Heat Patch


The sun came in through the window and burned a small square of skin through her tights. She savoured it. It was October. Autumn threatened in earnest. There’d been a March afternoon when she had done exactly the same – sat in the kitchen, at the table, with her eyes half closed and her head leant back against the wall, letting the skin under her clothes go red.  That had been an optimistic sun. Not like this one. Later she had noticed the basil seeds – ones she’d planted so fastidiously, in rows across the diameter of a terracotta pot using the end of a biro to make them little divot beds – had germinated.

In the summer the pot had been kicked on its side during a row. It had rolled across the balcony spraying dark brown crumbs of mud, posted itself through a gap in the railings dragging the basil into it’s suicide pact. A car had run them over for good measure. It was remarkable, she had thought, that the car’s tyres had survived the pottery shards.

She was certain. Nothing would be the same. Her head against the cool of the kitchen tiles ached and confirmed it. All of it, it was gone for good. The balcony, the apartment, the joy. The sun soon enough would be gone. Everything was finished. With everything gone there is no anxiety about losing anything. Were she not so utterly miserable she may have found some comfort in that. Utterly miserable but for her little heat patch. The square that had now stretched to a rectangle.


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