13.1.18 Edge of the marshes
Cabin fever hit me like a tackle to the ribs this afternoon. I don't know why. The morning had given me breakfast out and laughter and a movie reel of grey sky through the car window, but it wasn't enough today, despite being so tired after. I just couldn't stay here. I couldn't breathe, and so I ran away.
Without help, I am joined to my house by an invisible tether and it does not stretch far. The mobility scooter I turned to helps, but my body's battery does not power as well as it does so trips are still kept short. The scooter battery comes with its own problems, too. Impossibly heavy, charging it means a brace and painful heave, and so I don't all that often. I hadn't. I knew it was almost dead.
Four bars. Four bars of freedom and escape I could have had, but it had shown two last time, and once you get two you lose them faster. I knew this as I pulled on boots and coat and scarf in the near dark and shut the door anyway. I needed out. Don't care.
I'd give it till it dropped to one, that's what I'd do. I'd go as far as that would take me, and then I'd turn back and pray it lasted. And so I did, breathing hard to try and get some air in my lungs, huddled under the ridiculous blanket I'd wrapped myself in to try and stave off the cold that brings me down more quickly than anything. I steered away from traffic and industrial grey and towards the marshland that runs behind our estate. I can't get into it, but a new paved path runs past it and means I can get close enough to at least see its sky, and so I headed there, a slow, farcical runaway in a rainbow blanket.
The bar blinked out five minutes in, just as I began to hit a wilder space and breathe a little easier, and I stopped, dutifully, and swore. There was no view to tell of, the fading light dulling everything, my low sight-line blocked by winter hedges, but I sat and waited anyway, and watched, because I am nothing if not hopeful.
I was facing west, I realised, the sunset hidden behind cloud except for in one place. A tear in the air shaped like a long-necked bird in flight glowed orange and I watched it burn and close. And perhaps it was the colour that tuned my eye, because then I saw more of it, through the hedge right in front of me.
There. A flash of orange and a singular bend of white that could only mean one thing in all the world and all of time.
A swan above and a swan below, I thought, as I turned and drove back home and smiled. That'll do for today just fine.