I am envious. Envious even of rain. Able to, able to move you. You are wrestling a sheet of tarpaulin. From the shed to the ground. Great storming fit of energy. You in that black mac. You look like an officer in the Gestapo. I picture you interrogating God. 'Rain?! Insubordination!'
I'd come out to help. We'd do it together. But. I couldn't stand. Having you bark at me again. I. Resent. This. Hobby of yours. The passion. The passion. With which you pursue it. Endless months. Endless pounds. You've spent. We've spent. Building your little empire.
Our rose bushes have grown sullen. Holding watch. As you command. Command your world. Impressive. Extensive. Complex. Networks of railtracks, complete with Fat Controller. Little people waiting on the platform dressed in 1940s overcoats. A kind of Narnia.
Yesterday. You were tinkering with one of your engines at the table. You didn't look up when I came in. Didn't. Look at me. I offered you a drink. 'Oh, yes please, pet'. Kettle boils. Still tinkering. There is a tenderness.
The way you handle those engines. Polishing the chassis. Gently.
My. Hands screw up. Fists. Nails dig. Flesh of my palms. Bite my lip. Hard.
Today. After your fit in the garden you stamp back into the kitchen. Rivulets are running down your face. Your face, a flat glass pane. Within seconds you are on the phone. One of your fellow- enthusiasts. 'Ha ha yeah, yeah I know, I know...ha...ok, yeah mate, see you then'.
I sigh. Loudly. But. You don't notice. Twelve years of marriage well up and batter about inside me. Barbed wings. Stale things. I am envious. Bitter. That jerk on the end of the phone. Able to, able to make you. Laugh, grab your keys. You're taking the car. I wonder. Are you planning to drive home after five hours in the pub? But. I don't say anything.
Me. Always just about to speak. Psyched up. To tell you. Tell you. I fantasise. How it would be. You'd put your hand. Your hand on my hand. They do that on the telly, don't they? Or, you'd put your hand to the small of my back. Quiet. You'd be. Stoic. Strong. You wouldn't sshhh. You wouldn't need to, no. I'd find my head. Held. The crook of your arm. You'd know. What to do. What to say. Eyes would be words. Pupils. Dark. Deep.
I need to. Just. Say. 'Oh by the way....Did I mention?'
I'd just wander into the room casual, calm. Just say. 'I'm afraid. It can't. It won't. Not again, will it?' But. We're not allowed to say her name anymore. Are we?
Could you? Take it? If you could. I'd have told you. What's kept me. Awake. 'You're so restless these days, you should try to relax pet'. I live in dread.
Dread you using a word like silly. Worse. Worse even than silence. But:
They're going to cut her open.
The surgeon looks so frail and no one will look me in the eye.
The porters keep saying 'Nothing we can do love, it's policy'
I don't understand.
They're just standing around laughing, smoking.
'Hospital policy love, our hands are tied'
There's a station in the carpark. You stand on the platform.
At the edge, singing, preparing to jump.
I wake up sweating. You'll be snoring softly. I won't disturb you. I know you. Suffer with your nerves. Too. But. Do you know? I'll spend my evening. Reading. Your text messages. Emails. Feeling guilty. Envy. Angry. Pressing. Heel of my hand. Into my forehead. I never find anything. No women, just engines. I know. You. Too well. But. The closest we get. Is this.
Tomorrow. You will give praise to the sun. I will envy the sun. You will take your engines out. Take them out like children to the park. Then. One or two of your idiots. Fellow-enthusiasts will join you. The roses. They will be pink and livid. I will make tea. Warm the pot. Always warm the pot. And. Put something in the oven. I won't say much. Won't get in the way. But.
Quietly I will simmer. Slowly. Inside. I am dying.