A Memory & A Longing

Phone snapshot, (slightly) edited
    At Wivenhoe, a kind of tradition begins, an order of songs for the rest of the journey: ParabolParabolaTicks & LeechesDisposition*—Reflection.I continue to read through Flights by Olga Tokarczuk in my carriage so empty alone. I tap my feet along to the music, noisily, as if in a jolly bar, but the carriage is empty. The windows are all closed now, there are no draughts, no people, there is no heating; outside of the window a thick-cloud smothered darkness that is not so much darkness but the black of a subterranean crude oil reservoir my submarine manoeuvres through. There is a morse code of blinking lights from the scenery and one might, with years of experience, be able to determine where they are, but otherwise you are on your own. It is a kind of rebirth at the end of the day from which I emerge a trifle dazed. It is because of this bad feeling that I sit in a part of the train that clears out early, so that there are no spectators to my bewilderment and discomfort. Nonetheless I tap along to the music and read and wait for the station of home to hit me.
    It is so dark now. The clocks went back and I never really thought about it enough, so that when, on the Monday morning, I was witness on my walk to the waking sunrise again, I was overjoyed! but I did not begin to consider than the sun would set earlier, and that my evening would be darker than it had been, a sky submerged deeper into the twilight. Old habits die hard, and with that I pause before entering the automatic doors, look up & down the platform, before taking a snapshot on my phone of the sunrise. I almost say aloud—‘Hello, old friend.’ But our knowing glances will not last long; soon I will leave in the dark and return in the dark and bearing witness to the day’s most colourful beginnings will be a memory and a longing. It is getting very cold now. I do not watch the news.
    They moved my desk. I have no clue where they have hidden it and I do not think to ask. The desk was bought at the start of lockdown and placed in my parents’ kitchen in front of the windows. It is an ugly plastic desk in pale dirty grey with little flecks of black in it that will often be mistaken for dust or bits of tobacco, but in that location I am privileged to look out over the garden, come rain or shine, and daydream at the foot of the view. There are drag-marks scored on the floor from my chair of six months. This month of October I have found myself to be very productive, writing more than I have in a long time. I always wrote at that desk. When the desk disappeared, I wondered where I would write. I went back to my bedroom and set up there – after some rearrangement of plants, books off the shelf, finding something to sit on, a little desk (that my grandmother used to rest her cups of coffee or ginger wine on, her cartons of medication, her tissues; a little desk as unsightly as it is enveloped in memory) and I could barely fit my glass of wine on there along with the laptop and mouse. The words did not come. I copied out a few stanzas of Akhmatova for inspiration, but it triggered in me only sad memories. I got into bed and could not sleep, my thoughts racing angrily. Many times I sat up and shook from myself the ghosts that haunted me. I slept very little and when I got into work, the first thing my friend said to me was—‘Not get much sleep last night, then?’ He could tell! Am I so easy to read?
    In the absence of a desk, any permanent or settled space to write in the evening, I thought I might indulge myself with a new keyboard. I cannot spend any amount of money, though, without researching it thoroughly first. Every option must be examined over & over. Videos, news articles, reviews, magazines, blogs, brand social media, the science behind design; everything must be dissected and understood. I now know more than I care to about keyboards. Mac, Windows, US, UK ISO, full-size, TKL, 65%, 60% tenkeyless, red, blue, brown, white, RGB, and cherries. Perhaps, I think, a new keyboard will inspire me to write no matter where I am. I miss that desk. Whoever heard of anyone missing a desk! and such an ugly desk at that!

* Lateralus skipped, for reasons best avoided right now.