Wednesday, 24 September 2014
On furlough from oblivion
A timid transfer from horizontal (back, shoulders, bum) to vertical (left hip issuing osteo-arthritic signals). The carpet is rough to the soles of my feet as I unhook my fleece dressing gown (US: robe) from the en-suite door. Quietly in the dark, since VR is, or was, asleep.
In the dark study I flick switches marked Canada, USA, France and other distant exotic places. Outside, dawn is perhaps a quarter-of-an-hour old. In a month's time I'll be doing all this in the pre-dawn blackness.
Downstairs, an old man's right hand gripping the bannister, straight to the old man's comfort room - the downstairs loo. Carefully targeting.
And now an additional task: drawing the heavy French window curtains at the rear of the house, then reeling up the seven blinds and letting street light into the lounge.
Trickier stuff in the dark kitchen. I scissor open a foil sachet and use the moist fragment of fabric to wipe my eyelids free from blepharitic crud. Bathe my eyes. An old man's emergence.
Upstairs the monitor glows with promise. Study door closed I am able to switch on the desk light. The cursor flutters over LiveMail.
Hello! Does anyone remember me?
Blest Redeemer (revised), 141,758 words
The Catford flat lasted much longer than Judith expected. During her six-year stay she changed her job twice, welcomed and dispatched half a dozen women who helped her pay the rent, planned and supervised the loss of her virginity and ceased to be a teenager without necessarily becoming an adult.