Tuesday, December 22


THE FLUSH OF angled rain below the streetlight like a vinyl record spinning underneath a lamp. I do so love the backstreet cobbles of London when they are fresh with rain. There are two discarded mattresses laid unorganised next to the rubbish bins, as though two hands of a clock, equal in length; ten-past-four. As they get wetter and wetter underneath the night’s downpour, I am inspired to believe that two people have become lovers. ‘Let’s throw these out! Let’s not sleep in separate beds ever again!’ The mattresses lie next to the bins in the dark carpark and smile upwards at the flat from which they came, as their single offspring maintains the rocking of lovers grunting and coming.
There is one more day of work before, on Christmas eve, when such acts are usually committed, I board a train back to see my family. It seems such a long way to travel and I feel that distance constantly shifting, nearer and farther. I wonder when, if ever, I will mind that distance.
From their warm home beside the cold shore, I will finally say good-bye to this wretched year. Indeed 2015 can go hang. I could not be gladder to see the back of it. Despite other invitations I think that I will spend the new year’s eve with my family – or, at least, my parents, but I have yet to inform them. ‘Go be with your friends,’ they will undoubtedly say, but my mind is set. I have spent the last two years’ occasions with a different kind of love, a magnificent but finite love; as she fell in on Southwark bridge, and as she fell out on a hill in New Cross. I could easily spend it alone, in my flat, but, in an effort to do as well with 2016 as I can, I will begin it with them.
I am ready to get off now. I believe there are better things waiting for me.

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