before I got there. An hour, that’s all. Would she have preferred it? The final goodbye spoken to the wall. Did she think of what she was leaving behind?

I am a little anxious about Wednesday. It is all new to me. Do I ask too much, will it be possible to produce something professional? All I can do is wait and see. And ask for help.

I must leave it now. I am rather like a terrier, I always want things done. Done and dusted.

I send her love. My love, longing for sleep. I remember the weight of it all. And he, he too needs sleep. Let it be so.