After all the jazz and politics of last night I crave innocent sunlight and laughter. Things you get for free just because you’re walking down the footpath of your town and not expecting anything and not paying to be entertained. There’s a kid in the park spinning giant plastic noughts and crosses with his starfish hands. There’s ducks landing like broken aircraft on the pond making ungracious ripples that fight each other to become proper waves. There’s a backyard that I see into because I’m on top of the hill and in it is a washing line with identical black robes hanging off it in a line and it looks like laundry day for some cult but really I know the backyard backs onto a café who have black tablecloths and the people that serve you wear black clothes and aprons. Strange how things seem when you don’t know about them yet.
Coming down the hill I feel the temperature dropping and I hear the starfish kid crying behind me with his voice carrying on the breeze and I imagine one of the noughts or crosses have broken off or someone’s beaten him at a game although I don’t know if a kid of that age would really know the rules yet. Maybe he thought he lost but really he’d won and one day his mother or father would tell him about it and he’d feel okay because he was the real winner in life. Maybe it won’t matter to him at all.
I cross the road nearby to the crossing but not exactly at the crossing because you don’t need to as all the cars have already turned off to go up the high street so I get across easily and walk briefly to the sound of a drumbeat coming out of a clothes store, as if I’m in a film clip and it’s important that my footsteps synchronise with the music. I can see the spire of the church in the distance and it’s not that it’s scary but it’s more imposing than anything when I really begin to think about it. I try to catch my reflection in the paned window of the post office but my eyes focus behind the glass instead and I count the number of different types of postbags and they’re lined up like children in a class arranged from smallest to biggest and so I don’t see my reflection and so I have no idea what I look like when other people see me. Not that you can really see what you really look like just from looking at a reflection because it’s not you and it’s actually the mirror you because what you’re seeing is you backwards. To really know what you look like, you either have to look at yourself in the reflection of one mirror reflected from another which is really too hard or you look at yourself in a photo which can be quite strange especially if you’re seeing yourself for the first time.