The Clutter Inside

Nathalie Rosset

The golden dough of soft flour, crop of a land once ploughed by hand now sacrificed to memory but still the fruit of an underworld, its rippling brightness on the skin of the earth, it dares to persevere. On the morning I left you behind, I broke the bread in memory, and honeyed light sprung in the open, shattering the obscurity, nullifying the eclipse, until the soft flour made of darkness a mockery. My thumbs pressed on the fruit of the underworld, firm and humbled, until they sunk into the heart of nowhere to be seen, then, holding my breath and steading my hands, they cracked it open without ceremony. Ruthless.
Maybe it was a fit of momentary madness, I don’t know for sure what I can no longer feel. I just left. Though I can’t remember the departing. This morning, all is normal, regular, monotonously comforting. My desk, my laptop, my work colleagues, the streets under the office’s windows, the train line in the distance, people walking on wet pavements, taxis, voices and the urban tumult. The nice-weather-today, the how-are-you-doing, the same-as-usual, all these things that betray language exchanged with precious others, crucial others even, for in their absence, I would have to keep all this torpid clutter inside.
And the flat hour of the day when it comes, futile and limp, lifeless and yet restless, my finger searching for a solace from beyond the screen, ‘news’, ‘feeds’, ‘livestreams’, all these things that betray occurrence, anything rather than nothing. I pray that the boredom of the day does not bring memory. A taste, a simple taste like a sibylline pearl hanging at the cusp of the lips, and everything would spring in the open, shattering the obscurity.

Nathalie Rosset is from France, and has lived in Scotland for many years. Her decision to write creatively in her second language is quite recent, and she is experimenting with short transcultural sketches. Lockdown 1 is inspired by both George Mackay Brown and Robert Musil.