Monday, 14 October 2013

the reclusive room

Am away from home, in a hotel room, where the bathroom tiles are edged in Air Force Blue. Night has fallen and trash TV fills the space between the walls; a mild, restful, gaudy background buzz. I am draped or slumped upon the bed; my limbs burrow between a phone, a damp towel, a loop of cables, a winter hat, a blue leopard print umbrella; I am waiting to eat a pot of rice pudding, spoonfuls of comfort laced with cinnamon. Next to me, there is a much-thumbed magazine that I purloined from reception, as a plump young woman with empty chocolate eyes said "Bonne soirée".

I am here, admiring the curve of light falling from the standing lamp, colonizing this makeshift home. The Air Force Blue bathroom tiles remind me of my grandparent's house, the heady scent of the lavender hedges that lined their short garden path. But, nothing else here belongs to me. Anything could happen. There is a freedom in this anonymous expanse, a dreary land where everything is to be invented, again. "Aren't you lonely when you travel?", people ask, I always smile. Movement was written into my childhood and I developed a passion, a taste of wandering, I own a thirst for lone ranging that has yet to be quenched. This borrowed, short-term occupation is my interim caretaker; a fleeting hearth for my frame. Fleet from the old English to flit, to float; in this hotel room the flash of a bird's wing across the sky would have to be called evanescent