I was waiting for my ride that morning. The morning when three of them stopped at the red light with their yellow lights flashing.
As I watched I was suddenly aware that they were flashing out of sequence. Each to a rhythm. And they were slow. Too slow to be flashing.
The light turned green : one left, one right, one back. Were they blinking or winking?
It should have been a day with stormy weather. Silly me, I thought we would share it together. As the falling rain pummeled the canopy, I would catch the splatter.
The clouds saw us walking together and laughed. They laughed so hard they rolled away from the sky. The sun shone. The water hid in the ground.
I watch you as you stand in a corner. On the day I thought you would be over me. The day that is bone dry. When the thunder murmurs, I will find you.
In the back row, next to the emergency exit. The buildings were rushing by as the engine quietened to a hush. Then the tarmac turned wet streaked by jets of falling rain thrown to the ground.
I sat up taller in my seat. The umbrella was on a laundry basket kilometres away where I had left it. In a few minutes, I would have to brave the wet and the streams of muddy water. For a moment, I could tense my back on the bus.
I returned today. It’s not quite as I remembered. Some things are still the same. Other things have vanished. Places that I used to know are stumps of concrete drowning in shrubs.
I returned today. I saw a few people. I had to seek out those I remembered. Once, I saw familiar faces everywhere. Time marches on and so do people. Even the court was empty.
I returned today. Where I used to reside the paint is worn, white bathroom tiles faded to a yellow that gleams through broken window panes and burglar proofing spotted with mould. Outside the fence, traffic was at a standstill.
Does it have to feel this way? Tossing and turning in the gyre of dreams in the waking moments. I blinked awake and stared at the ceiling. The white expanse felt quiet peaceful even. Like the promise of bored silence.
The grey of all the work issues started to crawl into view. I heard the thunder and whistling wind that followed them. Why now? On my day off! They covered the white and started to swirl.
I sat up and got on with my day. I felt the hook dig and the line strain. It was uncomfortable enough for a quick look at email and a couple of tasks. The sun was up in the sky when my mind snuck away and my body started to ache.
I switched it all off, packed away the equipment and thought of something more fun to do.
I can almost see it now.
I walked up to the door. It was open. I told myself that it would be a quick trip. The floor was clean. One of the workers walked into the room from a door I couldn’t see and wished me a good morning. I could see a woman inside the room. Her back to me, bag under right shoulder, gesturing at the wall.
That’s when another worker walked up to me and said something about another thing not working. She asked me if I could consider looking elsewhere in the house.
I saw the first woman turn around foldable smart phone in a posh colour in hand. I heard a car rush past in the distance. I smelt fried eggs and something else as I tasted my hunger. I thanked the worker and strode away.
Thunder in the morning. Thunder in the evening. Wind swept grass. Dust swept car. A standing chill. A missing heat. Stretching branches and swaying trunks.
A day in waiting.
Clouds dark and low. A soft light. Looking out over the tops of trees, the tops of houses behind the clouds. Like the background of a scene. Only the scene won’t start. The wind stands still. The hush of the trees grows quiet. Crickets chirp. Frogs croak. Nothing falls.
A day in waiting.
Just found out I had it all backwards. A context I had no knowledge of and know little still. It turns out I had heard it wrong—for years. It’s amazing what time, distance and absent minded dredging on the interwebs can dig up.
An article, a fan site annotation and some reading between the lines. A light bulb moment.
Four days have gone by and I am out of work hours.
I heard you knock. I heard the rap when the knuckles hit the wood. I had shut the door behind me. I didn’t know where the keys were. I imagined the world beyond it many times.
What I see leaves me anxious. Unwilling to venture. So I forgot where the keys were. You knocked again.
This could be my way back in. All those waking daydreams could come true. The skies could part and down come a whole different world. You knocked again.
I am looking for the keys. I am not scrambling. Where they could be. Where I last saw them. Or maybe I should find a screwdriver and get the door off its hinges.
Snap! And you were here. The many days-disappeared. The wait was over. Or had it just begun? The dance was kicks. The singing was cooing. You heard many songs. You sung “Let It Go”. You crawled. You ran. You climb. You jump.
I held you on my forearm. You are half my height. I told the doctor your age; his face said I couldn’t be right. A few scrapes and falls never stopped your roll.
Some days are sad. Some days are bright. A lot happens in this life that you will need to take light. Many more born days, this I wish for you. Keep it light, one moment at a time.