Sunday, 22 December 2013

Crazy cyclist in Witchurch

It's difficult to find the moments without distraction for writing. I've had troubles with my downstairs neighbours' two young children running from room to room, shouting and stomping for hours, which isn't really the best atmosphere for creativity. A friendly chat didn't change anything either, apart from a nice and warm friendly hello changing to a rather frosty nod. As soon as Christmas is over, I'll begin to look for flats again. My landlord is the rudest person I've ever met in my life and I hated this place from the day I'd moved in. If you've followed this blog for longer, you'd know why. However, despite my dreading the enormous bulk I still have to write--a panic that doesn't want to go away--I am determined to do my best and continue, and as a result, here are tonight's efforts. I'm quite happy with this, if I do say so myself. As always, keep in mind, it's fresh from the press and therefore contains errors. (If you're new to the blog and would rather read from the beginning, then you can start here.)

Wilderness in London
Will this never end? I splashed cold water into my face to make sure I didn't get odd looks at the supermarket. The outbreaks came in waves, though not as often as they did in the beginning, they'd become somewhat unpredictable. Yes, in the early phase of bereavement I didn't care much about the tears, now, as I've left the house and would bump into strangers on a daily basis, I felt exposed. It could happen at any moment a memory popped up before my inner eye and it would be rather embarrassing if that would be at the till or in the dining room at the B&B—considering that I'd come here to not be looked at as the woman who's lost her husband. I wanted normal. No well meant pat, or emphatic hug, no soft touch to my arms, nor nice words would bring John back; the loss of him was something that had left a gaping void. The lows, however, were throwing me back, every single time. It was as if I was threatening to drown in a pool of devastation, and I could only come up for air when someone pulled the plug—when the weeps became soft sighs and the tears stopped coming. I massaged my swollen eyes and, leaning closer to the mirror, checked if I was ready to face the public. A short ruffle of my locks and a nod later, I returned to the bedroom to put on my boots and coat.
Without the sun it was rather chilly and I was glad for my ability to learn from previous mistakes. At least I wouldn't freeze. I marched ahead, turning left at the end of the small way that lead to the Inn. I'd passed Tesco's on the way here in the cab. A tractor crept along the road, a car patiently driving behind it; in this village time went slower than in London. You never notice how hectic the city is until you leave for a while, it's like you went through a time machine. I sighed. If only there were such a thing. I'd give my life for having John back, and it wouldn't matter where we'd be, as long as I could see his wonderful face again—acne scars and all, his kind eyes which looked at me with so much love it hurt just thinking about it; once more to feel the warmth of his body next to mine when I wake up, or hear his voice—the particular rasp to it when he'd said he loved me. I blinked furiously, swallowing hard. 'No, Elaine, keep it together!' Determined, I took a deep, shuddering breath. Okay, you got this. And not a moment too early, as my destination appeared to the right, slightly hidden by a row of trees. I am not sure if it was my not looking before stepping into the road—the lack of the sound of a car engine gave me the confidence that it's secure to cross—or my being distracted, but a voice shouting, 'Oi, watch it!' taught me otherwise. At hair's width, a guy, clad in a parka, whizzed past me on a bike. He came so close, I could smell his clothes which carried the odour of food, and hear music blearing from his headphones.
'Sorry,' I called after him when I recovered from the surprise, but he was already too far gone.
It was something I'd expect at home, particularly with my working in the city centre, but here, how were the odds to collide with a cyclist? Shaking the incident off, I crossed the road. The supermarket wasn't too crowded. Strange, I thought, in London you'd be standing with your nose in someone's neck every time you'd turn—especially before Christmas. I guess that most folks here had done their shopping for the festive days already in one of the bigger stores in the city. Lucky for me; I hated queuing. Minutes later, and armed with a BLT, a curry, and a bottle of Zinfandel, I left the store. Outside I opened the sandwich packet and hungrily took a bite. It didn't take long to gobble it down. Appetite's definitely coming back. A good thing. I'd started to become worried myself, for I'd lost so much weight that everything was sitting rather loose, even my wedding ring had begun to slip off on several occasions. In fear of losing it, I'd taken it off, guilt punching me in the stomach as I closed the drawer. Parting with the symbol of my marriage, the vow, and the love I'd committed to wasn't something I'd ever planned doing. At least not that early. I'd expected it maybe to be thirty years later, after a long and fulfilled life together. I took a long look at my naked ring finger before putting my glove back on with a deep sigh.

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