April

My bath is furiously hot. On the other side of a narrow window the wind bears knives, the rain ice. To the south the plain rises and cuts out as black as well-water. To the north the vale’s remaining trees dip their heads like children flinching before an angry teacher. The tarpaulin covering my writing room whips; one side is open and water puddles on its stone floor. A job for the summer. I dip my newspaper in the hot water and the paper sips it, blemishing and softening. Next door my daughter sleeps. In other rooms sleep my boys. On the radio the Prime Minister apologises. The markets fear a new crisis and run. Business irks, things go slowly this month. My new ideas will take resolve. Tomorrow I have a weekly cricket net. What I would give for six consecutive balls which are straight and on a length. Six; one after the other. And one of them with some crackle off the seam! I wouldn’t mind the rain or a slow month if I could just nip one back off the seam. Ask a few questions.

Meantime, I am warm in my bed, my bones ache from the heat of the bathwater. In Bombay, my novel is being read, perhaps now, on the edge of the city, by an expert. It has a beginning, middle and an end, and two possible titles. What might spring from that novel?

One thought on “April

  1. stuff-happens.org

    Just in case anyone is interested (and principally for personal record), I did play cricket the following evening and bowled well for the first time in about 20 years. Meaning I properly extended my (leading) left leg as I delivered the ball, thus generating much more momentum through the action, and more speed on the ball. I ran up smoothly, I stood nice and tall to bowl, my release was well timed. I didn’t manage 6 awkward balls in a row but there was enough sharp stuff among the wides and half volleys to make me feel like a teenager. And one unplayable ball that took out middle stump. And my arm stopped aching pretty quickly. Meanwhile, when I batted I hit a straight six over the bowler’s head which came close to smashing a spotlight hanging from the high ceiling, and I played one neatly off my legs. Enough to dispel gloom.

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