I woke up and the room was dark. The room was dark and peaceful. I had been dreaming about someone from the past – a friend I hadn’t seen since twenty-fourteen or sometime thereabouts. She was working in that dream in a school, she was working in that dream behind the reception desk in a school, receiving visitors and pupils. She was ticking names off in a ledger. She was tapping a biro on her teeth, counting people as they passed. The sun fell on the parquet tiles and all the people milling there were bathed in yellow light. The foyer was bright with school kid voices – a babble of highly polished sound. We said hello and we spoke about another past and I was happy to hear that she and Tommy were back together as they’d been on and off forever. “We’ve just got back from New York,” she said. Her hair was as it was when I last had seen her: bobbed and shaped at the nape like a flapper; dark. Some people never age.
I woke up and the room was dark. The room was dark and peaceful. I had been dreaming but the dream just slipped away and the more I tried to bring it back the less I could remember. Something about someone from the past. The sky was black beyond the glass. The glass itself appeared black. I heard a seagull crying and I knew that it was early. I guessed it to be half past five. I got up. I got up and I put a jumper on and I went into the bathroom. As I pissed I listened to the water dripping from the faucet and I promised that I would fix it. I went into the kitchen.
I went into the kitchen and I prepared some tea and while the kettle boiled I looked up into the sky and it was now blue, blue and turquoise. The sky was blue and turquoise and the seagulls blew around and they appeared to be black; black or dark, at least. I found this very interesting and I thought I’d write a poem about this – about how the seagulls in the early morning sky appeared to be black or dark, at least. I made some tea and squeezed the teabag into the mug with my fingers and a spoon and with a spoon I put the teabag in the bin. I promised to take out the bin. I went into the living room.
I stood in the half darkness of the living room and I noticed how the shadows of the spider plant lay across the carpet. I walked around the living room and the floorboards beneath the carpet creaked. There was my notebook – a gift from a friend – on the carpet and a biro and an ashtray. I picked my notebook and the biro up. I took the ashtray to the kitchen and emptied it into the bin. I promised to stop smoking.
I rolled a cigarette and I smoked it as I drank the mug of tea and I watched the seagulls. I watched the seagulls and I noticed now that they were blue and held a little more detail. The trees and the buildings, too. The street was quiet, lined with cars. A light came on in a house across the quiet street. A yellow light, rectangular. I remembered that I’d had a dream and that the people in the dream were bathed in yellow. And something else, but I could not remember. I went back into the bedroom.
I climbed into the bed again. I kept the jumper on and I finished the tea. The tea was cold, but tasted good. The room was lighter now, a sort of grey, except the blanket on the duvet was turning red again. The sky at the window was still blue, perhaps a little lighter. It had lost its turquoise. I thumbed my notebook – a gift from a friend – it was nearly halfway filled with my written hand; biro’d, blue. I thumbed my notebook and found the empty pages and I tapped the biro on my teeth and I wrote
the seagulls appeared to be black in the early morning light