Creaking into year two

Even writing the words is surreal. Lying here looking around trying to get a grip on the day. It feels like a new place although the landscape is just the same.

There was no buzzing award ceremony,  no opportunity to wear a glittery dress and feel fluttery till they call my name and air kiss with sincerity. No cheering applause or camera flashes to red eye me. No weakly shunned publicity or clever sound bites. No hurrying to the waited car, all teeth and eyes to be bundled in, smile and wave with my silent sharp suited smooth companion. I didn’t get something angular in plexiglas to polish and gloat over on the mantlepiece or a laminated certificate or even a crumpled faded piece of paper to sign me off.

Nothing rubber stamped and sweaty palmed from someone in a shiny elbowed old cord suit to tell me it was done.  To smile down at me dustily, absently smelling of stale aftershave as he moved along the line.

No brightly coloured badge to wear, sparklingly proclaiming ‘Year Two!’  so everyone  would know I’m ok now and could stop feeling awkward when they pass by.  Because now its alright and I’m getting on with my life again. And I could smile cheesily and nod and point to the badge with a big thumbs up and it’s what they anticipated and they would be knowingly relieved.

No poor quality t-shirt with a rough print you could pick off, shouting

‘Widowhood?? DONE!’  above a big smiley face.

No sink full of glasses,  no bin full of waste, no throbbing fuzzy head of achievement.

No party poppers, no crumbly cake with unused napkins and no paper hat with a tear up the middle.

None of these things arrived, just the sun coming up again over the neighbours roof on another February day, the birds still nipping at my patio, the ambient drone of distant traffic, the fridge needing cleaning, the washing putting on and some homework needing attention and though I’ve chiseled through some horrific mornings in the past twelve months, the air was never heavier, the concreteness never more effective and the breathing never more resistant than when opening my eyes for the first time on the morning after.