If I had a car, or better yet the electric blue Suzuki GSX-R 600 I’ve been hankering after, I would be out there right now. On the shining blacktop, under the lamplight haven, watching the golden wash of headlights strobe over the streets and shop fronts, mimicking my life – here and gone. Here, and gone.
You used to drink more than your man could – waiting for the light.
It was my father’s birthday on St George’s day. As ever, I sent the mandatory text – we all gave up sending each other cards a while back, when things like job insecurity and the Dole made penny-pinching the habit of a lifetime – wishing him well, on his repeated 21st year. Never fails to tickle him. He is a younger mind now, more free and secure in himself than he ever was in the reality of his 20’s. Then, he was serving in the Royal Air Force, often pulling the sort of months-long stints that didn’t seem to end from one shift to the next – candlewick moments, with family life bubbling over in the wax, somewhere in between. He was indeed a flickering shadow on the wall of my childhood. Still, when he did come home on leave, he brought smiles and wooden airplanes, whittled with patient hands – thrown with an even more patient smile, again and again in the leaf-green Stadtpark, beside the great duck lake. My sister, being the older one, had considerably more co-ordination than I did; her plane would fly straight and true, gliding through the air like the swans on their diamond swoops over the water.
My plane would inevitably clout into a tree, breaking up at the roots. Dad sometimes lost his patience, but rarely the smile around his eyes.
I miss him. As I miss many things tonight, today, in a mood of silver-black and trees in November. Two quite prominent figures at work, have at last moved on; the result is an echo on the stairwells, a quieter smile passed between all. I have mentioned this phenomenon before, wherein the building seems to hold its breath, along with the mood of those contained within; it becomes a lake-heart of its own.
As above, so below.
The ache in my chest has nothing to do with what is in my heart, wherever you’d care to find the latter. Having stepped through the mirror – bidden, unbidden? who knows – and found another life, I am once again perplexed by the banality of cause and effect.
Wicked thorns, and a blue-black woodland. The boy I used to dream about in childhood, sat alone and waiting in a tree under the bonelight glow of the moon. Such claws, sketched over the sky; a crosshatch of feral things, and love (something like it) death.
That’s another story unfinished, untold until now. I hadn’t thought of the dream for a while, until it recurred recently. Seems to be, that childhood (or some other life) is coming back to live behind my eyes.
Integrity, I never much cared for, ten – fifteen – years ago. I’d thought myself brave, but hadn’t the faintest clue what this would entail.
I still don’t, really. Not yet. And it’s this uncertainty which keeps me going, despite cause and effect.
So I haven’t learned from my mother’s life. But there are certain things which the parental units cannot teach; and I am not walking in their footsteps, anyway. This is my experience, my truth.
Tell me yours.
It’s the same world, but everything is new.
I feel quieter now.