Sunday 18th March 2018
I arrive home just after noon, from a 21.1-mile run. The effort leaves me gasping for air on the bathroom floor and clutching a carton of apple juice, which I grab from the fridge just before making it up the stairs. The bathroom window is open; maybe the other lodger or the landlord has just had a shower. The mirror is still misted-up. A cool breeze sneaks in. I stretch my tired limbs: legs, arms, hands, fingers. I pull and press muscles. I enjoy this instant of self-inflicted, marathon-training-related masochism. I take a sip from the carton of apple juice. The fridge-cooled liquid travels down my throat, the sugar rush leaving a much-welcomed, pleasant sensation and eliciting an unconscious moan. I get up, take my clothes off and step into the shower. I let the warm water fall all over me. The window is still open but for a second I just stand and soak in this moment: cool breeze through the window, hot water on my body.
The mirror mists up again.
Monday 19th March 2018
Just when you’re ready to press “delete winter” and select “fast forward to spring” on your very own customised weather app, a cold snap leaves the shed in the garden “wearing” its latest early-morning fashion statement: icicles.
When I get back home it’s still light outside. In less than a week the clocks will change again. Just like I have had to change my own “clock” in the last couple of weeks. Funny how life as an ex-partner becomes a series of routines one didn’t have before. Whereas a partnership entails shared duties, not necessarily explicitly stated but certainly almost telepathically agreed upon, a solitary existence demands the acquisition of norms and ways of being one didn’t even think one had in the first place.
Trainers under the radiator, along with some of my other pairs of shoes, jumper in one of the bed drawers, socks and underwear in the white laundry basket. The room is still small but it looks tidy. The world is better now.