The House In London Road 2.6

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In the morning Gerard was doing his exercises – squats, and stretches, accomplished with the help of a cigarette – in his underpants and singlet, outside the car in the grey light. I experienced that feeling of disorder that comes with sleeping upright, away from a known bed.

Our breakfast was what was left of the previous night’s supper – still delicious – and coffee that Gerard got from somewhere. Then we set off in the stringy grey light, and I think I fell asleep immediately. In any case I can remember little of the journey back to Brussels, apart from waking again in a Dutch town with high brick houses pressing in from every side, and there being no one about. Perhaps it was a Sunday.

These days in the car, spent mostly on the motorway, represented Gerard and Elsie’s summer holiday. We must have sped back southwards towards Brussels, on one of the early days of autumn, the heat giving way to the coolness of the sinister woodlands that surround the Belgian capital. I remember a feeling of something impending.