I sat with him at the table. He offered me bread, a goblet of wine. After I partook he gave me a quill, some parchment, his smiling eyes encouraging me to write. Somehow the quill took over, gliding across the surface with ease. Before I knew it I was looking at a line of words I didn’t recognise. I looked up at him, his kind countenance pitying my ignorance. “Try reading it again,” he said. I looked down — suddenly the script made sense. “Reading what I have just written, I now believe.” A gentle smile was pursing his lips.
It was at the Turner Exhibition. Hutchings was a quiet lad, for a copper; he had a passion which no one suspected — and it got him killed. I took the call and we all piled ’round. There he was, wrapped up in bubble wrap, sequestered in the store room next to ‘Snow Storm’; not one of my favourites. Someone had taken a scalpel to him, a right mess he was, poor lad. When we got to his flat there were art books all over, though not a morsel in the fridge. Evidently Hutchings — I shall call him George — used to feed on art.
Contemplate the rain, this fleeting season, changes I can do nothing about. Sitting, watching, listening; the hanging drops on vacant washing lines and leaves, all testimony to nature, that the laws of men may come and go, yet eternal truths stand starkly before us: Our choice to ignore. The harder I try the less I get in return. But the gentle rush of rain brings it back, the raucous calls of crows sitting in out in shedding trees; the clutter of my mind stands between what is me and my self.
The wind strikes once more, he’s tossing washing lines and turning trees, threatens to strip the ripe colour which makes the season tolerable. I wonder what’s made him so fierce: He’s giving me glimpses of winter, the lockdowns imposed, when stepping outside becomes a crime, where the only feature will be the trash blown starkly down our street