There’s something to be said for going along with the story in my head. I’m definitely happier and less anxious. It’s the doubting that causes trouble for me. It would be so much easier if I could see and hear through Mark, as he can do via me — but I’ve got pretty good at constructing mental images from his thoughts.
I got to know his house in France rather well. Coming through the front door, there’s a hallway straight ahead with the stairs to the second floor on the left. To the right, is the door into a formal sitting room which Mark’s wife designed. There are several glass-fronted cabinets with curios on display — and one of those uncomfortable couches for show only. To the left, is a room with a baby grand piano. The carpet is a deep burgundy color — because Mark likes to have a glass of red wine going as he tinkles the ivories and he’s apt to be clumsy and make spills. The hallway leads into a snug living room at the back of the house. The carpet is old and ugly and came with the house — as did the scruffy, but very comfortable, couch. Under the stairs is a closet with stacks of VHS cassettes. From the living room, one enters the huge kitchen via a short passageway, and off to the left is the modern bathroom that Mark had installed. The kitchen is amazing, with an enormous heavy wooden table dominating. There is a big gas-fired range like you’d find in an old restaurant — and an equally huge sink which is just perfect for a live-alone-male who hates to do dishes! The window above the sink looks out to a walled courtyard. I should perhaps refer to the house in the past tense, because it was sold several years ago.
This is not the first time Mark has made a trip to the Southern Hemisphere during our northern summer. One morning in the summer of 2007, I was woken by a feeling of cold — like I’d just walked outside into a wind-driven, bone-chilling winter rain. Mark made me guess where he was.
I figured it was a mid-latitude location — but there’s not much landmass in the southern mid-latitudes. I guessed Tasmania, or perhaps the south island of the New Zealand — until I realized it was also the middle of day and so needed to be much less far to the east. Then Mark gave me a hint. He said there was a lot to remind one of home — meaning England. He was in Port Stanley, in the Falkland Islands — where there are red pillar boxes!
I’m trying to ignore his present surroundings — on board a ship. I get seasick all too easily!!
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