Friday, 31 July 2009

Summer Vacation

It is the summer vacation
and the Department is in hibernation.
There is time to stop and chat.

She tells me that...
she has taken eight children camping.
I bow before her.

He tells me that...
his wife cut his hair.
His hair is shockingly short.
He says that it is an economy haircut.

She tells me that...
her daughter is at summer camp.
Today they are playing with clay...
if only we could go and join in too.

He tells me that...
he is to become a father
and it is clear that he cannot believe
that he is saying the words out loud.

She tells me that...
it was her daughter's 18th birthday party.
"It was lovely to see her so happy
and the centre of attention.
Birthdays should be special."

He tells me that...
he is not going home to Spain this year.
"It will be very hot there"
he says gloomily,
looking out at the rain.

She tells me that...
every time she organises office moves
she is also moving house.
"If I see another archive box

He tells me that...
they are going on holiday to CentreParcs
where he will look after the children
and his wife will go the Spa.
I think he is looking forward to it.

She tells me that...
she is thinking of leaving.
I am sad
but not surprised.

He tells me that...
he had remembered what I had told him
and so the new baby
arrived with a present
for a newly promoted big sister.

She tells me that...
her daughter got married.
The sun shone all day
and everything went according to plan
and, afterwards, she felt quite bereft.

This time last year I did not know them.
They would not have told me these things.

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