"Water flowed into it. Out of it. It was a place where The Young Team sent off their dead." - ib
He despised the floral scent which could not quite be expurgated. It clung to the furniture, the silks. A smell of mothballs from the coffin, or a crack pipe in an unventilated lift.
He could see the divorce coming.
Sometimes, when he had fallen asleep on a train, for instance, the oncoming weight of it would jolt him awake. His eyes would snap open. His tongue fall out of his mouth.
His hands automatically climbing to the inside pocket where he kept his cigarettes.
Even though it had been years since one might smoke in the open without inviting penalty.
In hindsight, he supposed he was always aware of its inevitability.
It was something which lurked somewhere in the near future like an accident which could not be undone. It was the unavoidable consequence of an irascible union, the firstborn coiled in utero, a tiny thumb wedged belligerently in the corner of its cheek.
Where envelopes were stamped and invitations mailed, it might have been more prudent to remind their small circle of friends of incumbent alliance.
The trenches were already dug. Snipers deployed.
To that end, he felt outnumbered from the first.
All through summer he could not bear to be close to the wetlands. Its fecundity.
He traveled by day through the stifling heat of public transport just to escape into the concrete cool of the terminus at dusk. Meandering corridors where gusts pulled and nudged and theremins vacillated at three in the morning.
He drank ginger spiked with ice flakes from a thermos at noon. Traded it for coffee when it grew dark. Brown tea laced with whiskey.
Only when he was properly laid to rest, goaded in a welter of feral cats loitering between sleepers, did he feel capable of risking resurrection.
That was the nub of it. Never in the most lucid delirium or temper did he presume to be reborn a Nationalist. Not so thick in middle age.