Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Relentless Married Couples (more from a fiction in progress)

I imagine climbing Hellvellyn, the lonely peak, seeking solitude, the world spread out like a map beneath, the winds above blowing freely. I am expecting this, but then, over the crest of the hill, comes a wedding party, with their glasses of prosecco, their canapes and their horse drawn carriages full of smiling elders and excitable children. What are they doing here, I think, what the fuck are they doing striding over the top of Hellvellyn, smiling at snatching cameras? They have no place here, spoiling the view, staining the silence. But come toward me they do, and they never cease. Let me hide behind this rock, in this dip. Let me be shade and shadow. I'll wait till they've gone, but more will appear. Here's a bride to be, with her spreadsheets and table plans, not joyous at all but earnest and stressed, locked in the one-stop compartment full of curses and mirrors that's hurtling towards her wedding day. They never stop coming, these avatars of The Couple, these men and women, all coupled up, with their invitations to the wedding, the dinner party, the Christmas drinks, and me only wanting the depopulated peak of the hill, the patchwork of green and brown lands below, and acres to think, and dry stone walls as far as sight, and tarns like gleaming calm pieces of sky. I imagine them, the wedding party, quietly exploding, a gasp of sudden smoke; a cloud of smoke that drifts down to the lake, Ullswater, made when a glacier melted, a cloud drifting on water, caught by the rays of the setting sun, dispersed in the cold night air.

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