Saturday, September 22


It gets so dark all of a sudden.
When it was summer and all so bright, seemingly the sun would never set and days were a tremendous expanse of light, hued in blue, reaching down through the buildings with yellow fingers. For months there was intense heat. One had no choice but to shower twice a day. The air smelled hot. All night the window is open (the sound of a homeless woman screaming down the street—‘I’M ILL!’, the sound of barking dogs, foxes romancing painfully, smashed glass). Woken by a start. Around the blind edges a seam of colour, and then – arise! – the day and a weather forecast. Dress in front of the fan.
The changes are gradual, but they are there. The world is tilted on its axis and so the changes are astronomical, but the changes are gradual and they are there.
As a youth, I used to believe that my birthday was the end of summer, and so I resented my birthday. That was the start of many things. On the twenty-fifth, we celebrate, my family and friends and I, but then there are things to buy for the new school year and homework and so on. Then there was school.
I hated school.
There is something about my brother’s pity that makes me feel not so alone. There are moments that stick with you throughout time, inexplicably elevated from the monotony of life; like the time I was to caddy for my father one Saturday, but overslept and he left me at home, then I awoke and ran across the golf course to fulfill my duties; or the time I went on a date with a girl in beat-up trainers and the next evening she showed up round my flat with a new pair, and I told her I did not want them; or the first time I held my niece. My mother told me my brother felt as though I was alone when I went home, that to be away from the family meant I was alone. Every time I left the family home, I was alone.
Today is a miserable day and I think of that.
My sister-in-law text me, saying they were in town and asked if I wanted to meet them. I ignored the message. I made a pot of coffee. Then my brother called me. I let it ring. I watched it ring. It rang for fifteen seconds. For fifteen seconds I thought about picking it up and for fifteen seconds it vibrated and for fifteen seconds I was sad for not picking it up but for fifteen seconds I did not feel fit to pick it up. My coffee seemed to cool very quickly. I drank the whole pot in two long glugs. When I looked out of the window I saw that it was raining and that the whole world was not worth venturing into. Maybe it was the first real rainfall of the autumn. (The autumnal equinox is on the twenty-third (tomorrow) this year; a Sunday when day and night are perfectly balanced.) The odd person passes underneath the canopy of a black umbrella. A gang of youths hide from the rain in the stairwell of the building opposite. I watch them for a bit, then I grow sadder and come away. Perhaps if I eat something and take a shower then I will be up for seeing my brother and his family. He sends me photos and videos of my nieces wearing bright yellow rain-macks. It would be good to see them, and they might bring a smile to my face on a day when I will not smile or speak to a single soul. I best get ready. He messages me saying that they are on their way home now and they hope I feel better.
My boiler groans that it is autumn (or not quite); when I shower it runs hot then cold and I stand there shivering. I don’t take a coat to work. I dislike coats, would rather be cold than hot; I will become cold and think of all the times I’ve been too hot, but it is never as satisfying as I want it to be.
This day is nothing. I sit here with a beer, listening to Labour speeches in the city of Liverpool. Oratory is a fine thing! I wish I were an orator. Soon I will finish the beer and perhaps I will order pizza. It will be nice to see the man (usually) come to my door and I will say to him—‘All right, geez.’ Maybe he (usually) will thank me for the tip, but he will be wet from the rain and not understand that I haven’t spoken to anyone all day. That is quite unhealthy for a human being. I don’t mind the rain so much when I have candles. It is the first rain of autumn, I guess.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Blank Template By