Today is my parent’s wedding anniversary. They were married at two o’clock on the twenty-ninth of June, nineteen-eighty-three. The number eighty-three is a strong number to me: eight is four-sided and the colour orange; three is the colour green and beautifully symmetrical. Thirty-seven years later. I have seen the photographs; I recognise the church. The colours are sliding in emerald, blue & black. My mother and father look so happy. Their wedding happened so long ago that, to me, it may well have been in the Bible. Church hall and shoestrings. The Anglo-Indians (maternal) did the food; the Irish (paternal) did the tea. The Anglo-Indians danced and laughed; the Irish sat in the corner, telling stories.
  My father carried my mother across the threshold of their new house on their wedding night. Twenty-four-years-old. Biblical times. They bought a dog and the dog was called Morton; a rescue with softness who, two years later, when I arrived, would not react ferociously when I clambered into his basket, even licking my face and curling around me during nap-time.
  When my father was my age, I was nine-years old. He was out in a small village, amongst the trees. Morton was dead from cancer; he had died at nine-years-old. His life and my own had been as long. There was a new dog; a precocious little cunt called Sparky, who took great pleasure in voicing complaints of being left alone by taking a shit on the upstairs carpet. It was he I came to love the most. Dog and human years running side-by-side.
Tomorrow is my brother’s wedding anniversary. He was married at twelve-thirty on the thirtieth of June, two-thousand-and-seventeen. I don’t have any opinion on the number seventeen. My parents will be looking after his two daughters as they attend a funeral.
 Furlough is not so bad. I have managed to maintain my routine. I awake—almost always tiredly—every morning at eight o’clock and am downstairs, washed and ready, by quarter-to-nine. In the garden I will enjoy a cigarette lazily, then go the sofa with a coffee to read. After that, I sit down at my desk to write. Sometimes the words come easily, and sometimes (like today) they struggle to come at all. Other days, like Friday, I will feel in no standard to put down a single word, and yet out they come! flowing like a river. I still go for my walks in the afternoon. There is a house along the way with a large box outside; on the box is a sign—After thirty years of life drawing, I finally had a sort out of all my sketches and have decided to clear them out. Please have a look and help yourself to any that you like. I peruse the sketches, slightly fearful that I am being watched from inside the house. I smile at the sketches I like—young nudes—but don’t take any. If people ask me if I’m ok, I tell them I will be. The only person I speak to about anything is my therapist. She charges by the hour. I thought about giving her up because money is tough right now, but who would I speak to? Every Wednesday at six o’clock.
  My parents want to get an Indian takeaway for dinner.
  It’s cooler today; grey and overcast. It is easier to sleep. I feel like I have nothing more to say.