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Lighthouse Man

I’m sitting here watching the light move. They must have seen something in me that was suited to the job although I’d always lived close to the land.

It’s lonely here, only the sound of the sea and the boat that comes once a week with supplies.

I have my memories; of my dog; it killed me the way he died. I have to keep that to myself. You could say I’m full of secrets. They make me what I am.

I have his collar in my hand; I use it like a rosary, the shiny knobs on the leather are like beads. I thumb through them and bring myself back, so that I’m not overtaken by the past.

My wife and I had a grocer’s shop. I grew flowers in the greenhouse and we sold cut ham she had prepared in our home. She was unhappy with me. I could never say what I wanted for fear of the impact. I left her alone, working in the garden. She nagged me and we both went into our shells.

One of my customers had a sympathetic face. We were friends, we were seeing each other every day and then the inevitable. I left but it didn’t work out and I lost them both, it was just the dog and I. When he died, I was left all at sea.

Today is February 14th, but I’m beyond all that. I’ve become honed down like a whittled piece of driftwood.

This morning I found a valentine card washed up on the rocks. The colours have faded, ash-blue, coral-pink, but I’ll dry it out in the wind and put it on the mantlepiece. It’s unsigned, a message from the sea perhaps.

(294 words)



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