The furthest point along Ryde Harbour:
The incoming tide;
A veil of rain over Stoke's bay.
I feel the chill wind blow across my cheeks - it will rain soon.
I listen to the plaintive calls of sea birds.
Alone with my thoughts... my mood... my grey mood.
I think of the past
I wonder what the future holds:
For all of us.
All of it:
Everything I see,
Everything I hear,
Everything I feel,
Everything I know
Held within a razor's thickness of the present; a razor's thickness... that's all.
I feel a drop of rain on my forehead - time to get back.
I put my umbrella up.
I stroll past the yachts leaning against the jetties on the mud.
I read the names on the hulls - names of significance to their owners, but not to me and forget them just as quickly.
I leave the Harbour behind as I set foot upon the Esplanade
It is not so easy to leave my mood behind... my grey mood.
"Hi Mo... how are you?"
I'm passing through Ryde Bus Station now and on my way home now - Mo is the mother of one of my old school chums.
"It's certainly cold today, Matt... you still a 'kept man'?"
"There are no jobs around but we're okay for a bit... a little part-time position will help till I get my pension in about eighteen months."
Mo is mid to late seventies, smart and always chipper despite her husband leaving her in her early thirties with two young lads and her second husband dying a couple of years ago. She also has health problems.
"You're looking well, Mo."
"I've just been to the Doctor as a matter of fact to tell him about my two latest episodes - he didn't seem concerned at all."
I wonder if that's because he can't really do anything about her condition but I say nothing.
She continues: "I've collapsed twice recently but the most peculiar one was when I suddenly started walking backwards before falling over a small garden wall. I was lucky that I only landed on soft grass."
"Haven't they diagnosed your condition yet?"
"Yes, it's something called atrial fibrillation... and to do with my heart racing... I've tried all sorts of drugs and at one point they were going to take me into hospital, stop my heart and then restart it... but on the day they decided not to."
I know now that she is going to die soon - I visualize her lying on her back in the kitchen, her mouth half open, her beady brown eyes glazed over, her glasses smashed by her side.
I think of attending her funeral, my friend and his brother in black suits sobbing - I see myself offering my condolences to them...
"What about you?" she asks.
A driver, who I know passes by, and makes a slightly witty comment about me having my umbrella up under the cover of the bus station - I respond back out of politeness.
"They still don't know what caused my vertigo attacks... Migraine Associated Vertigo... Ménières Disease... Hypertension. If I knew maybe I could do something about it... I just take it easy."
Perhaps it will be me who will just keel over.
The driver opens the door for her bus.
"Good luck, Mo... take it easy."
I watch her walk over to the vehicle, board it then show her pass to the driver before finding a seat.
I wonder, morbidly, if this will be the last memory I have of her.
I wonder, even more morbidly, if this will be the last memory she has of me.
I make my way out of the bus station and into the rain.
Just another grey day.