Monday, October 23

Dead Leaves On The Dirty

It may be observed most from the perch my third floor flat, my small studio flat that I rent at a rate of just over twelve-hundred a month (the luxury being to live alone and unpestered) and it is clear what is happening. It is on account of a large tree stood in the middle of a small patch of grass. It is a tree that blocks my view of an adjacent road from May through to September. During that time it is burst outward and turning sun energy into delicious food, or so I’ve been led to believe. Once it has collected all of the food it needs, it directs it down into its roots and then its trunk; its belly full. Then it dresses in evening-wear before becoming nude in front of everyone. The leaves are drying when it doesn’t rain and they blow in clusters. They blow into corners and nooks and where the wind takes them; they blow freely until they are caught by some rusted metal or ragged brick on the curled fingertips of their outstretched arms. The other dead leaves join them and they all lie there like last night’s underwear. There are employees of the city who come and sweep up the dead leaves and dispose of them, one would assume, conscientiously, so that they might become food for something or other, maybe a plant; I don’t know what the city has in mind.
My broken middle-finger has healed. I think it has healed although the knuckle is still swollen and does not hurt so much when it is used. It is of minor concern that the knuckle is swollen because I do not ring the middle-finger nor do I ever intend to. I do not intend to ring any of my fingers, truth be told.
My niece is turning three. She is on the cusp of turning three. Because three years ago my sister-in-law, who was then not yet my sister-in-law, was heavily pregnant and equally impatient and her slender figure blended with the most inconspicuous of bumps. I was due down in Brighton, on the south coast, when I received news that my niece had been born and I was an uncle – an effort not of my own – and that she was healthy. I remembered the next year (one) when she smiled and laughed at the finger-puppet card I had bought her. I do not know because it seems as though it were only last year. As I wrote out her card, I paused a long moment and thought on it—‘A year, really?’ I defied the calendar and simple mathematics to prove me wrong. It is strange to see her growing and I look at old photographs I have taken of her; I look at the photographs and smile because, if anything, she makes me feel like smiling. ‘I cannot wait to watch you grow up, yet I love you just as you are right now,’ I wrote two years ago. Two years ago.
I watch the dead leaves run in circles then collapse. It is my pastime. I must write more.

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