It’s harder to write when you are happy. Writing came easily with sadness. There will be some people who don’t like this new happiness, who prefer the sadness. After all, sadness is plot. Most people probably want sadness and adversity, and then happiness, but here I am, living my happy ending and not knowing how to write about it.
Three days a week (soon to be four) we wake up together. We spend too long lounging in bed with the cat and not enough time getting ready and drinking coffee, the steam warming our cold noses as we sip. I work in the City, walk past rushing fountains every day, the spray sometimes catching my legs. I phone my mum on the walk between the train and my office and my dad on the way back in the evenings. I feel valued and proud and successful. I feel happy and like I am making a difference. I feel challenged and excited, all day.
MindReader and I often meet for lunch; kisses under umbrellas as we listen to the tap-tap of rain, work gossip told, with a half-smile, over soup, the butter sliding off the bread and forming big yellow ponds on the top of the soup.
We get the same train home together, or try to. We meet in a room at the train station which houses both “The Waiting Room” and the ladies’ toilets. We call it our Ladies’ Waiting Room. Sometimes we pretend the trains are delayed and go out for dinner, having the whole City to choose from: tapas, tappan-yaki, Vietnamese. I get too tipsy, often, and MindReader has to drive us home from the station. Other times we go to food markets, the smell of cooking onions and strong cheese hanging in the marquees. We drank mulled wine at Christmas at the German market and I spent too much on candied nuts, the honey-coloured glaze sticking to my green gloves.
When we get in the cat goes mental because he missed us. MindReader cooks. I have a bath, my hair now long and blooming out around me as I think about my happiness. We are watching House, at the moment, and we usually watch an episode, the cat snoozing between us, paddling our clothes, before we go to bed very early, while the sky outside is still bruise-blue and the neighbour’s children are still playing football on the road outside.
We go to people’s weddings. We go on holiday. We see random things; National Trust Properties, woodland walks, canal-side lunches. We go for cream teas and hill walks, visiting people. We throw the odd dinner party, me stressing over how many candles to light and praying the cat chooses to poo outside. We go on road trips, eating too many sweets on the way and running down my iPhone battery as we play anything from Jay-Z to Joy Division. We went to Devon, just. I clomped along the pavements in sky-high wedges. MindReader wore a waistcote. We got there early, found a tearoom for brunch, watched the sunset on the way home, the sky a marbled, lit-up raspberry ripple.
I am happy now. It is a flat expanse; a panorama rather than a summit. It’s nice, this happiness, but it doesn’t do much for my blog stats.