It is August I thought in one of the few seconds I have had for contemplation when I have not had to be somewhere or doing something, organising, visiting, clearing, interviewing, marking, booking.
It is the festival I thought as I picked up my post, tearing the plastic wrapping and looking at the glossy brochure as it tries to tempt me with this year's offerings, the odd writer catching my eye, resonating because of something else entirely.
It is the aftershave I thought as I sat squeezed on an over full bus, handbag at my feet, Gary Lightbody in my ears.
It is the bar I thought, my head woozy with vodka, my nose taking in the mixture of red wine and candle wax which fills the air.
They have moved the toilets upstairs now. There is a worrying step between cubicle and the main body of the room. It is a drunken ankle injury waiting to happen.
I did not expect this I thought. Decision made, it has been so long since I have glanced this way. I know, though, why it is here, why it should be now, that these thoughts should form.
Oblivion. You were always good at that.
Three months ago, I removed the dedication, you know. I did not mention it in the emails which have shrunk to almost nothing of importance. Why should it be yours when there are others who have held my hand along the way more than you ever did or ever could. More than I would, if the truth be told, ever want you to.
And then, a couple of weeks ago, I put it back. Because I saw it for what it was. I wouldn't have written it if it wasn't for you, as I took the route I take so often, bashing my feelings out on to a blank page. You did not aid the months of painful re-writes and edits and long conversations about killing one my favourite scenes. Others did that. And it was not you who made me hold my breath as it was read, waiting for what I came to realise was some form of, if not forgiveness, then at least acceptance. You were, if truth be told, something of an impediment, getting in the way more than once. It only flew once you had gone.
It would be easy to text I thought. A few well placed words. It is a game I play as well - if not better for I know how to use a semi-colon - as you.
I saw the photos. You have not (to my mild disappointment) shaved your hair, or broken your nose or grown a second head. You are simply you, echoing with ambivalence down the camera lens.
I cannot understand why this feels so acute I thought. As if it were last night and your ghost is on the stairs, awaiting its entrance.
It is time for me to leave I thought. I say my goodbyes and walk back into the August evening, its coldness stinging my skin.
And, to my surprise, you evaporate entirely.