Today was one of those days where thoughts criss-cross like strobe lights, shattering as the light falls low and hits the ground or lands high and disappears softly into the sky.
I got a call from my sister in the morning telling me she is trying to get pregnant. With a man who a few months ago was threatening to kill her. With a man who raised his hand to my son because he refused to get him another beer. I worry about a little baby in that situation. It is wrong of me, I know, because it is not up to me to decide, but I wish with all my heart that it won’t happen.
My sister’s news unnerved me quite a lot. I am still getting used to her being reconciled with her abusive husband. I am still treading water around them, frightened to put my feet on land.
I have been dreading Christmas because I know there will be some kind of blow up. I am weary of conflict. It is the kind of tiredness that leaves me looking at things from oblique angles.
I called my parents who lately have the habit of cornering me into awkward silences. I was worried they would think I was trying to gossip but they were very receptive. They too, were not ready for a baby. It was a solidarity of sorts.
Sometimes I like to think that I am not the only one slipping and sliding on shiny floors. The park holds the answer. The water ripples like thought. The trees quiver in the wind like an artist’s model shaking from holding a pose for too long.
A man walks in heavy boots. If he opened his mouth he would bellow. A woman grins, her cheeks red plums as she laughs at a little dog chasing butterflies. A ranger swaggers with a clipboard, drinking in his importance: he will fine anyone whose dog is not on a leash.
A Chinese woman shouts into a mobile phone. She has a heavy accent but her meaning is clear – Not good enough. Not good enough!
Two teenagers snuggle on a bench at odd angles as if their bodies don’t fit. I realise that getting used to one another is an art.
Then I see her. She appears to be rising from the water. A little girl, maybe three or four years old, stands right on the point facing the bay. She is wearing a pale pink leotard and tights and enormous angel wings. If I was much further away and couldn’t see she was actually a little girl, I would assume she had descended from the heavens.
People pass and stop. Struck by her wings, her celestial pose. It is like seeing the elements of a dream come to life.
Her mother calls and she bows to the water, just once, and runs off; the enormous wings flapping in the breeze.
My thoughts may have criss-crossed and fallen once, twice, but now they soar, carried to the skies on angel’s wings.