I closed my eyes as I felt the cold east wind blow against my face. I could feel the sting make my eyes water. The Greek call the east wind Eurus. Always seemed like a strange name to me but a name I liked. I felt the snow start to fall and it bought a strange memory to my mind. One I had not recalled in a long time. It felt fuzzy, like watching an old movie on a reel. It made me frown as I tried to pull it into focus. Despite the biting wind, I forced my eyes to open. The snowflakes were whirling above my head. I pulled the collar of my coat up to try and hide myself from the horrid weather. I turned to walk in the direction I needed to go. Which, unfortunately for me was into the east wind. A place I didn’t want to go. To face something unknown. That memory kept flashing in front of my eyes. It felt like a jigsaw puzzle with several pieces missing and I didn’t know where they were hiding. The winding muddy path eventually gave way to the ruins of a house and beyond that my car.
Seeing my car made me walk a little quicker. The car meant warmth and escaping from the east wind, which I felt was chasing me, haunting me even. As I climbed into my car, I turned the heating on full and sat there enjoying the warmth. The cold had made my bones ache. But there was something about winter . It reminded me of my humanity. Although it was a reminder I didn’t like. Emotions are what make people weak and weakness can be leveraged. I’d learnt that the hard way. I started the car and drove away. Watching the ruins of the house get smaller and smaller. The sight stirred something in my soul. I was drawn to this place and I didn’t understand why. The drive back home was slow and full of purpose. I parked in my usual spot but didn’t feel the satisfaction that made my OCD subside. It made me feel uneasy. Like I was about to meet a monster. I turned the engine off and sat with both hands gripping the stirring wheel. My mind was racing and it didn’t seem to be slowing.
I closed my eyes and tried to focus on the noise of the city. Focussing on each individual sound. With each sound fading in and out, like the ebb and flow of the sea. A knock on the window brought me out of my daydream and crashing back into reality. It wasn’t anyone. I knew it was someone looking for a reaction. I ignored him and went back into my mind. The ruined house and the howling east wind came whirling back to me. It was now starting to bother me. They are no use to me. They didn’t have place so they needed to leave me in peace. But part of me wanted to know why they were being so intrusive. No thought had entered my mind without a reason. After what seemed like a lifetime. I left the car and headed inside. I climbed the creaky staircase to my flat. My place of solitude. Everything was where I wanted. Bullet holes in the wall and a skull on the mantel. I talked to the skull when I needed to vent. It was almost like my best friend.
Friends are something I have. But I liked my life that way. I didn’t enjoy the emotions and attachments that come along with friendships and relationship. I liked loneliness. It was a feeling I enjoyed and understood. It fitted my life like an old jumper. I knew every inch of it and I shouldn’t. It had been told my entire life that I should have friends but none of them understood me and the way I thought or my obsessive behaviours. As an adult though, I thrived on loneliness. I forced all those thoughts from my mind. I need caffeine. So, I slipped my shoes off because I didn’t want my upstairs neighbour to know that I was home. I padded my way into my old fashioned kitchen, turned my Aga on, filled the kettle and let it boil. The sound of the water boiling was a calming familiarity. As the whistling grew louder and louder, it bought a wry smile to my face. I got out my favourite mug and made myself a cup of black coffee.
I traced my footsteps back into the living room and sat in my favourite chair, facing the window. This gave me a tiny glimpse into the city. I sat staring at the cityscape and savouring every sip of coffee. The sounds of footsteps above my head, shattered my tranquillity. The footsteps got heavier and louder as they crossed the landing and made their way down the old staircase. I wasn’t in the mood for this. My neighbour was pleasant enough but he was dull and didn’t understand my subtle hints for him to leave me alone. Conversations with him left me filling unfulfilled. But, I will admit, there were times when the monotonous tone of his voice bought me some moments of clarity. Which, is what I was craving on a day like today. He came in and flopped down in the chair directly opposite me. He, then proceeded to talk and I lost myself in the highs and lows of his voice. I could feel my eyes beginning to close. The sound of his voice becoming fainter and fainter.
The ruins of the old house came into focus and I began to feel that familiar wind howl at my back. Like a wolf howling at the full moon. This vision felt so real that I felt a shiver run down my spine. I even felt my hair move in the wind. The sound of a smashing cup brought me out of my daydream and crashing back into reality. My neighbour was on his hands and knees, attempting to pick up the broken pieces. All I could do was sit there and stare. Blinking every so often. Before I found any words, he uttered an apology and ran from the room and headed back up the stairs. I tried to figure out what had just happened but I pushed it all from my mind when I heard my doorbell ring. I pulled myself from the chair and ambled to the stairs. Only to be met by a woman dressed in a bright yellow raincoat. Her appearance startled me, mainly because it wasn’t raining and that the colour was so vivid. Especially on this dull winters day. Before I could ask her name, she barged passed me and continued a mad dash up to the top of the house.
This was turning out to be a strange sort of day. God only knows what the night will bring.