Strange how at the end of my day’s writing I end up writing short little things, or poems, as if the act of writing itself only creates more writing, more ideas, more things to put down… so here’s something short, undoubtedly there will be some difficulties with my use of ‘to’ and ‘too’ (I always mix them up)…
I was still frying the bacon in the kitchen when I heard her padding though the lounge. I turned.
___‘What are you doing?’ she asked sleepily, wiping one of her eyes with the cuff of her nightgown.
___‘Making breakfast.’ I picked up the tea towel and used it to retrieve the plate from the oven.
___‘You don’t have to.’
___‘I know,’ I said, ‘I wanted to.’ I slid the cooked bacon onto the plate and placed it back in the oven. The heat steamed up my glasses.
___‘No,’ she said, walking up closer behind me, ‘I mean you don’t have to.’
___I turned again and tried to look into her eyes but couldn’t. I looked at my shoes, at the brown worn suede. ‘But I wanted to,’ I said.
___She reached out for me and I pushed her arm gently away, ‘Mark, look just let – ‘
___‘No,’ I said, pushing her arm away again, I could feel my voice weakening, ‘no, just… just tell me what you want.’
___It was quiet. I could hear the cars running over the cobbles outside and the screams of kids playing on their way to school. The sun shone through the gap in the curtains and lit up a picture of the Yorkshire Dales on the opposite wall. I had taken that picture, years ago. The eggs fizzed in the frying pan and I turned to them fearing they might burn. I felt tears on my cheeks. ‘What should I do?’ I asked.
___‘There’s nothing you can do.’
___‘There must be something.’
___‘You could…’ she started.
___She didn’t answer. I took the plate out of the oven and placed the eggs on the bacon. I could hear the ticking of the clock in the other room.
___‘You could leave?’ she said, raising her pitch at the end of the sentence as if it were a question though it was clearly a statement. My insides were an absence of organs. My head was a helium balloon. My feet were made of a concrete, heavier than the floor beneath us and I was falling and stretching and contorting and my lack of insides just didn’t know which way to go.
___‘I could leave?’ I said, repeating the words as if they were the only words I knew, ‘I could leave.’
___‘You could leave,’ she repeated, and I felt a frail arm on my back, a touch of pity that turned me to ice and I was paralyzed by the cooker, staring into that photo I took so many years ago, in the Yorkshire Dales.