I want to be in all those livings rooms that I walked past this morning, seeing them with their trees lit up awaiting the noise, the chatter, the bodies snatched from beds for this festival. I want to be part of the nonsense, the games, the present-opening, the oneness, the belonging. I feel in pieces. Separate and adrift. They are gone, some dead others so far away, those people with whom I share blood. Those people I claim some kinship with. My belonging is scattered. Yes, I belong to him in as much as I have chosen this life here with him. Chosen the peace, the care, the love but we cannot whip up what was. It means little to him. His family didn’t do the fuss. I spoke to one yesterday. She misses it too though she has her own family now to supply the want. Neither of us can name it, this yearning, this wanting. Did she have it before she died? We disappointed her. We did not bring her what she needed. I’m sorry for that, I wanted to make it good and couldn’t. My back is rigid with distress and yet I cannot name it. None of us can. I want to go home and yet I don’t yet know what home is.

I’m not good this morning, he said. And I can see it, smell it on him. I’ve taken a pill, he said. So be it. Let it be, I say knowing that that is not what he wants to hear.

Speaking to her on the phone made me feel good. I will go and visit her in the Spring and sit in her garden. And then I will go and visit her. And her. Let is be enough. Just putting one foot in front of the other. Let the grief be too. It has it’s place.

What was that line I heard from Charlotte Bronte’s The Professor? He was born into the dark. Was that it? He was born into the dark.

I thought I’d have the town to myself but I didn’t. Two girls and a boy speaking Arabic walked towards Alexandra Hall carrying shopping bags. And a homeless man, the one he’s told me about, the one with crutches, was shouting out the odds to another man. It was fucking that and fucking this. An angular man with an sharp, clanging voice and what looked like two other crutches on his back. I’d thought I’d greet people if I saw them with a Merry Christmas but it didn’t seem appropriate somehow. Never mind. The harbour was peaceful and I walked the Perygyl for the first time in days.