Cold Feet (see a body, catch a body)


It’s been a few months since the property was used. Similarly, the bed hasn’t known a body in that measure of time either. But the bedroom doesn’t feel too cold. Certainly not damp.
He unpacked in the afternoon. A meagre amount of possessions. Loaded the wardrobe shelves and drawers with his clean clothing and filled the washing machine with the dirty stuff.
Snow falling. He watched small birds cling a wire mesh feeder. One bird sat the far end of the washing line. Seeming to be ostracised. The washing line where he would under different weather conditions have hung out his laundry.
He took down the pictures of flower paintings hanging on the tongue and groove panelled walls and replaced them with wet t-shirts on hangers above storage heater radiators. He would need to get one of those clothes horse contraptions. In the meantime he used the aluminium ladder intended for getting up into the loft.
At some point late in the afternoon he opened a bottle of wine. Grateful that it was a screw top. He poured. Raised his glass and toasted his new abode. Had a second and a third glass and felt a wave of anxiety and loneliness sweep over him before falling asleep on the sofa.
Woken by damp cold feet and an incoming text.
Still alive?
He replied. Just about. Drinking warm tea. Am freezing.
Stick your finger in the tea or get some woollen pantyhose 😉
He replied. That will make me want to pee. I lied. I’m drinking wine. And the pantyhose…I’ve given up doing Panto.
Don’t worry. Wine will give you good dreams.
Pulling back the curtain he saw a fresh flurry of snow. The day had exhausted itself. It felt time for bed. That moment of loneliness returned.
He finished what was left and deposited the empty bottle and glass in the kitchen. Then decided to rinse them out. He laughed. It was the sound of running water that so often made someone want to pee if they were already in need. He would try a finger in tea tomorrow.
The bed felt stone cold. He tried to read. Turned off the light. Switched it back on again. Propped up the pillows and put on some gloves. Nothing felt quite right. He had difficulty turning the pages. Having to remove a glove each time he did so. It broke the momentum of concentration. He gave up. Turned off the light again.
Then after an hour in the frozen feet foetal position it came to him. What had his granny done when she took him on holiday when he complained of cold feet? She emptied out the Irn Bru bottle she had bought along with their fish and chip suppers. Boiled a kettle and filled the empty bottle with warm water and wrapped a tea towel around it. Placed it in his bed and kissed him goodnight and told him, Not another word from from you. He smiled. Why not use the empty Cote du Rhone bottle? And the kiss goodnight….



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