Catherine Ormell

In Absentia

In abstentia
Catherine Ormell

How is my desk getting along without me in Lincoln’s Inn Fields? A few doors up Soane’s funeral parlour is shut, and reverts. Who could’ve imagined the LSE without drifts of long-legged kids arm-linking on Sardinia Street? And, just when the tennis courts are coming alive – there are no placid onlookers to miss the day-off-surgeons who are not there presently,  serving-out among bluebells and crows.

How is my life is getting along without me behind stolid Georgian doors thick with eau-de-nil? If only I’d washed-down my insta-whiteboard, not left it tacky with shouty to-do’s. As the building warms up, my vulgar self sweats  for my better one, now home-islanded,

dependent on crumbs at the window: a woodpigeon’s ostinato, a gull’s scream telling  of further-flung suburbs, oceans and sea-stars –  all seemingly remote as histories. So it is we turn to organisational pleasures,  look in drawers and turn over details like soil.

First published in The Spectator