The library is almost empty. The lights to the left of me have long since gone out. To the right of me sits the only other person here, quietly turning over the pages of an old almanac. She has hair the colour of straw gently brushing her shoulders. She has a navy back pack unzipped, tipped over, spilling its contents into the aisle next to her. She has one of those fair-isle jumpers on, of blue and white and pink.

Very distracting.

Whenever I turn to stretch my neck, I get swept up in the print. It’s just a series of triangles and squares and arrows. What are you trying to tell me woollen jumper, I think, what is this code?

And then I catch myself.

I bow my head and hope that it helps me concentrate. Head down, pen firmly in hand, sheet of blank paper beckoning words, and images and ideas…I could almost fall asleep. The temperature is suitable. The radiator, below, warms my feet. The partially open window, above, ushers in a gentle breeze that could close my eyelids. It does close my eyelids. Once, twice. A third time. The sound of my pen falling from my hand wakes me.

I sit bolt upright.

My reflection looks guilty in the window opposite. It is late now. The sky is an awkward shade of blue, ushering in the night, and the moon peeks in from the other side of the building. Outside lights start to dwindle from the surrounding buildings. Doors open and close for the last time. Headlights roll down the street.


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