October

There is a rhythm. On Thursdays I am always slightly late chugging up Divinity Road, and then, seven hours later, I come back down. Tonight there is a mist, and a bracing wind that makes me think of being on a ship. I buy soup and a toothbrush at the shop on my way home.

Our house is being painted, so all the mirrors have been taken down. I live an existence without reflection; I don't know what I look like when I leave. In a way it's liberating: I take less care getting dressed, am quicker, more decisive. There's a strangeness in the house: the table from the bathroom in our bedroom, the bookshelf from the hall in the spare room. I have to climb over a trunk to get to my clothing. In class I ask if I smell of paint, because I imagine I can still smell it. There's a ladder on the stairs. There's no point in cleaning up the clutter in the study because everything is uprooted anyway. We float around; we sleep in; we take a nap on the couch side-by-side even though the couch is, technically, too small for such a maneuver. I would say it was a sense of upside-down-ness, but it isn't an unpleasant sense, if that's what it is.

I watch the laundry dry in the lounge. In our Lewis Carroll universe, all of this matters; but outside things go on as usual. Friends are coming to stay; we are going to the country for half-term; our vegetable box continues to come every Tuesday. In the mornings when I cycle to work I am often doused with a showering of leaves; they coat the pavement wetly. I read that in my hometown the temperature is 95 degrees Fahrenheit; here there is a chill in the air and it is almost not October anymore--you can actually feel this, even if you didn't know the day.