Wednesday, December 28

And Highlights The Dust

My mother poured herself some smooth orange juice in an elegant glass and handled some ice cubes into it so that the film played and during the quiet moments I could hear the ice moving around in her elegant glass of smooth orange juice. The occasions in which she prepares such a beverage have led me to believe that this is something she enjoys tremendously, but I have never spoken to her about it explicitly. Either way she is in bed now and the glass is on the work surface and it has melted; the glass is a third-full with pale orange water. I cannot understand why but I am greatly intrigued by this and every time I pass it – on my way outside into the cold for a smoke – I stare at the third-full glass with pale orange water.
It is the twenty-eighth of December and I struggle, for the second night in a row, to recall the past year. K— said it was important to think back on the year, to reflect, and I agreed—‘Yes, cathartic.’ But when I sat down to write, hmm, I could not find a sentence to put down. Not that the year was wholly unremarkable, but that, mainly, I am at a loss for words; a mental vacation, if you will, although I dislike the Americanism.
I am in no fit state to write, perhaps I should go to bed. I am in the guestroom. A bed in white sheets, soft white sheets, a smell I am in love with. The bed used to be in another room. It has been relocated, and it is covered in memories. Every morning during my stay (the sun has been out all week so far, bright and hot, it bounces through the white shades and highlights the dust) I make the bed and derive a portion of satisfaction from making it as perfectly as I can. I smooth out the duvet so that not a crease is there, then I gently lay the puffed pillows down, smooth it over once more, then drape the runner along the bottom of it, arranged just so.
Most of all I like the way the bed smells; it smells of home; and yet I raise a hand to cover my mouth at the slip of that word! The smell never came so strongly when I lived at home.
How do I smell to my mother?
What is there to say of the year? Quite obviously I dance around the task of discussing it. Unless an unfortunate accident was to befall me over the next three days, I am sure to survive it. I will take that.
But, see, I have nothing to say! Maybe it is my state of mind – did I not mention that earlier? – and not tonight or perhaps any other night I shall reflect on this year. The things I wish to say about the year I have said, and that which I have not is probably not worth discussion. Then allow me to close it, here, just here, and present something quite boring and dumb:
This year has flown by. When I go through old journal entries I cannot believe that this event or another occurred eleven months ago or such-and-such! The time has gone. How dare it vanish so quickly! Allow me to admit that, because of this, I slip further into the horror that my niece will age and grow up into life, and that my parents will not live forever and I will witness them die. O, sorry, I do not wish to dwell on that. If I think of this year then I think of the speed of time and then I think of that, and it is no good to me at all; so no, I most likely will not discuss this past year at all. Forgive me.

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