Regent Road Park, Edinburgh
There’s unseen things in the undergrowth rustling,
Bustling away as I clomp on past;
Maybe a mouse but probably a blackbird,
Rummaging for juicy worms to break his fast
Two magpies flit through the bare trees chuntering,
Welcoming the sunshine with their promises of mirth;
I’m dressed for colder weather but I’m set on sauntering
As a rare day of Scottish sun warms the Earth
The old man sleeping with his life in plaggybags,
A bench for his home and a jumper for his head;
The views of the Firth and the Crags and the city
And, just for a change, I’m glad I’m not dead
I took a pair of pictures with the phone she gifted;
I sat on the bench and I wrote this verse.
Then I walked off whistling and must have dropped or left it,
And the joy-led morning turned to afternoon’s curse
Aye, gentle reader, triumph and disaster. Not only had I just been checking out the venue for an exhibition of my shit in September, but I’d been celebrating, with a slice of Boston Cream Pie, some good news which I can’t say anything about for a few months. That and the first warmish day for ages and my usually miserable mood was kinda lifting.
Then I go walking a bit further, reach the Burns Monument and think I’ll take a picture of a Boston Terrier (there’s a theme here), only to find the Huawei is not in my bag or pocket. So I hotfoot it to the bench (not 2 minutes away).
I ask people in the vicinity, I hang around them dialling the number from my old Nokia 1000, but hear nothing. Despair sets in. I ask the polis attending the nearby gun control protest, but no one’s handed it to them.
Despondently I head for home, working out what I need to change passwords on or who to notify. At this point, I realise how little I use it for anything important (compared to how much time I spend on it). Predominantly checking basefuck and twatter … and chatting to the delightful donor of said phone back in Chinaland using WeChat or Weibo.
That facility and a few photos I hadn’t yet backed up are probably the only losses. But the feeling of bereavement is disturbing. I can’t even think of a good reason to replace it, but still I beat myself up wondering how I lost it, try in vain to call it or track it (google location can’t find it, the wash’n’go sim card has not been used, I suspect I’ve flattened the battery calling it and if someone has it and is selling or keeping it, they’ll probably have replaced the sim anyway).
But what this mainly brought home to me is one big downside of the solitary life: feeling the lack of someone to share the joy of the previous week’s news was bad enough; not having a shoulder to cry on or someone to distract me from the endless mental reruns of what I should have done is even worse.
Then I reflect sensibly and realise that this lack, in the few moments that qualify as triumph or disaster in one’s daily life, is more than balanced out by the quotidian freedom from having abuse or indeed rocks hurled at one by a live-in companion, which, when you’re as irritating as your humble blogger, is pretty much the norm.
Life, sad to say, goes on. Ho and indeed hum.