Watch

I found a watch. It was lying on the pavement of the Prom just beyond the Pier Pressure nightclub. It threw me. I didn’t know what to do. He, being the boy scout that he is, would’ve taken it straight to the Police Station, eager as ever to do right and to be congratulated for it. That sounds unkind. He knows what I mean. I wobbled, prevaricated. Would the owner even think to go to the Station to see if someone had handed it in? Probably not. And besides, something stopped me from wanting to put it into my pocket. It would feel like stealing. So I picked it up and placed it on top of a giant bin, so that it could be seen more easily. It didn’t look like an expensive one, it was gold in colour but light to handle. Did I do the right thing? I just don’t know these days. I cannot trust my judgement. What, after all is right? What is the right thing?

The phone went in the middle of the night. Well, it was 8.45 pm which is the middle of the night for me. I struggle to orientate myself. Where am I? What is that noise? Then I had to reach for the receiver through the bars of my bed and then I had to get out of bed to close the window and switch on the light. Can you hang on? I’ll just get a pen. Who are you? Where am I? I scribble the instructions hoping that they will make sense in the morning. Did he think me odd? Did I slur? Was I unfriendly? Smile, he used to say, smile. Be nice. I try. I do try my love. But I was lost in sleep. And then after that I couldn’t return. It was a warm dream, soft, I wanted to go back. I always want to go back.

I pruned the geraniums before I went out for my walk. A rather dramatic cutting back. I thought he’d be shocked or at least a little cross. Oh, how lovely, he said. I hope I haven’t killed them. They needed it, he said. I don’t know what I am doing. I try to do right. As in all things. How is that one can get so ancient and know less and less? I fed them and watered them and banked them down with some fresh compost. I hope they will return, stronger for the cutting. Besides, it gives her joy our soon to be centenarian neighbour downstairs. That is reason enough, is it not?