Summer Romance



Extract from a diary found South of here (12) – Last Words

These are the last words that I will say to you.

Moving from room to room in the half-light of the house, dust motes caught in the slim shafts of sun slipping through the half closed curtains. I trace the tips of my fingers across old wooden shelves and glance at the photos placed before the books.

Listener’s Library beside the paisley covered high wing back rocker. Reading glasses on the dining room table, half hidden under post and papers. Dirty work shoes at the kitchen door.

Mom is crying softly in the bedroom and Dad is pacing the hall.

These are the last words that I will say to you.

The afternoon shifts westward as hands fold upon themselves, over and over and over. We close our eyes and wait for the ceiling to dissolve away, to reveal the glory of the bright white clouds above, the towering clouds we always knew were there.

In the bathroom, the tooth-brush still rests in the glass beside the toothpaste. Tubes of paste and bottles of pills in the cabinet. Silent in the gloom. I look at myself in the mirror and trace the line back into the past, beyond the foyer and front door, the oak tree and garden gate.


I hear the sound of a window being opened and in the silence, I hear the release, the breath and know the last words have been whispered.

Through the open kitchen door, I hear children playing tennis in the street.

Extract from a diary found South of here (11) – Long Distance Cycling

We cycled until we were certain that the sun had begun to rise -until the sky began to turn from black to deep blue to purple to orange and till the colours began to push back the dark covering of night and all its stars.

It was like we had ridden the curve of light into another realm where the tin roofed houses were smaller than our own, where pink flamingos stood stranded beneath ancient palm trees and thin wire fences rusted in silence through a million winter rains.

Then, at No. 36 Valhalla Street, as the eastern sky changed colour over tin roofs, you said, “Lets go back home. We’ve come far enough”.

And so we rode home with the coming dawn, back into the past.