We turned the heating on. We don’t want our energy bills to go up, but it’s cold. All week we have been yawning or awake too early. The clocks have gone back, re-gifting the hour that we gave for springtime. I was excited that I could walk home in twilight. London’s autumn evening light was rose. The buildings looked like deep sea creatures lighting up in the dusk. But the hour we’ve gained makes me walk home in darkness. London is now jewels in the dark. I have to wait until after the winter solstice to see the underwater creatures of London’s tall buildings again.
I usually write about autumn in October but this year, even though autumn is finally here, in the difference in the air itself, in the wetness of the air, in the russet twilight, I won’t write about it. Things are changing. I can’t spend my life looking back. Always staring into myself like Narcissus into a lake, although actively listening for Echo, re-working things that float around in my own head, taking twigs of experience and twisting them into some kind of wicker metaphor for something that could be universal. I should write a story about what is going to happen, or what is happening right now in this moment, unravelling at the speed of an eye over text. That’s what I should write. Even using ‘should’ begins to play into the past tense, but maybe doubt is the mood of the present tense, maybe ‘am’ has embiggened its role in our tensual state. No, I think I’m wrong. ‘Should’ is the moment before the present. But what can you say about the present? I am writing this. I am writing this to you. You are reading this. You are thinking, what will happen at the end of this sentence? Or maybe I am thinking that and in thinking that I reach the end of the sentence. Become the moment between the present and the future. Where are some characters to accompany us together riding this to the end, we’re both here, but is there anyone else?
During these days in between the seasons I sprawl on my bed in my sixth-floor two-room apartment in the city that has adopted me, in a country that is not mine. I spend my time eating toast and watching people from the single small window of my apartment. There’s a woman I often see. She looks about thirty, or thirty five, or thirty six. In this weather she wears light strappy summer dresses. She hustles a black hulk of a Victorian pram and a little boy up the street past my building a couple of times a week. She wrestles the pram up and over the street kerbs, it seems improbably weighty. The little boy messes about and gets smacked on his ear for it; on their way back he is usually occupied with a lollipop or packet of crisps. The woman arranges plastic bags around the pram and her floral dress is damp down the middle of her back and sticks to her body. They don’t notice me, I think, leaning on my elbows out of my window.