Three
It is raining. I hear it, here, high up, against the glass, and the cars on the wet road. And voices of the women in the warm passage, the yellow light under door. A brick wall through the window. The room dark. Clothes about. A wet towel. Whiskey on the little cupboard. Cases unpacked. It is raining. The silent clock. Away. No sleep to mention. The cars go by, in the rain, coming straight down. Speaking without looking. Won't sleep. Talking aloud, around the house, out in the yard, shopping. And it is so cold out there, the air still, tied down, except at corners, my ears burning in the small room inside the pink lodge where, just a few minutes ago the young man with the black dog lit the gas heaters along the passage. A sweet sickly scent in the air. But there is heat, there is heat. And that is something in the rain. All day walking about. Here and there. Checking timetables, adding up costs. Now and then today it rained. I wished, as I saw the wet pavement, I could say, simply, deliver, as a speech: now and then it rained today. I wished I could say it easily, without it being somehow good. The worst is, of course, that if I did say it, if someone was here, it would be absorbed, without question. All along the way on the green hills fat animals. Odd thin dark faces, familiar, but slow and clean. The mountains in the mist. A wide smooth river with a few barges rotting along the banks, abandoned perhaps, perhaps not. Towns one after the other, no empty space. Many trucks in the dusk. A certain boring charm. A certain longing for something luxurious, fabric say, a dress, or cherries. Red. A red language of withdrawal, away from the green grass, the straight fences, the white lines. And then night came, again without surprise, of course (and still raining), expected, dead on time, lovely low light from beneath black clouds, bright deep pink (almost a red language). For quite awhile. The road narrowing with the gloom. All the signs on. Just on, as if cued. And then not seeing the animals anymore, just the road. Smelling the burning wood. The smoke laying low enough to touch. Falling slowly. Blue snow. As memory especially, old thoughts, way back home, by the fire with the rain on the windows. And I feel a bullet through my head, while I'm sleeping, from the room next door. Right into the top, clean. Sleep on, just a brown stain. Through the mountains, green again, and rain. Just coming down, warm in the car. Then arriving. And great bursts of speaking. I tell you what. Very loud. Now. OK. There we are. OK. You right. And the man trying to talk softly. And ghosts knocking. Knock knock knock. And doors opening and closing. And the minister coming twice to exorcise, but saying no, the spirit is harmless. Sometimes there is perfume, suddenly, from nowhere, sometimes the smell of tobacco. Visitors stayed in the lounge and all night they heard footsteps, doors, chairs. All the way around the mountain, and not once a glimpse of the summit. Just snow on the slopes. Driving up the side to a house. A white wooden house glowing in the blue sun. Away from everything, everyone. In the green. The most view ever dreamed, right to the sea. Out into the wet deep grass to walk in high boots, sinking down, as in glory way down through the leaves to the soaking ground, and a pool of water, deep, to swim in. And rain, and going away.