I could write this. ‘As the leaves abandon their mother ship, as the track is littered with jewels of gold, red, green and brown, as the cold snips at my bare legs, still bare-legged for as long as possible, I don’t mind.’ But I do mind these widow days. I pretend I don’t for everyone to see and to hear. That’s what I do, what I learned from other widows, from my granny, from my mother, from his mother. The widow lot is barely a patch of earth, not enough to grow a new house, a new home. No. We, who are suddenly alone when alone is not what we ever wanted, not for one minute even as we longed for alone just once or twice when the significant other was driving us daisy crazy, are now alone. With hours, mornings, breakfasts, afternoons, god bless the length of those feckers and with the rest of our lives.
So what is the rest of the whole nonsense? Is it padding about in slippers till midday? Is it frocking up for nobody to see, no matter how many frocks and how cautious the layering? Is it cooking for one when every mortal thing in the shop caters for two? Is it knowing that nobody will ever ask a widow to join them for supper and a load of wine because then they, the nobodies, will have the added trouble of making sure that the widow gets home without battering a fence or ending up in a ditch, her with her car and its slant towards the eastern sky no matter how canny she may or may not be with the wheel for steering?
I laugh at myself. I know, I know, that all the young folk, all those snatching at the skin of their ‘other’ have no idea how lucky they are. To have that argument once again, that nonsense that only ever arises from two, one of which who thinks they are ‘one’ and the other who is certain they are not and will never be, would be grand.
I quiet. There is a lot of quiet now. I will find my way but even as I write this I know I will ding up like a firework in the morning, just to make everyone else feel good.