The day had been long and finally the sun was going down. The sky was bathed in colours that only nature could summon and a wandering, lonely cloud had been caught in front of the setting sun. It was bathed in a halo of auburns, rusts, gold and yellows of the setting sun that were merging into the deep blue of the night sky. It had been an uneventful day, one of those days when you decide to do nothing except potter around town and then suddenly a whim takes hold and you head off somewhere and then the solitude of the day had grown on him, like lichen on an old tree.
He had woken up earlier than he usually would on a Sunday morning, feeling a little bleary from the one-too-many-drinks the night before. The first stop was a coffee, which was brewed with much gusto on his faithful old coffee maker and old cooker. This morning he felt he needed an extra spoonful of the magical brew to infuse into the deep brown nectar and wake him from his torpor.
While the coffee was brewing, he looked out of the window at the sun desperately trying to peek through the clouds. The sky was overcast, a mottled grey with a flock of birds moving slowly across it to warmer climes. They looked surreal, as if they were painted on. Winter was fast approaching he thought, and memories of summer were fading into the early morning fog of autumn and the distinct chill in the air could be felt through the open window.
He took his coffee and sat on the balcony and contemplating the day ahead. He hadn’t planned anything so his contemplation was less contemplative and filled with endless possibilities. After a summer of weekends away, visiting family and friends, the autumn had brought a melancholic respite to the constant invitations and socialising that had become the norm in his social media-filled existence. A Sunday without any plans was to be savoured, he thought, as he sipped the bittersweet coffee and his eyes focussed on the birds again which now seemed to be painted somewhere else on the grey sky.
It was odd not having someone to wake up to or to make coffee two instead of one. It was a gnawing emptiness that was reminiscent of loss. Loss of companionship and of comfort, of smiles and sharing, loss of a partner and friend. But coupled with the emptiness was an overwhelming feeling of peace and solitude that one gets when you know you are alone with your thoughts. Of being able to think and not hear a reply, of thinking aloud and not worrying about who was listening, of a free Sunday with no plans; and especially of wearing that old Arran sweater that had holes in it from wearing it too often, which he had bought a decade ago while visiting Ireland.
He was going to visit the antiques market and then pop into a bookshop. Then another coffee and read the book that he was going to buy, which itself was an exciting prospect, and while he sipped his next, much anticipated coffee, he would watch the world go by. Alternatively, he would just wander the streets until something somewhere took his fancy. The possibilities were endless and best of all, he didn’t really know what he was going to do.
It was going to be an autumn of Sundays, he thought, and with that, he locked his front door, walked down the stairs and stepped out into the street, protected from the cold wind by his old, faithful Arran…