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The Opposite Direction

Page 3

Peter Farrar

“Pathetic,” she muttered, rolling away.

Nigel said to take a break. If I kept losing like this I’d need to refinance the house. He pointed a remote control across the room and television switched on. English soccer played frantically, sleet billowing at angles. Nigel gripped my shoulder, rousing me.

“Haven’t seen anyone fall asleep that fast without a general anesthetic,” he said. I sat up.

“Was I snoring?”

“I did think there was a wood-chipper in the room.” 

I apologized, telling them lately even dressing for work was exhausting. So was the thought of driving to it, walking through that heavy glass door and queuing for a coffee before sitting at a desk.  Might plan a career cheating on my tax. Or selling what I pilfered from hard rubbish collections.

“They say you need multiple income streams,” Nigel said. “You’ve got accounting and retail right there.”

Last week I walked during the evening. Dogs barked hysterically in distance, how people say they sound before an earthquake. A few people jogged. They bumped past me, breath gulping and hard. Under trees temperature changed. I ascended a hill through turning streets until looking down into my neighbourhood. Couldn’t pick the light of my home lost in the ruled-straight streets, but knew it was one of those glowing back at me. Our television throwing sheet lightning across rooms, hallway light glaring for my return. Emptily I began my descent.          

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