02 January 2015

Like a dream

When I woke on New Year's Day last year, the balance of my life had shifted. I stepped out in the cold, in that cottage we stayed with Yoko's friend and the beautiful half-Japanese children, and I smoked a cigarello, cold like I hadn't been cold in a year. The metaphor of balance is wrong; the whole world had changed over night. I had a list of things to do, but it was 1 January and nothing was open. We went to the Buddhist temple in Milton Keynes, prayed the pagan prayers and sat under the Japanese kotatsu as people filed in and out. The second of January I came to Birmingham and found this house, the terrace house on Victoria Rd. I drove that little Corsa I had rented. I ticked things off, one at a time, taking in the cold and the night coming quickly. The list was long, yes, but it was a clear list.

This year, I woke up when I woke up — there was a bit of light, so I knew I had slept late. I got up and ran after talking myself into it, and came back to the quiet house. It was warmer today and I made coffee while the house woke up. Yoko and the kids have been hibernating, lounging around and watching TV between the Japanese New Year habits and customs: cleaning and eating mochi. I had cash to deposit in the bank and so at about one, packed my pipe, and set out up Victoria Rd, catching glimpses of myself in the car windows as I went up. Yesterday, I had gotten my hair cut by Dez, my barber who charges £6.50, but I paid £10 because he had done such a good job. I crossed Harborne Park Road, walked up to the High St and deposited the money.

This walk is a kind of anaphora. A reference back to the first time I came to Harborne Park Rd and waited for the traffic to pass. Is there meaning to be made at that moment, in my old grey coat, with a new haircut, my body trying to decide if it is gaining or losing weight. The problem with analogies is what they hide. Is it sleepwalking? I wanted to write out a set of resolutions for this year, but it's just silence. Let me pace it out this month. I will make sense of it by spring. Cross the road, wait for the text from Yoko. All the silence says is that things will stay same. The references will stay the same.

Birmingham
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