Tuesday, November 6

A Documentary About

I like the cold and I go without a coat. At the corner, where the supermarket lights drag in pedestrians, there is, highlighted by a streetlamp behind the building, a soft rain beginning to fall. As my eyes notice it, so does my skin, and for a moment I feel relief. Fall harder! I think. The rain does not; it falls softly. It is dark now. Upon the tree in the churchyard there are little fairy-lights. The tree is too big to move in the wind. It is dark now, dark lately, how much darker will it get? I suspect it does not matter how dark it gets, because summer feels like it was so long ago, hard to remember, perhaps a dream. Last night I watched a documentary about love. Last night I watched a documentary about love. Last night I watched a documentary about love. The whole thing seemed strange to me, and I suppose I wished to understand it, so I sat there on my sofa and watched it. Here were people who had love and wanted more of it, or a different kind of it. In the end I grew bored of it and stopped paying too much attention, I stared into space. Maybe I could be in love, but truthfully I find people so tedious, irritating and unbearable that I doubt I shall find one person to love let alone two. I laughed at the television and switched it off. I started to play video games but that was about relationships too and I became bored, so I switched that off. I sat in the quiet room with nothing much to do. Why not undress and come? No, even that did not appeal. There was a hot shower to clean myself but I did not want to be clean. There was football on the television so I watched that. No one else around. There was no love. There was just me and some football on the television, which was so luminous I thought my eyes might pop out of my skull and roll under the coffee table. The football bored me so I went to bed, but could not sleep. I lay there and heard sounds that shook me until my mind trembled and I thought someone was in the room, watching me. Fine, I thought finally, let them come, just don’t steal my guitar or kill my plants. I had a nightmare and woke up; my body was drenched in sweat. I tossed the covers into the air and tried to dry myself … 00:49 … I tried to remember the nightmare. The nightmare was gone like summer.
My friends are pregnant; well, one friend is pregnant, the other helped make her pregnant. They told me with a postcard from a town called Sopot, Poland. On the postcard there was a terrible drawing of a baby that my friend had made; on the other side was a pier extending into a blue sea. His wife usually put her lipstick on the postcards. I first met her on a boat in the Thames, when she daren’t look at me or anyone else, but had a fine black dress on. They are such a wonderful couple I often thought, in my alone moments, why they had not had children. Perhaps, I fretted, they could not; had tried many times and been unsuccessful and I — as I find difficult to do — never broached the subject, fearing they might be embarrassed or tell me it’s none of my business, which it wasn’t. Today she asked me—‘Have you got the postcard yet?’ I told her I had not. ‘Well it’s a surprise but I must…’ No, I stopped her again! Do not ruin the surprise. ‘It cannot wait,’ she said. ‘Five months ago he jumped on top of me and now I am pregnant.’ I had wished to hug her but I did not, I stayed seated and said well done and so forth and congratulations. I began to blush because I wanted to be more emotional than a man is allowed to be in the office. Instead I began to think of the last time I had seen her with a drink. Naturally I deflected my happiness at the announcement with humour, and then when she went away I scolded myself for it. Outside it was dark already. The office was reflected back on itself; there were two offices; twice the office. Soon it would be time to leave. Alone is different to loneliness. I saw the rain falling around the corner of the building on my walk home. I looked up and the rain fell on my face. Fall harder! The rain felt so wonderful and my flesh all so cold. The summer, I thought, the summer; that was the last time I had seen her with a drink.

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