Ignore it all, the coatless freedom, the beating light, the shiny drops reflected back up at me. The speeding shadows, the chirping sun.

It’s all out of place, out of time. My slow shuffled observation becomes a hurried avoidance. This day says nothing to me. The rustling around leaves me disturbed and I seek last spring’s darkness. This really isn’t working, I have to go the back way and hurry.

Look down as I walk, I only see the mud today. Last time I came this way was in the mist and now I can see what’s in front of me, it was hidden before but now I see the field painted soft in the distance.  I don’t want to know about it, I can’t look at it, it’s not my place today.

I wish I knew what the bird calls are, they struggle to lighten me but it’s hard work. At least down the back road there’s still frost. The sapling’s are plastic coated with a layer of moisture, extra warmth needed for their young sprouts of potential. Happy dogs are thick on the ground. It’s going to be a difficult walk back. I turn tail as it approaches the hour. The sun swaps sides and I might just make it. One gentle nuzzling and some warmth on the left. “You’ve found a friend” she tells me. Bailey is pleased to see me even if I’m not.

It’s just a dream today. Their words bounce off me, the distant lightness of lifted spring people, coming from their darkness to chatter on the breeze. Their laughter irritates me but I can’t blame them. I would, if I was them. Have to get past “their friends on the estate, yes we were all still at home”.

And Bella’s toffee paws break the spell. And though I’m rooted in this thawing empty sunshine it doesn’t matter how long I stand here, no one can see me anyway, I’m not really here.  But then I want to run, to escape, to leave, to evaporate, to be beamed up and away from this place. 

My tapping competes with birdsong, the warmth getting through but the scampering and panting and rustled nylon pushes me to make a shift. My shadow cloaks an early bee, sneaking out, prompted by sun but confused by the coldness that lingers. In my resistance of the day my friend’s text tone startles me and makes me smile. His squeaky loud car horn is at odds with my world, as am I. Then more texts demanding I participate in this morning and I need to scurry back to somewhere dark, where the sun can’t reach me although it feels good right about now.

I move under birdsong, through the rays and over the frost, around the faceless dog snuffles.

I have a food delivery coming, I need to go.

The day continues on its way.

I have to find mine.

And I am caught by the last person I wanted to see and her falseness grates on me. She oozes alongside and oils out her question. I say “I’m fine” though it’s an effort to form the words and she needs to take a different path at the crossroads and I’m relieved. I feel unclean from the moment. 

And now they’re coming at me, shoppers and walkers and the heaviness pushes down successfully without restraint.  A beautiful muzzled beast of a dog smiles at me through his fur, I’m drawn to its heaving energy and power, a potential savage  just beneath tumbled acres of fluff.  The proud small man on the lead enjoys their questions and presents informatively to a passer by.

I’ve had it with this day and it’s only 9.15 in the a.m. I go back the short cut, watching my shadow bounce perkily, denying how I feel.

The front door can’t come quick enough.