Day 57

I went over to Elsbeth's today, only to find that she's been ill with a very nasty flu bug, poor thing. Her normally immaculate place was in quite a bit of disarray so I tidied up a a bit, made her some soup and many cups of hot lemon honey tea.

She wanted to get up but I made her stay in bed and so spent most of the day in her lounge, reading Silas Marner.

Between the chapters I would pause and listen to the silence: the ticking clock, the cars as they drove by, the distant noises of other inhabitants. The blue sky shone brightly through wintery trees and I felt a strange feeling: contentment.

Was this all that it took: a morning of selfless devotion? All those years of unsatisfied material hunger and fruitless toil, and here was the answer, in this doily infested flat of a dear old sick woman who had touched my heart so.

I didn't know whether to feel elated or immensely foolish.