October 15, 2011 § 1 Comment
The scene, viewed from above: a woman stands in an open doorway, her dressing gown pulled tight around her and a mug of tea in her hand. She is looking out across the garden, but it is too dark to make out much more than the loose-edged shapes of trees and bushes. It is 5am on a Sunday morning.
The woman isn’t what you’d necessarily call young – the lines round her eyes can no longer be ignored when surveying her face, and the belt of the dressing gown circumnavigates a fast-thickening waistline that she knows must be taken in hand soon, else never.
She is listening out for sounds, or rather, their absence. The rustling of a breeze in the trees, and, further away, the low rumble of the motorway, persistent even at this absent hour. The occasional car on the road by the house.
The thing that has brought her to the doorway is a sort of doppler effect of her own: jolted awake an hour earlier by a sense of life looming up and roaring by, no sign of stopping, and her feeling like a hitchhiker on that route, thumb out, ignored.
It’s never the easy things. Never a moment of remembering that you must buy washing up liquid or cat food, that a friend’s birthday is next week. No, the thoughts at these hours are always huge, dark as the sky and biting as that breeze. The where is my place and the is it too late and the what is it for anyway.
The woman remains on the doorstep for some minutes, willing herself to believe that the sky is getting lighter.