whose tiny space is /Mightier than the room of the stars, being secret and filled with dreams
Perhaps it was Seth’s fairy tales, but she dreamt the evening sun set fire to the horizon. They sat together on the dry grass and watched the fields burn, and his fingers traced her handprint in the dust as the distant hiss grew into a thunderous roar. The trees took like kindling, gold against the twilit gloom, and then the one by one the stars began to fall from the sky. She traced the fireballs with her fingertip, tumbling soundlessly into the red pit below the hill, until the sky was dark and there was nothing but the fire and Seth’s hand over hers. “Look what one spark can do to this place,” she said in a voice which wasn’t hers, and then the flames licked the crest of the hill and they lay down on the matchstick twigs. He said her name three times, and the sky was dark, and she realised she was awake.
Sitting on our separate bags in a crowded train station, handling hot coffee and quiet conversation with equal care, Jonny once said to me, ”Some people spend their evening watching sunsets. We spend ours watching the King’s Cross departure boards.”
Our paths have always crossed in transit. By bus, by train, by foot, by boat, we have navigated our individual courses together more often than we realised. I think perhaps we are travellers by nature, though of very different kinds. Since coffees at King’s Cross we have set out on a new journey together; one which, four months later, led us northwards to a place where we might find
Amid the fretful dwelling of mankind,
A foretaste, a dim earnest, of the calm
That Nature breathes among the hills and groves
There’s a song I listen to so incessantly that sometimes it plays in my dreams. I wake up humming the harmony line, and the tune trickles through my lips for the rest of the day. On Tuesday I turned twenty-one, and the first day of my definitively adult life began with the sounds of a harmonica in my head.