You have dreamt so often of what you would  do
If your life were irrevocably changed
That when you are forced finally from the route best understood
And on to another less obvious way,
You think at first, fantasy will sustain you
Sink, then dream into what might have been!

For though on the brilliant branch
The brilliant fruit still clings
It is no longer reached with ease,
And it’s dazzle’s frightening.

Brian Patten.

When Mark still lived here, there were days when I wished he would just blow away. I daydreamed about a life less ordinary. New places, new faces, new shoes and maybe even a new improved man. With added zest. Or fifty percent extra or something.

Yesterday morning after I had rushed Finley into school,  I ambled back up the lane  and dreamt of my bed again. Stopping only to pick up the milk still on the doorstep, I went straight up the stairs, stripped to my underwear and sank back under the covers, safe from the world and once again drowning in the old familiar lethargy, I thought Mark had packed in his suitcase.

I hadn’t slept well the night before. The bell’s in the church next door are behaving most peculiarly. I used to think bell ringers got up in the middle of the night to chime the bells on the hour. Now, if this is so, I can only presume they are drunk. At 2 o’clock the bells chimed ten times. At three o’clock they celebrated a marriage and at four o’clock they rang six times. Then twice and twice again. The oddness of it kept me awake, marking the passing of my insomnia, and all at once making me smile and making me fear that either I was going out of my tiny mind or the whole world had gone sqew-whiff.

Perhaps it has. Last weekend Helen told me that anything I wanted now was mine for the taking. And maybe she’s right. But like the poem says, I see what I want, but the dazzle of it is frightening.

The brilliant fruit is tied with a silk ribbon, dangling from a gilded branch. But I am really not sure I’m up to reaching for it.

Tonight I am tired. I know. There’s too much I’m not saying here. Once again I’m not making sense. But if I told you that I thwart myself on a daily basis would you understand? That every time I laugh my coldsore cracks and blood runs down my face? So I have taken to censoring my smiles?

And that above all else, I’ve fallen in love with someone whose heart isn’t within spitting distance and it is sending me to the wrong side of nuttyville? Don’t wish too hard Honey Pie…

I’m going to bed and taking Mrs Miniver with me. Church bells please behave yourselves tonight, I’ve got a lot on my mind.