A birthday and a hot square, sun on a red brick library, the cool park, green water. Patterns of willow leaves and their shadows on skin.

A busy week of work, feeling slightly stressy and saying yes too easily. Dad comes round one night and cooks for me in my slim kitchen, I hear him clattering pots and the sound of chopping. He tells me some good words. I am glad he is here and I hope I said so at the time.

On Saturday morning I swim in the lido. I quite like that the sunshine has turned overcast and heavy; it feels close, and I smile when I think of Ruth reading this. In the park there were kids’ football sessions and over the field, some sort of boot camp: a terrifying looking man and the sharp staccato of his demanding whistle. Coloured lockers, cool water, dipping under and pushing off, feeling the stretch of my muscles and watching caught air bubbles. Steam from the hot showers and listening to the chat of the girls in the changing rooms afterwards.

On a rooftop with my best friends, licking our fingers, sticky with strawberries. Pale, fizzy prosecco – we are feeling extravagant – dark club, rain outside, black heat inside, bodies pressed close.

Dancing with Phil and Sam in someone else’s house. It was a secret until tonight – down a little alley and up flights of stairs where there are paper hats and a spinning disco ball, an antique globe and tables pushed back against the wall. Earlier, people had dinner here but there are discarded napkins fallen to the floor and half eaten plates of grapes and cheese and now everyone is dancing.


One thought on “Week 22

  1. “…….and now everyone is dancing.” And isn’t that how it should be on your birthday!! May much happiness attend you.

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