Monday I went to work. We had a brief text exchange:
Me: Trains all confused. Just left Fairlop. No heating.
Laing: That’s bad.
Me: That’s typical.
Later in the day he sent me a link to The Gramophone website that all Britten’s operas would be broadcast, as well as two other guys who were having anniversaries that year. One called Wagner and the other called Verdi. Anybody heard of them?
Because of my hearing had become totally ghastly and noise of the train was unbearable, I phoned him as I was walking home, and he, as usual, was there at the door to welcome me home. We must have hugged, we always did. I usually waited for him to lock the door and draw the curtain. Once I was home, that was it. He probably spent a good part of the day in bed. I would have been sympathetic as I had been throughout his cancer.
My dinner would have been prepared. I have no memory of the meal. Was this the last evening he prepared a meal for me?
How I miss the ritual of going upstairs to unwind for an hour or so, coming down about 7 to eat, Retire to the front room to watch something on the telly and then to bed. Often he would nudge me and tell me to take off my spectacles as I was falling asleep while reading. I try not to read too long in bed nowadays since I will wake up an hour or two later, the bedside light still on, my book or the iPad flopped somewhere, or perhaps fallen on the floor, and sometimes, my spectacles slightly awry.
It’s the minutiae of daily life I miss more now he is no longer with me in body, but I’m sure I sense a smile, like the Cheshire Cat’s grin, disappearing into invisibility as I wake from my slumber and turn the light off. I turn over, turn his pillows through 90˚ and hug them/him and cuddle up to them/him.
The bed’s too big without you.