Soon

This thing takes an age to boil.

I sit at the table and lift my exposed legs and bare feet an inch or two up off the cool kitchen floor. Through the glass to my left the sky displays schizophrenic tendencies, clear, sharp and deathly still behind dark laden patches of cloud, in a hurry to somewhere else.

The creaks above my head tell me your mother is stirring. Your restlessness initiating hers for what feels like the thousandth night in succession. Falling in and out of half sleeps, dreaming faceless half dreams of catching, falling, and reaching.

On the other side of the street, few lights burn bright. They’re the evidence of absence of rest, telling tales about a long day not yet at an end, or perhaps one prematurely begun. Some night soon, while we wait for rest to come to you, I will point out those lights and I will tell you their tales.

The impatient clouds unwittingly animate the floor. Midnight blue shadow projections converge and diverge in perpetual motion and silence. Tilting my head, I see rabbits there, but then again in my weary adult mind I always do. Some night soon, we will sit here together, and you can point out the lions and tigers that you see, you can tell me their tales.

Maybe then I will be able to see them too.

Hundreds, even thousands of miles away, others are sitting in their own late night kitchens, waiting for their own kettles to boil. I imagine aunts and uncles, cousins and grandparents, and friends you couldn’t even begin to count have all sat a while, staring into blue gas flames. They are briefly reminded of you, and by the light of open fridge doors they wonder if it is almost time.

The idea of your arrival being impatiently awaited on distant shores makes me smile, a concept sickeningly over-poetic in terminology, yet still incompetently insufficient.

Against the sound of more unrest from above, I myself wonder if it is almost time, I rise and return the unused mug to its place on the shelf.

I turn the dial, vanishing the blue flame. It takes an age to boil.

Heavy with sleep now, I can wait. Until tomorrow.

‘Soon’ was originally published on xbox 4 nappy rash on 9th February, 2010.