December glares beyond the shade our house affords. Trees reduce the intensity. Down here, under poles stripped of gooseberry glory, where garden meets backdoor, we take tea. It’s the hottest day in living memory. The cats don’t like it. It’s said it’s the hottest year, it’s the hottest decade. No one quite knows what to quote in response to this information, as we try more hot water infused with ancient Chinese tealeaves, so old we taste its woodiness, who are older still, making old bones in arbour shades. We talk about friends, books, music and all that kind of stuff.
Wednesday, 7 December 2016
December offers not much more than light at the end of the tunnel. It’s rats alley where rails curve under Jolimont. Wall lamps are caged against smashers. When express services cease ‘mad’ muralists enter the arched cave with spraycans. Filmed with dust, musty after rain, rusty with tins: Victorian redbrick built to last. Bored and drugged, they mark out their initial territory. Sunrise is a sensation by slow degrees. Heavy duty, trains return, a thousand lights at stylish windows. Carriages never stop but for a signal from beyond. ‘Mad’ novelists keep the travellers’ attention, scrolled down with compulsive index finger.
Monday, 5 December 2016
December stops at the highway for ceaseless gear change. One moment your mind’s a thousand thoughts to manage, now cannot think a thing of its own. Cars, vans, unstoppable minibuses race through green spectre, 80+kpm precision. Their drivers don’t see you, your dog, or an aged woman arrived at the crossing. Is it like this forever in meteorite showers? It’s nothing you can reach out and touch. Press the button. The mind must wonder how it got to this, traffic’s infinite vanishing point, its mindless sound. You take a minute’s non-thought, then a mechanic bird tick-tick-ticks the seconds to walk.