Scaffolding (2)

In September I wrote about being determined to stay alive to see some nearby scaffolding be taken down. For context, you might want to read this here: Scaffolding.


I am always reluctant to use the word “happy” because to use the word “happy” in relation to myself seems inauthentic, but I will say instead that I am pretty buzzing to have spent the morning watching these three blokes ripping down the dust-sheets and taking the poles apart across the road.

It’s so lovely to see the church in the sunshine. I’ve been working by the window most of the day just looking at it: the gold numbers on the clock-face catching the light, the thousand-ish years of hopes and prayers and every conceivable human emotion trapped within the medieval brickwork, the gothic steeple and spire now looking so harsh and imposing against this sudden flutter of snowfall. It’s magnificent.

But this means that I need a new target, something to stay alive for. Of course I am still trying to make it to my 25th birthday in April, so that I can say I’ve served a quarter of a century in this prison, the best part of a 25/life sentence and can leave if I want to without feeling like I didn’t give life a proper chance (because I fucking did, for 25 years). But that date seems so far away to me right now.

I’m living hour by hour at the moment. Tick tock, tick tock. I think my new target will be to see this same view of the church from my kitchen window but with greenery surrounding it, rather than the skeleton-trees that are everywhere now. It’ll look beautiful in the Spring – this town always does. Yesterday I bought my first bunch of daffodils of the year, so I won’t have to wait too long ’til my next target, for the greenery to arrive, for the Spring of my (probable) discontent.

It’s weird to feel this in my heart: I don’t know what it is, it’s like I’m pleased and relieved and excited and smiling inside because I can see the church, FINALLY and it’s not a disappointment, it’s just as magical as I thought it would be. I don’t know what this is. It feels unnatural. I’m sure this “warm” feeling won’t stick around for long but I’m going back to the window now to look at the church and the space where the scaffolding once lived for 18 months of my life sentence. And I will sit here every day and wait for the Spring. Not long now.

I feel like I spend my entire life waiting for the Spring, even when it’s arrived, even when it’s here, even when I’m in its arms. Everything is better in the Spring. I am trying to remember this particular poem that my dad wrote in the 70s about the Spring but I can’t quite quote it from memory – something about the arrival of Spring bringing a renewed sense of optimism. Let’s hope. Tick tock, tick tock.


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