From behind broken glass the morning sky reads time to go. The
Undergraduate pulls himself off his mattress and splashes himself with
cold water from the sink above the stairs. On his way down from the
attic he steps only above the risers, stepping easier once out the door
and on concrete. He heads up the street, across the schoolyard, on to
the footpaths through the park. The sequence and spacing of mud and
puddles reminds him he used the same paths as a schoolboy. Past the
park, he walks the alleys, envying intact carriage house windows,
savouring the solitude of the walk.
Middle-aged and long since graduated he can not shut off his mind. It
skitters from worry to worry, pain to pain: children, work, no work,
money, women, worry itself. There is no question of sleep; he sits awake
if only to keep his mind on other things. He goes to bed when his body
can no longer support itself.
Head on pillow, he retrieves memories of the attic room and the view of
the winter sky. He intends to move sequentially: from window to sink to
cold water… the iron stains under the taps, the steps from the attic,
the girl who read to him when he was sick. He walks through alleys,
savouring each carriage house, bisecting each memory with more intricate
detail, never arriving.