20 December 2014

1910 cold & a top that won't wobble

The house on Victoria Road is cold now. Cold like when it was first built and whoever lived there made fires to warm the whole house. A 1910 cold. I have been building fires sometimes, when I have the energy to tend them, but most days I just stand at my desk and am cold. We went to St Peters on Sunday morning, a rash decision for me. I was lying under a blanket on the sofa and the girls wouldn't go with Yoko, but wanted to stay with me. So I got up and we walked in on the liturgy. The heaters were broken and everyone was wearing coats. When the vicar spoke, you could see his breath. Who are you? he asked, and it rang out in the way that sound does in the cold.

When you settle, the things you own settle with you and do not physically weigh you down. In 2013, we packed boxes, all of our things and tried to make everything fit into a space much smaller than it could. Now, the weight of the things I own is dispersed throughout the house at Victoria Road. I don't know how much it weighs unless I try to move it. I don't know how many thirty kilogram boxes we would need if we had to move in a month.

Every morning, after I wake and eat my breakfast, I go upstairs, pull on my running gear and pack my bag with my computer and some of the things I need for the day: some weight, to be sure, but not nearly all of it. I touch Yoko on the leg, and say, I am leaving, and she says goodbye. I open and close the front door and lock it — run down Victoria Road to the double roundabouts at the end of War Lane and then head into the darkness. Cross the road at the first pelican crossing or later down the road because it doesn't matter. I run like I could run this same route, down this same road, for five or ten years, all my things safe and sound in the house. It could go on and on and on, like a top spinning, but never falling. You watch it and wonder when you'll see the wobble.

I work out and shower and write and teach and then run home. Sometimes I pick up the kids at school. I get home, I shower. It's warm in the house at the end of the day and I don't worry about the heating bill anymore. It's irrelevant anyway. I go to bed and wake up and take the kids to school and run up and down the same roads again.
When the plane pulled up, away from KLIA, I shut my eyes and put my head back. Every choice you make is just one in a string of choices. Which ones are good and which are bad, who really knows.