Saturday, September 30

The Path

I am still here, Anonymous; still writing, still alive. So if people do not visit this place then, hmm, I will write elsewhere. And so yes I write elsewhere, enflamed, in a way, and eager! There is an enthusiasm in me and it can be recognised. Some thing you do for so long that they stagnate. What do I care to jot down sex, nights out or loneliness? That is all about this place because it is nothing new and to chronicle it would be tiresome, if not to you then to me. Truthfully I do not care if the subject matter tires you, Anonymous, if it does not tire me then I will write it all down. Although here I am, alone in some room I pay rent for and I am quite satisfied to press these keys, black, a little luminescent.
When I was a child the journey to C—r, a nearby market town, seemed to take such a long time, and my infant eyes would gaze out the window for memorable views along the way. There was always so much to see, not the passing motorway, which did not once breeze the car, but farms, churches, a viaduct, valleys and rivers that wound and ran under bridges. Back then my father’s car had a door handle that one could easily pull themselves up with and observe the thirty-mile-an-hour scenery. As I aged, the journey did not seem to take so long, and, expressing this to my father, he said—‘Yeah, as you get older, time changes. When you’re a five-year-old, one week is a long time of your life; when you’re thirty-five, a week isn’t long at all!’ So that is how the weeks feel now that I am thirty-two; not yet aged enough to have a mortgage, wife or children. Just old enough to exist, and my age, my achievements unremarkable. The weeks rush by! If something momentous occurs on a Monday, then I am sure to remember it at the closing of the office on Friday, and it will strike within my mind—‘Fuckin hell, this week has flown!’ I find that the time flies without me noticing but it is not that I care so much. As the time goes by, so does Autumn makes mincemeat out of summer, crushes its tender leaves between its fingers and sighs heavy cold winds through my window while the sky glows a deceptive but beautiful blue.
Maybe Autumn is my favourite season of all. Maybe I prefer Spring. Right now, I prefer Autumn. Autumn is the rattle before Winter’s death. Autumn sneaks up on you, like a thief tiptoeing in during the lengthening nights. Autumn prepares you, like a lover moistening the path with licks and kisses. The licks and kisses are dead leaves. Perhaps they are morning fog or the interminable mist that lingers all day, interweaved with the buildings and bodies. But when it changes to Spring you should know that I prefer Spring, and that pubescent evening as it grows lighter.
One morning, not a few weeks ago, I remarked to a colleague, pinched in the elevator with me—‘I love this time of year. It reminds me of uni. The smell reminds me of uni. Does it remind you of uni?’ He stared at me blankly. He adjusted the headphones around his neck. Chuckled. He said—‘Yeah, I suppose so.’ but I knew that it didn’t. Truly, the smell of cold summer dying and of dead leaves falling smells so remarkably like the beginning of university. It is tattooed in me. When I am ninety – if I live so long – then it will still then smell of university. Unless, of course, my first child is born in September, then I will change and all the world around me.
‘Does it remind you of uni?’
‘I suppose so.’
The lift went up five floors. Fifth floor. The tongue makes many contortions to shape the word ‘fifth’. Autumn awoke. Summer made its name in the humidity that clogged my body as I walked the street. Autumn pronounced itself in the breezes that came to cool me down. Five floors, fifth floor. The smell disappeared in the lift. We fell silent. I felt the thing move and my stomach drop slightly.

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