I remember with an occluded clarity our inflatable black rubber stately home.
Back in those days we would wander the corridors in a kind of suspended conversation, words drifting like sunlit dust between us as we stepped forward, never knowing. Our feet would crunch the decades of dead insects that had ended against the grimed glass. The sunlight was millimetres away, but unknowable. You looked blankly from the high window and there was not much to see that I could see but probably many decodings for you. The black rubber radiated a claustrophobic warmth but I was cold to my bones and I wished I had a thicker sweater to keep away the shivers. Out behind the window some birds moved through the grey air writing words.
Behind us our past was filled with people and events, talk and activity, engagement and civility. It dragged us upstairs like a ghost. The floors bounced with a forgotten alacrity and there was a joy written there on the walls but all it said to me was 'get out, get out'. I couldn't remember the way out, or even if I knew the way in. I was carrying the jars of our dried shared life in a crappy old supermarket bag digging into my wrists and it hurt. I wanted at least a bus home but I was at home in our black rubber stately home. There was no bus and no home.
In the fuggy behind of my memory our past was flexible and allowable; there was a way to make an impression. Today when I try to make an impression I hurt my head against the wall.
Yesterday I asked if we could take our inflatable black rubber stately home out again; blow it up, and pretend that nothing had happened. But you said no: our tent would do. I cried my tears into another plastic bag and dropped it, unseen, into a bin.