The flat opposite me has a balcony. I would like that flat.
The owners used to keep it immaculate, and neatly-trimmed window boxes would spill out glorious blooms all the year round. Now the window box is full of weeds.
A few years ago, I think the wife died. That's when he stopped coming out to look after the flowers.
One night last year I was woken up by a banging noise. It was the husband, come home late and drunk. He'd locked himself out and was trying to kick his own door down. He looked old and small but he was still hefting away at the door. I helped him jimmy the lock with a claw hammer. He said thank you and staggered in, all without really focusing on me.
I haven't seen him since, but recently a district nurse has started to call on him regularly. I've discovered that London Feeling - a mixture of solid regret that I don't really know him mingled with "I wonder how much that flat is worth? Can I buy it if he goes into a home or something?".
These aren't nice thoughts. But it's all very well to think them. Because this is London, and some day, someone will be looking out their window at my balcony and thinking "oh, the window boxes are full of weeds. I wonder...?"
Sparkling Cyanide (1945)
2 years ago