Sunday October 1, 2006
To St Audries late this evening to pick up Graham so’s he can spend his half-day break here at home.
I had a poem building in my head for company on the dark, narrow, winding road and most welcome it was, too. When you’re searching for a suitable cadence on which to pin-board a handful of trigger words you do tend to drive at a sensible pace. Driving too fast on this dangerous strip of road is an invitation to a quick and messy death, if not for the driver then for the wild animals that live on either side of it.
Some motorists, like me, who care deeply about the latter victims, drive slowly and carefully. I use my front fog lamps to cast a low pool of light on either side the better to see and avoid them. Others, sadly, are not so concerned, and proceed like blind maniacs bent on destruction, of either kind. My reaction when they drive up to me, headlights blazing, is to signal that I’m going to pull in, slow right down and stop if necessary, so they can pass and continue their journey at their own pace. They do so without my blessing, I’m afraid.
The inevitable encounters of this kind didn’t stop the poem tonight, thankfully, and I was able to keep the sour thoughts in a separate compartment, ready for another poem, another day.
I had to open a further compartment when I walked through the club house, tripping over drunken transvestites, to let Graham know I was there. It was a scene from some so far undocumented circle of hell and had nothing to do with my poem. Somehow I don’t think I’ll be using this compartment for poetic purposes; I don’t really know if they inhabit an outermost circle of hell, but they surely don’t live in my world. It’s not disdain on my part, not much, anyway, and certainly not condemnation. Simply a complete inability to understand the ‘why’ of their life choice.
Whatever, it was a great relief to step out of the haze of tobacco smoke and cheap perfume into the freshly rain-washed air, and to saunter down the track to the caravan. I had my poem still for company.
When once Graham had finished we wasted no time setting out on the return leg of the journey. The road by this time was mostly empty, so I had no difficulty in proceeding at a gentle pace. By my observation it takes no longer in real terms to travel the ten or eleven miles of this dark and difficult road whether you drive fast or slow. I prefer slow.
I locked my poem safely in its own compartment, and shall see if it’s ready to be scribbled down on paper early tomorrow morning.
Meantime, we chatted merrily, greeted a puzzled Mega-cat on our arrival, and consumed a light supper before turning in.
Dolly stayed up a little longer, working to clear the house of the small number of dizzy drunken caddis-flies that’d danced through the door when we came in. Didn’t take long and, just before I drifted off, I felt the soft flerrumph as she jumped up on the bed to nestle against my legs. I reached down to ruffle the top of her head and whispered very quietly: “There you go, Dolly, all together once more. Won’t be long now before this is the rule rather than the exception.”