2012, apparently. New term and the unravelling towards our first year.

Having traversed the last two weeks of someone elses life, scarred with moments of petrified reality, I slipped into this mornings darkness with a distorted relief.

Our son wanted to leave early so we blew past the exasperation of  wet cars as they queued to get anywhere, him – huddled and hooded, me  – panniered with p.e kits. The howling started as soon as I left him but this time it was the environment, not me.

Perfectly screaming trees, a deliberately slow walk back through the grey. Sprinkled orange around familiar buildings,  shiny rooves. Calling, baying branches, soaked hair  and startled birds.  The enfolding gloom, squeaky car tyres search for grip as I creep towards the bridge. Dancing ivy responding to tortured gales, brushing tyres on tarmac sweeping surface water, headlights with a purpose. Smashing up puddles as they make some progress. Little circles of colour on my screen as I type. But can I cross the bridge?

Another day

Torment

Changing gear, bus rattles underneath to its function. Steaming people going somewhere. Sardined strangers.

Am I going across?

I study the options. Slimy path back to school, had to leave him there sheltering in the morning storm. Or the uneven path to the horses where he bounced and skimmed off his bike in the winter terrain and I hurried  to him with my rucksack full of concern. Last January before the clocks stopped.  

I need to go. Can’t watch the traffic any longer. Time to go, stepping out. Keep moving, empty road as I cross. I see down to the junction with an approaching lorry furtively sneaking out of grey. A torn discarded piece of poster on the floor  ‘8 – 12.30 -12th Jan’ ? Wonder what plans have been made, for who? stuck up for all to see, then battered away by the weather. Will anyone turn up?

Blackbirds protesting, instinctive, animal, pure, driven. Waiting for this moment. Another normal day.  I make it to the other side, so soggy and trampled underfoot. So familiar now, so comforting.  I stand for a moment to survey,

it’s all still here, the landscape, the rhythms, the grief.

Squelching and slippy, need wellies really. Which is the best way? To pick a path through it carefully, steadily.  Hair in eyes.  Huddled walkers hurry away, it’s not a day for standing. But I’m oblivious to it all again. The sky hangs lower and darker than the hour, in some odd pre dawn. A light goes out somewhere, must be morning I guess. It’s all still here, shiny wet picnic bench but I don’t need to stay.

Crows laughing at me, what do they know? Wet skin, mist lifting, footsteps somewhere behind me. Fluorescent walker with an anoraked terrier, blazoned lime, russet and muddy white. I observe and appreciate their flash of bright intention.

They drag me back, showered hair in the gusting downpour, going round in circles. Time to navigate the steps I suppose.  All as expected,  round we go again.

Where next?

Can’t see the screen for raindrops.

Gales whipping up,

telling me to go.

Familiar, cocooned in isolation.

x

Out of the gloom came walking greyness who turned into a wet hug at the right time.  She was always there at the right time, from day one. She brushed the hair away and talked of windswept children and morning chaos  helping anchor me to my current life and wondered if I’d braved the hill. When the rain started to sting I dripped back home. It turned to stabs of hail for a moment and then inside  to muffled doubled glazed battering at the glass.

 I sit in my damp coat and wait for last week to catch up with me.

He’d left the fairy lights on.  Loud ticking quiet clock, marking seconds that don’t exist.

x

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