(Grasping for reasons)
Nothing that was wrong with the day was my fault.
Nothing that was wrong with the day was I able to alter.
I’m not ever sure it’s right to think in terms of what was ‘wrong’ with the day. With any day.
I don’t know. But I imagine you, like me, sometimes find yourself at the end of the day, trying to work out stuff about your own thoughts.
Anyway. However and whyever you think about it, not every day can be nice. And today, death loomed.
Preparing for a death isn’t part of most people’s everyday. But it shouldn’t be anything overly exceptional. It shouldn’t be. It shouldn’t be. Death always comes.
Perhaps the only thing wrong with the day is that I’m not comfortable looking back on it.
That’s my problem. Mine to deal with. I’d be a fool to think it was a bad day.
And what’s annoying me is that I don’t even know why I remembered some of the stuff I remembered today – thoughts about a sad death many years ago. I have better memories, there to be called on.
Of course, I’m a fool for caring a jot about what kind of day it was. Good day? Bad day? Who’s making the judgment? The day, any day, is just a remorseless measure.
Is that a comforting thought to sleep with? I don’t know. Maybe it offers a perspective and that isn’t a bad thing.
A day. Largely grey above. Any blue rare, fleeting. Windy. Showers due.
It would be sensible to revel in grey – it occurs enough. Bright-blue-sky-smiles must be triggered by something animal. We’re only animals trying not to be.
Wearing second-hand wellies. What can you call them? Left overs? Given to me by his partner; they happen to fit. I knew the now dead owner during seemingly happy times. A cousin said they were the happiest times. That’s good. But it’s all relative. I don’t know how bad things were before.
Wellies to pressure-wash a patio. Banish slippery-when-wet mould from the slabs. Banish as time and effort allows. Know it will return. Prevent an accident in the meantime. Hopefully.
Get it done before my neighbour’s back home. I don’t know when he’ll be back. His daughter didn’t know either. It will be his last visit. He’s coming home to die. An old cancer has spread despite two operations. And now new cancers have joined it, invading new organs. His daughter told me all this a day ago. I know notions of fairness are for the most part feeble constructs but … but he’s a good bloke living a decent life.
I’d noticed he’d not been around in the last three or four days. I’d seen his kids visiting more than usual in the days before. I know he’d been struggling. Nothing of what’s happened is surprising but that’s in retrospect. In recent weeks he’d seemed like he’d been getting better.
I pressure-washed the patio as soon as I could. My neighbour sleeps in the back of his house. I didn’t want him to be in bed and having to listen to me, the washer’s electric motor, the high-pressure water buffeting the slabs. The cancers will make him tired.
Looking back, I realise he’s lost a lot of weight over the last couple of months.
Years and years ago, someone I knew back then was dying from leukaemia. I was visiting. A neighbour, two houses down, was doing something noisy in the garden. Unwitting but disturbing. That dying man railed against the racket, albeit knowing and acknowledging that the neighbour was innocent of anything blame-worthy. Helpless frustration saps. Sometimes, even a little energy is precious.
Years and years later, that’s why I was pressure-washing a patio as soon as I could.
There’s no pleasure in remembering a reason to be considerate. Relief perhaps, in remembering to think. Scant relief.
Arguably … to be asking why one’s memory does what it does, is, perhaps, in itself merely stupid. It feels potentially ridiculous to expect a brain to explain a brain.