Monday, 10 December 2018

Round 50.


Edward’s daughter has an apartment across the river in the south part of the city.

The apartment has three floors and four rooms all grouped around a spiral staircase.

The staircase is made of metal and the wooden step on the first floor rattles when you step on it.

So Edward doesn’t.

He has slept the night on the couch downstairs and now is heading for the bathroom on the third floor, so he avoids the step so as not to wake either his daughter or her flatmate.

Edward has an important meeting on the south side this morning so he asked if the couch was free.

It was.

The couch was donated by the pharmacist in the village where Edward usually sleeps, they didn’t need it any more as it was in the way of the medicine cabinets and the  person who used it most, the pharmacist’s daughter, is travelling in Thailand with her boyfriend Leopold.

The pharmacist’s daughter’s name is Lucy and she used to play the drums with Edward’s daughter. They weren’t in a band but they went to the same music school and shared sticks.

The drum teacher’s name was Reggie.

Reggie used to have a soft spot for the pharmacist, but he’s moved on.

Edward’s daughter doesn’t call him Edward and she doesn’t call him Ed like his colleagues do.

She calls him Daddy.

Edward thinks this is the best thing about being a dad.

He was sad when she stopped holding his hand when they walked together in the street, but he is happy that there is someone who calls him daddy.

He stays at his daughter’s apartment sometimes, just to hear her say it.

She was tired last night and went to bed before midnight; she had been dancing and he sat on the edge of the bed and watched a film of the dancing on her phone.

She was in the corner of the studio, at the edge of the lens but he would recognise her even without his glasses.

He wears his glasses a lot these days.

It used to be just for the cinema, then it was in the car at night-time; now he uses them in the day-time too.

Without them he feels more open, with them he sometimes feels trapped in a diminishing possibility.

Not that much is possible at the moment; he fell from his bike three weeks ago and cracked his ribs.

Nick, a colleague at work keeps telling him that it will take six weeks for the ribs to heal and recommends being patient.

Edward is not patient when he is with Nick.

Nick calls him Ed which is ok and Nick likes to make puns, which is also ok.

What Ed finds difficult to accommodate is the fact that Nick’s wife is called Nicky and that Nick has just successfully found Nicky a job in the same office.

That, and his car.

Nick’s day car is a yellow soft-top sports car.

Edward’s favourite colour is yellow.

Edward’s car is a functional and very old grey silver box.

It has four wheels and runs and although he wouldn’t be seen dead in a sports car he would trade the colour at the drop of a hat.

Most of the world seems to him to be silver grey these days.

Except in his daughter’s apartment.

There is a maple leaf attached to the kitchen wall next to the photograph of Charlie Chaplin.

The leaf has dried to a crisp magenta colour; the photo of Charlie is black and white.

Edward was born in the same city as Charlie; the world had been black and white back then.

Edward’s daughter had asked him once; - Daddy, you know these photos that are in black and white?” – she was looking in the Family Album at the time, “was the world black and white too?”

Then he had said that it wasn’t, that they had colours in the olden days too, but these days he is no longer sure.

What was it that the writer had said in the book that he had never read? 

There was more outside back then.

The world was closing in.

Edward could feel it.

Everywhere and everyday a little more.

Except here.

In his daughter’s apartment.

Edward’s daughter has an apartment across the river in the south part of the city.

He is there, right now.

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