Spring is bold and bright. My friend visits, beautiful, in white shoes. We walk, meet neighbours along the path, avoid dogshit, see wild strawberry flowers already in blossom. We discuss her father, his failing mind, the buddy system that tracks him as a blinking dot on a screen when he goes out for a walk, forgetting that he forgets, even his speech unravelling.
Afterwards, on my fifth cup of stewed, strong dark tea, we talk about how our lives fall short, what we think we’ve missed, sudden death. My friend says ‘I think I may have taken a wrong turn’. I fall silent. Are friends supposed to comfort each other? Or do we sometimes just nod. Life falls short. We fail. Things are not what we wish they would be.
My boyfriend and my son return, shouting, and people move cars and my friend leaves for the city. I sit here looking at the duck egg sky, the Campsies that are always dappled, dark Prussian blue, pale gold sunshine. We want to move house, somewhere bigger, somewhere safer, somewhere more permanent. There is nowhere to go. Life is all made of wrong turns. It’s okay.