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  • It was a quiet dark.
    A humid dark.
    A bit dirty.
    The red door, red Chinese lacquered enamel, let them in.
    The house was quiet.
    The garden overgrown, after the flood.

    It was a quiet midnight kind of a dark. A dark which stretched.
    They each took a potion.
    The woman an elf potion, small, potent. She became drowsy.
    The man took a mutt potion, larger, stronger, with some fur on its palate.
    They slept late, and slept late.

    Later came the sadness, which had been a too-close intimate, times gone by, then a close platonic fellow feeling, then a spry acquaintance, until it became old What'shisname. Creeping like a brain fart in the shadows.

    They would not let the sadness back in. It was bad medicine, and no friend. They let it look in the midnight windows, and fly like a silly ghost in the wee hours to peer in at the snoring sheets and singing pillows. But they were done with the sadness, with its bitter sprinkles, its lard of recriminations. The sadness was their Ex now. Oh, you might run into it, begging at a corner, or offering to buy them a libation, being jolly and tricky, seductive how sadness can be, making you think it is the clear route to being happy.

    It was a dark quiet.
    It was the thing Sunday knows about weekends which went well, where miles were travelled, and much unforgiven put aside for the sake of children, and nothing was changing.
    It wasn't changing.

    The trees were full, almost too full to make shadows of the filigree kind.
    Each of them woke, each of them slept.
    The night was spare.
    Only their hearts had permission to weep, as their bodies claimed the quiet.

    It was a Sunday kind of a dark, where you weep yourself to morning, and dream the vivid thing and nothing has changed and dark has not changed and the dawn has the day name and you did the right thing, you did it in love for the child, you made the visit, you committed to the square bracket, you stayed in the breathing, in the how in the changing nothing is changing, these are the moments when the neighbourhood is still and the houses inhale and exhale with the surfeit of Sundays, the sadness declined, the quiet dark, the whisper of September insinuating into the end of July.

    Somehow, on Sunday, on the tennis court, the clay and the bright green balls the child whacked, the racket action, somehow the bright sunshine knew more about the quiet dark, the potions, the rightness of small gestures to not right wrongs, but simply to turn up, somehow going blind in sunshine watching small bodies play tennis, you knew the sadness was being declined.

    And also how dark the quiet is, and how quiet is the dark.

    (Photo by Susan, self-portrait 2013, digitally coloured.)
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