Drinking tea and cold sunshine, the Facebook memory informed me that it had been five years since Sarah and I had laid little Bethany to rest. As others sat around in the smoking shelter at work, their conversations drifted over my head as I looked down at the words written on that secret morning so long ago. Damp days of fallen leaves separated by a stretch of time that now feels impossible, no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t quite comprehend it. The scars have never healed. I did a good job at hiding them, but they remain open, and always will. While I was working, my father attended his consultation regarding his treatment for cancer. On the walk back home, I was convinced it would be bad news. Six months to live. Major surgery. The removal of his tongue, or maybe half a jaw. The thoughts persisted without fail. Opening the front door, he looked sheepish at the sight of me, and my heart sank in an instant. Only the diagnosis was a good one. No more cancer, and a clean bill of health. He revealed that he’d bought a lucky keyring a few days earlier, and he rubbed it between his fingers as if to suggest it had done a good job. I smiled, because underneath it all, there’s no reason to indicate that it hadn’t. Soaking in a hot bath, I listened to ‘Dancing Queen’ to celebrate. If there’s one song that will cut through mixed emotions, then that’s it. I’ve taken the week off from the novel to inject some life into this tired old body of mine, and It’s slowly working. Nine months solid of writing night after night has left me numb and disjointed, and all the time worried about my father as well. Isolation is a gift, yet there comes a point when the life in my veins begins to fade. I’m fighting for what I believe in, although mostly it’s a fight to simply exist. And yet despite everything, I laugh at the absurdity of it all. Because life is absurd to its core, and sometimes the only thing you can do is marvel at all the small things, those that others try their hardest to deny. Don’t ever become like them. Stay away from the crowd. One day, you’ll eat them for breakfast because they settled for money while you had your eyes only on the stars.