Woken by the first alarm calls at territorial intrusions, alerts and disputes of airspace and protection of nests at 04:45h.
Then disturbed again at 05:17h by shouting from a distant street. A man’s raised voice echoes through the break of day. Again from closer at 05:32, yet still a way from here. Is he heard by others? What ails him? It sounds like anger.
Is he wandering the city alone? Is someone else at risk? How did this start? How will it end, as it must?
A voice message. I hear the sadness, pain and anguish among the words, the breath, the hesitation and fluctuating voice. It is clear. My heart aches to hear it. There is no way to be there, to wrap arms around, to comfort.
A telephone conversation. I hear the deep breath before confession. I hear what I already thought was so. Apologies are unnecessary. I am grateful for the respect this honesty shows. Thank you for the courage you found to speak. I am relieved to find the story I built around lies can be re-constructed with truths.
A text. I see the angry confusion that comes from frustration; witness the retreat. I recognise the reaction, the wounded withdrawal to safety. This is not my family. It is not for me to intervene. My white charger is out to pasture, but I am here if needed.
n.b. A lifetime of training my body to endure watching Pompey all over England means my adrenalin and endorphins peak around 3pm on winter Saturday afternoons…what happens from there is a game.
I used to play a bit too, not at that level though.
Realising the ambiguity of the last sentence, I clarify, that I played far below the Pompey level, (although my grandma could have scored some goals that Pompey players sometimes fail to score, obviously).