Wednesday, 16 April 2008

Everything looks different

Everything looks different. It’s a different day, I’m sure. Yesterday, I had spaghetti bolognaise and today, a lamb curry with apricots and a peshwari naan. So it is definitely a different day. I think it was sunny yesterday evening too. Tonight we can see the sun and the moon together, in the same sky, a bit like when my teenagers and toddlers actually make it to the same dinner table.

The dog’s in a better frame of mind than yesterday, less jumpy. He’s sniffing things less; definitely less nervous than he yesterday when he jumped at the slightest sound. And I had thought he was deaf; another one of my misjudgements. I wonder if he’s forgiven me for the other day yet? He won’t look me in the eye and I’m not sure if that’s out of respect for my status in his pack or out of contempt for me. His face is looking a little less swollen but his eyes are weary and the flesh on his injured cheek hangs lower than the other one. The dried blood is still visible under the stubble on his forehead and from certain angles he looks hard; from others, beaten up.

Still, he seems happy enough and we’re taking the same route as last night. I don’t make a point of walking him at a particular time each day but it’s often after dinner which in itself, is not always at regular times depending on various children’s activities. So I am surprised to pass the same man amongst the trickle of commuters presumably arriving back on the train from London. It was a man who looks uncomfortable in his position as city gent, who would be happier in more rural surroundings. He is bearded, wearing a green jacket and carrying a rucksack. I wonder what’s in it? Yesterday, he smiled because I moved onto the grass verge to allow him more space on the pavement. Today, I don’t notice because I am already wondering how I came to be in the same spot at the same time so accidentally. Maybe he didn’t smile. Maybe he had a bad day. Did I imagine he looked cross? I keep walking, past the school and I hear a young child crying. I saw it yesterday; a man in his thirties, herding two youngsters out of the front door of a house opposite, the smallest child crying, clutching a white cloth. I’d thought that they must have had tea at their Grandma’s and are sad to be leaving her. But two days running? And where’s the mother? And if it’s not Grandma’s, why is it so awful to be going home?

I preferred yesterday. I’m tired of today, tired of walking and seeing the same people who keep changing their stories. Tomorrow’s another day and I’ll take a different route.

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