From the other bank

When you were young and jobless, you’d leave your flat and walk the streets like a ghost: it was their world, you were just passing through. You’d walk from pub to pub having a drink in each, you’d walk yourself into the ground so you could sleep. Back home, you’d stand at your window while you waited for the shower to warm up. The window gave on a slant of the river that wound through the town. You often stood watching it carry its grimy load seaward. Sometimes a kind of mental mist would steal over you. As evening fell, your reflection would appear in the window, slowly replacing the river. The more you examined it – those empty unblinking eyes, those straight lips – the harder it was to feel it was yours. It was a thing among things, untenanted, like a face watching you from the other bank.

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