The Geography of Loss

Edited by Alice Grundy

EXTRACTSeizure crime

[…] ‘Where have you been? Why did you leave home?’

I rack my brain for a moment but know, even before beginning, that it’s a hopeless exercise; there’s nothing there. At times the present leaves no trace whatsoever. Things happen, I know they must, but the memory of them is only in my body. My aching feet speak to me of walking, so I know I’ve been doing that much, but what did I see? Where did I go?

‘You mean, we didn’t go out together?’

Laura sighs. ‘Today is Monday. I only come on Wednesdays. I was going down the street to do my banking when I saw you. You gave one poor man a terrible fright, stepping off the kerb like you did without so much as a glance.’

Oh my. Laura stands to prepare the tea, then brings two mugs, the teapot and milk to the table. I’m about to remind her where the tea cosy is kept when I notice how frazzled she looks. I hold my tongue.

‘Now,’ Laura continues, ‘the television was on.’ What a waste of power. I look to the lounge but she shakes her head, ‘No no, it’s okay, I turned it off when I went to find your cardy.’

Laura leans across the table to take my hand in hers. She lowers her voice in the way mothers sometimes do when soothing children.

‘Did you see the news, did you?’

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