Shadows fall around my eyes as odd creatures materialise in them. The flint-hard shapes cutting the space like ancient arrow heads. Shimmering light and dark, edged white with history’s chalky coating. The stealth of long lost nights creeping silent and soft-footed like a hunting cat. Jealous of this careful, deadly skill I find myself strangely hungry. A longing for salted cashews, my favourite nuts, a packet of which I’d bought in lieu of lunch lest I missed the train.
A young priest sat opposite me and I noticed him eyeing the nuts so I shared them with him and we got into conversation. We discussed the oil crisis and the cost of petrol, which had been part of my decision to go by train.
It wasn’t the quickest journey to see father, as I had to change trains twice; Driving would’ve been the best solution but I wasn’t anxious to meet his steely gaze when I delivered my news. There’d be no champagne reception I’m sure. A grudging cup of Bergamot Tisane was the most likely offering from him I suspected.
Although I’d promised to keep him up to date, I knew he’d accuse me of pulling the wool over his eyes. I didn’t want to let him know I was moving to Mississippi and taking my Tiger with me as well. I fiddled with the key-ring I’d kept as a memento of that first visit there. I remembered the terrible greasy hamburger I’d shared with Ed. The fat pooling on the plate reminiscent of the candle-wax at the altar of past absolution discovered in the tiny beach chapel we’d visited on the California Coast. No I could never willingly return to live in his house.