Saturday, September 12, 2009

Beside the lake.

I walk beside a lake. You're over there, standing on the sand quite far but close enough to see the grim look in your face.

I think how pretty is your reflection, how your dress falls in a delicious curve from your shoulders . It's an ivory white dress and your dark brown hair flows down to your shoulders too, so from here your silhouette against the water is a series of curving lines, echoing each other. Your dress turns over the edges of your tiny shoes. I remember how your feet are small and soft and have no callouses or bits of dead skin, like a baby's feet in their sweetness. If only your personality were equally tender!

You are wearing a champagne coloured Hermes scarf round your neck, French style. I gave it to you when I came back from Paris last year and we had just started seeing each other. You let me tie it round your neck: the smell of you so close: you, your perfumes and shampoos: nature and art combined; intoxicating...

The reflection mirrors you, every now and again a ripple breaks it, but only for so long as to remind you how serene and magnificent is your image, a medieval queen of sorrow.

I stand there weighed down by irritation and despair. I also have an itching in my scalp, partly a psychosomatic response to our recent row about the missing train tickets which I accused you of losing, and partly because the shampoo seems to have run out. To my credit I did not mention this in the argument, though admittedly I am not a big fan of hair washing as it seems to make my thin hair go flat and the size of my face then seems abnormally pronounced.

But we have argued too recently for a conversation. All we can do is scowl at each other.

It hasn't been a great vacation but you do dress well. I feared you'd take off the scarf during the arguments and fling it at me in a gesture of disgust: I am glad you didn't, though I don't know if this was for sartorial reasons, because of the chill in the air, or because you simply didn't realise how effectively this would have hurt me.

Anyway, I'm sorry: I should have taken more photos of you with the new Lumix digital camera. I'm truly sorry about that because I'm sure our friends- especially Angela and Floyd- would have liked to see them. I'm sure they wouldn't have deleted them from their inboxes but would have admired each image and added appropriately witty sweet comments on Facebook.

Now, I think I will go back to the cottage and make some gin and tonics before we catch the train back. The train tickets were in my overcoat pocket all along, but I'll say they were on the mantelpiece under The Observer's Guide to Pond Life.

Image: Across the Lake, Monotype

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