Still closer to the beginning, but ever approaching the end

Why didn’t she ever reply? She knew that it did his head in. He had told her, or, at least, he had thought that he might have meant to tell her, but she should know. He would know. She said that there is no point imagining yourself in someone else’s shoes, because they can never fit, even if they are handmade. “The enormity of something so trivial,” that’s what she said to him, the first time he had met her and what he had sent to her. So, why didn’t she reply? She was there now, but still nothing, nothing is still. Five words that meant everything and nothing, that said everything he had ever thought and the smallest part of all that she had known.

Why do I worry? Why does any of this matter?

had never liked things left unsaid, but had embraced the spaces between the lines, the words hidden in plain sight, that you simply couldn’t miss. He wanted to talk, but the words were there still, waiting for the lines to snuggle between, cwtched top and bottom, but ennobled and enabled.” Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive,” he thought, “but to be young was very heaven.” He had said it numerous times, to many people, in dark evenings, honeyed afternoons, and witching hours beyond the stroke, but now, only now, did he finally get it.

Rhodri felt what it was to feel young for the first time in… well…ever. Finally and totally free to enjoy a moment, a second that would lead to a succession of moments; a moment that could define everything. He had never seen the point in Wordsworth, and his precious little daffodils, and had never really understood what he meant about bliss and dawn and being alive, until then, now. He had never really got Ted Hughes either until she had shown him ‘Lovesong.’

He said without thinking, as he stood entranced in a sea of vicious, blossoming green. He saw her eyes looking way beyond them and spots far from sight and comprehension.

“Her eyes wanted nothing to get away

Her looks nailed down his hands his wrists his elbows

He gripped her hard so that life

Should not drag her from that moment

He wanted all future to cease

He wanted to topple with his arms round her

Off that moment’s brink and into nothing

Or everlasting or whatever there was”

Ted Hughes understood and finally so did he. She finally looked at him as he spoke the words in a low rumble, ever threatening a crescendo, but like Nirvana’s ‘Come as you are’ never getting there. There was so much more to the poem and so much more that he had wanted to say to her, but it always felt that others had said it better before or would come to say it soon. No-one would ever be quoting him at dawn while walking down a grey street, in a black and white town, not knowing what she was thinking. He wanted to find the stillness that Gwenno so visibly exuded, even when doing the eternal dance of the mad thing in the sweatiest of moshpits. Always moving, but ever still.

“You’re like a brook or a bridge…or something else.” Gwenno smiled and said, “Can I be something else? I can’t be someone else, I’m just going to me, and me is everything you see and all that is me and everything around me. I am nature and nature is in me. Do you know what I mean?”

“Sort of, but not really.” Rhodri palmed his keys that had become trapped in the lining of his shorts, strands of cotton preventing their early release. He wanted to be home by the quickest route, the only route, but quickly. Patience was a game played by others, alone. Gwenno spun in ever-increasing, graceful circles, unthreatening her beatific stillness. He had known before, but knew more than ever what he wanted.

They arrived. Rhodri stood at the gate, Gwenno gazed upwards past him to the cracked frames and peeling paint, the scarred brickwork and then focussed in the near distance at overgrown ferns and brambles. Two tea roses in pots, splashed colours of purple, and orange, and red amongst another sea of green broke and created monotony.

“Do you really live here?” Gwenno asked.

“Sort of. Do you want to come in? I’ve got an espresso maker, sugar, milk; I made some Madeleines last night.”

He held her hand and they walked to the front door, skipped around the side, past boarded up windows to a garden with potted plants, shells, statues, a grotto and three apple trees. Rhodri pocketed his keys  and opened the back door, as Gwenno kicked off her boots and glided into the kitchen.


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