My lover Lily was found dead in the canal

by Sue Vickerman
(this is part II. Read 
My lover Lily was found dead in the canal 
from the beginning.)

Since you left me…

…I am getting out more by myself, like I used to before we were together. Tonight, the Sinfonietta. The conductor is the actual composer. Hair like a lion; passionate…

…wonder whether he composes into the night with the central heating turned right up, or piles on bohemian jumpers in front of a quaint inefficient electric bar fire, totally immersed in his creative inner life like there’s nothing else in this world? Or whether he has to be in bed early so as not to disturb his wife’s sleep after midnight, and has to take his turn listening for the children and changing the wetted bed, and sometimes has to rub her back and sometimes make love… or whether a mistress comes to his studio after dark and lays on the rag-rug naked, or whether his only love is the tumble of black notes, how they tipple-tail onto the page like tadpoles, no, like sperm, the way a sperm swims strongly into existence…whether music is his child, or his religion, or the bane of his life that ties him in knots and makes him despair and think he should get another job and stop all this – whether this is what passes through his mind each morning before breakfast, or whether he contentedly sits at the piano with his first cup of coffee and feels Life Itself welling up inside; whether all of life is in that room, a well-appointed studio with solar-powered heating and much natural light, everything an architect could think of to perfect a creative environment… or that room, a ramshackle attic with a folding bed permanently unfolded at one end, old-fashioned blankets, a brown stain on the bottom sheet from a long-ago espresso concocted on that Baby Belling. No woman to scoop up the linen and wash it. No: no small-minded fussing over bed-linen, because what he has to do today is Important. Is nothing less than his raison d’etre.

I am attracted to people like you and him; people with a raison d’etre. I know my floundering is what made you hate me.

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