I wrote this in November.
Recently, these things:
Tying up bunting on a veranda, sheets of rain. On a horizontal cross piece between two vertical wooden supports, the tiny mummified skeleton of a bat. White bones, remnants of red brown fur.
The stick of the white kitchen tiles against my back as I watch the girl from Benin mix crepe batter in her too-warm kitchen. Watch her open sachets of vanilla sugar, zest a lime.
A boat, noisy, the spray of water, the smell of petrol. And the speed, fast, so fast, so that with the sky above and the sky reflected on the river below, and the upwards angle of the boat itself, it feels like we’re flying. The way home, one motor not working, the craft low in the water, and slower than before. The setting sun, everything pink and gold, burnished, beautiful.
An ant bite, on my right thigh, that is painful, and hot to the touch, like a burn.
All these things. And this – that a cream envelope with a blue stamp can land on your desk. Inside, a thick card, embossed with the image of a tandem bicycle, two names and a save the date. On the reverse, handwritten in blue ink, two more names, mine and his, 'Dear B --- & M ---, hope you can make it'. A wave of sadness then. At what was, but no longer is.
For days the heat building and building, unbearable. Until yesterday, after work, the air cool, the sky bruise-coloured, yellow, grey, deep blue. A storm coming. Today we woke to grey skies, rain, seemingly endless.