I was driving and saw a man I’d nearly done business with, lumbering through the grey intersection with a fat wallet in his white mitt. Not an hour later, a little over $700 was removed from my bank account. He must have been on the way to cash that cheque I’d written to him so reluctantly, feeling betrayed. And what’s more, he must have taken it into my branch so that the transaction could be completed immediately. That’s how much we wanted away from each other.
Later in the afternoon I dropped off some cash with good people who’d moved into a house and found the walls smeared here and there with the roughest grades of Polyfilla, and the bedroom fan switched out for something institutional and dust-covered, and was that chicken shit on the blades, they wondered as the spokes spun slowly, slicing late afternoon into manageable portions.
There was money changing hands, in other words. There was cash leaving my hands and being folded into others.
So I listened to Beth Gibbons, circa 2002, and decided she has the most beautiful voice I’ve ever heard, save maybe the first sounds my children made, and in saying that I’m thinking specifically of my son in that room above Toronto’s first snow, the nurse coaxing phlegm and splutter from his minute-old throat.
There were, as I sat there absorbing it all, stewing, views from my living room of the gingko tree planted before the new sidewalk. The leaves are going yellow and change everything about the light in this house, and the way I move through it. It is as if I wade through a dilution of lemons.
I drink scotch when the light drops away and the children are in bed. I hold the glass up in front of me like a lantern, and have no idea where I’m headed.
And finally, in bed, I read of a man on holiday near Gothenburg, and an awful, sad-sack amusement fair he walks through, a deflation of balloons and expectations. He is spending too much money and trying to make his children happy; I am learning about myself.
* The photo is Lucian's (of course).