We drink pumpkin spice lattes even though its spring and I don’t like coffee. We spend the morning wandering together and decide that morning is actually a rather nice time to hang out. We sit beside the river, being showered in pollen and drinking Japanese soda out of soft aluminium cans.
Alex and I catch the train to Belgrave. It isn’t that far out of the city but it feels far enough to be an escape. Our AirB&B is a little section of a mansion. Our room has a wall of glass that overlooks the lawns. I know from Grand Designs that almost nothing is posher than corner glass.
I make sandwiches with fancy cheese and nice salami, sawing at the loaf of bread with a steak knife because the fancy kitchenette is fairly ill equipped. We load them into a backpack, carrying them on an adventure. I ask Alex what he’s thinking and he asks me. For once we both just answer, because in the quiet and still of a weekend like this, the answers feel simple.
I can find Alex’s hand without looking, lacing my fingers through his as we walk side-by-side. My ability to sense objects in the space around me is terrible, as evidenced by my ever-present bruises from colliding with furniture. But I can find his hand without thinking, reaching into the space between us and knowing exactly where he’ll be.
We ride the Puffing Billy through the forest. I climb onto the railing at the edge of the carriage and swing my feet into the open air. Leaning out, soot from the steam train whips into my eyes and through my hair.
We take the train to a sprawling park and walk through the forest. It occurs to me, not for the first time, how often we try to fill these blank moments. I like, sometimes, to just sit with my thoughts. When there is no anxiety to buzz angrily in the foreground, I can listen to the gentle hum of the quieter, less insistent thoughts and it’s nice to remember that they’re always there, underneath it all.