Look, that window there, the one next to the dark green front door … could I not be behind that window, on the other side, in another room, safe? Could I not have friends come to see me, who laugh through the smoke of our cigars? Or perhaps there comes a new lady friend, who sees the future more clearly than I, and has it all safely mapped out, all charted and plumbed, a double life, she and me, for at least a few years?
Could I not have bookcases bearing authors who shape a comely world of things so interesting I will weep at the wonder of it? And can there be a garden through the French doors, at the back of that room? And for hotter days, a summerhouse half-hidden in a fair forest of bamboo? And mightn’t its timbers never quite give up their ambition to always, always smell faintly of creosote, the smell of which always takes me back to childhood holidays in chalets in Dorset, near the coast with its cliffs and sands and long summer days, and in the evenings and through the nights, the steady smell of creosote?
Mightn’t there be another world in which I could live, relieved of this despair? Or must this despair follow me, like a lost dog that wishes it were found again, into all possible worlds?
May there be glass in the doors of the bookcases, like in olden days, with keys to keep them shut?
Oh, but may there be conversations with my dear wife again?