My Dream Home
Somewhere where I can be myself. Somewhere where it doesn’t matter what I look like or what I say. Far, far away from the babbling, laughing noises of the classroom or the incessant chatter of my family. No prying eyes, no venomous words. Just room for my own ideas.
Sodium glare. Streetlight haze. Here I am anonymous and nobody knows my name. Flicker. I pull the blind up slightly and peer at the crowds surging through the city centre on their night out. I can see them laughing, joking, flirting. Queuing at the taxi ranks. I am the eyes of the city, from here I see all. There are the couple strolling towards the pub hand in hand. There are the lads on a stag night resplendent in false bosoms and loud, sweat soaked shirts. I laugh.
The blind falls again with the satisfying cluck as wooden weight hits windowsill. I turn, and shudder at catching sight of myself in the one solitary mirror. Only one mirror that is hidden on the back of a door. Kick the door open, my reflection moves away, disappears. No prying eyes.
I am the ruler of all I survey.
Sodium glare. Streetlight haze. The room glows, golden orange. Reaching out I stroke the cat that has wheedled its way upon my ankles. She bats playfully at my shoelaces, eyes glowing in the half-lit gloom. I smile. I am the ruler of all I survey, but she is the queen. She knows that if she yells, I run to let her in, if she sits on my feet, I stroke her.
I shift my weight on the window seat and she’s off. Prowling the room, exploring the man made caves and mountains of books made from books waiting to be read. Quickly I take the chance and leap to my feet as she is occupied. I scamper across the wooden floor. Carefully, carefully. I am gone, I have slipped into the passage. I close the door gently knowing that the sight of herself in the mirror will startle her as it did me.
Fumble. Where’s the light? There. The small passage is suddenly illuminated with bright light from a gossamer lamp spun from transparent nylon thread. I tidy up the letters on the table, put the keys back in the small cupboard designed specifically for holding them. I will only lose them if I leave them where I chucked them. I was in a rush to get in from the biting wind, and lonely people.
The phone rings.
I leave it to the machine and stroll into the kitchen.
I rush back and answer. He’s coming home now.
I am the ruler of all I survey
Back in the kitchen, I fill a bowl with Greek salad, stealing extra olives, then replenish my glass with the ends of the bottle of Merlot. She mews. I fill her bowl with water, and top up her dish with biscuits. Click. The lights go off.
I creep back. I do not want to disturb my world. Let the dust settle again. Peering out my window, I do up my cardigan. The candles! I walk sliding to the mantle piece, light the candles in the sconces either side of the picture. Then gently sink into the window seat once more. I watch, wait, knowing he will return.
The bowl is empty, place carefully on the floor, cutlery neatly laid side by side, balancing on top. The glass is half empty, the candles burned half way down as I enjoy the entertainments of it city. I sit at the window laughing at it’s antics and following it’s plots from my vantage point.
Then I see in the distance his small red car. I smile again. He is coming home. He will make a cup of tea and come into the lounge and grin his grin at tonight’s tales of the city. Laughing, he will walk to the window, stand behind me and wrap his arms about my waist as the sun rises over the rooftops.
I am the ruler of all I survey.