Wednesday, 21 December 2011
Day 21: If you came this way at night
you'd probably catch me sleeping, having kissed the cats and Phill, written my diary and (if you arrived within the next few days) read a chapter of Marilyn Robinson's Home.
Would you come by car? It'd be wise: the rail service isn't what it used to be and there's no bus from the station, even during the day. We're easy to find, just look for the alpacas. They sleep in shifts, in case of predators, so you'd be bound to spot one standing in the middle of the paddock.
Would you knock, try the door or bring a ladder to set against the window ledge? I'd hate to mistake you for a burglar, it could really blow my career, although at least if I hadn't already heard you I'm sure you'd tap me very politely on the shoulder to wake me.
I'd get up, of course, and make you a cup of coffee, perhaps offer you a peach. We'd probably shuffle about awkwardly in the kitchen, waiting for the kettle to boil. I expect I'd ask you about the journey, make some smart-arse quip about the ways being deep and the weather sharp, and look up from the tea pot just in time to see you wince. Would you ask me about my work? I can't imagine explaining it to you, at least not the new stuff. I suppose we could talk about Ovid, though you'd probably quote him in the original and I'd feel all silk hat and Bradford millionaire-ish and have to make the choice between pretending I understood and knowing you'd think less of me if I owned up. I might cover myself by asking you to move at that point so I could get to the fridge for the milk.
I'd worry about the number of DVDs in the house. I can hear you saying, 'What's Farscape?' while you sit on the edge of the sofa, sipping from the unchipped side of your mug.
'Oh, that's Phill's. It's Sci-Fi. I think it's made in New Zealand. Have you read any Leontia Flynn?' I don't suppose it would be wise to mention Alice Oswald.