Monday, 10 November 2008

A routine

Falling into old patterns and routines is a common failing of man. Perhaps, I should amend that to ‘men’.
I mean, I’ve been coming to this beach at least once a week for the past year; and for what? I prefer to come alone, I scowl at the sea, I flinch when the birds fly by in case they drop shit on me. Maybe I come here so that I can get all my frustrations out without company to aim them at? Perhaps I’m good at preserving my relationships; with friends, wives and lovers equally, because I just haul out my pent up feelings once a week and throw them in the sea? Maybe we could all try that?
I came here last week to look at the newspaper and the letter I hid from Sylvie. That morning in bed I looked at her as she was rousing and when she opened her eyes she saw me looking directly into them and gently holding her soft face.
The poor thing screamed and shot out of bed; thought somebody was trying to kill her. I explained I was just thankful for what I’d got; such a beautiful and tranquil human being to share my life with. Then I told her I loved her. I can’t remember saying it before to her, though I’m sure I must have.
She dismissed it and said I must still be drunk from the night before. Then she said if I was after a bit then I wasn’t in luck as she had a busy day planned. Then she asked me if I wanted a bacon sandwich for breakfast and left the room before I could answer.
Of course, she knew what I was going to say in reply. I love bacon butties, plus a cup of English Breakfast, of course. I have it every day.
When I open the letter, I’m propped up against the timbers of the old pier. The tide’s right in, but it’s lapping softly and there’s only a light breeze. A gull is airing its wings right beside me and it looks like the damn thing’s trying to sneak a peek at my letter.
I pull the white piece of paper close to my chest so nobody can read it. I think about letting it go, down into the salt water below, but I don’t. It’s got my appointment on it, and I’ll never remember when and where I’ve got to go without it. Especially as I’m not telling Sylvie.
I need someone to drive me to and from the hospital though. I wonder, should I ask Anne? I ask the seagull his opinion and he almost shrugs then turns away.
I feel like wringing his damn neck and go to grab him, but he’s easily away from me and flapping. Very soon he’s soaring, off over the sea, and then all his worries will seem far, far behind him. Insignificant specs, to him, will we be.
He’s so high and still climbing.

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