Tired of staring at the computer screen, I decide I should practice what I preach. I put my coat on, and carrying my empty teacup for comfort, I take my notebook out into the garden. I will write something. There’s a broken trampoline, rusted into the ground. It has a surface like black oil, and a lopsided gait. I scramble up, and sit in the centre of the almost-circle.
The last of the precious winter sun is weak on my face. Falling, falling…now clipping the top of the mountain. The river gushes. The air is sharp on my cheek. The hungry howls of the hunting dogs in the kennels on the mountainside are ghosts in the cold air. The church bells chime, their intonation definitively French. My body tremors, physical energy trapped by too much static work. And the sun keeps falling. I have terror of the loss of the light. I think- I should write something inspiring about this, and heat rises in my chest.
But instead, I fall back on the sprung support of the trampoline, and my vision fills with the sky. A uniform block of mid-blue. It too is fading, washing out the day. I think -when the sun goes behind that mountain, there will be nothing good left in this world to write about .
But anyway, I do not want to write. I want to hurl the teacup against the encrusted metal springs and hear it smash, or perhaps jump really hard and high on this trampoline- with my shoes on. This impulse to smash and crash, I feel it dissolve in the instant of becoming. I have years of practice of not acting upon such impulses. After all, proper grown-ups do not jump on trampolines in the winter sun on a Tuesday afternoon in February, certainly not with their shoes on.
But hell, I’m going to do it, jump as high as I can before the sun is gone. The sharp outbreath, and heavy clunk of shoes striking canvas. The wheezing of springs. Cold air scrapes at my lungs. I spin and take in 360 degrees of this world. Higher and higher, the ground recedes further with every jump. And then, quite suddenly, the sun drops like a weight and colour washes out of the world. My energy evaporates with it and I fall prone on the trampoline.
The echo of the jumping is a soft vibration that rocks me. I hear the speeding traffic. And I think, I’d better get up now and do something. A solitary black crow, heavy-winged, trudges across the vacant sky. I don’t get up. Instead I curl up foetus-like and pull my hat over my eyes. I will hide. I will sleep.
The dusk creeps in and in moments my fingers are ice pops. Soon, I believe, the river will freeze in mid gush, and I too, will petrify here. All will be silent darkness. Until the sun arrives to thaw us.