Saturday, 24 March 2012

I love old places. Old stone, worn over time with sun and wind and rain. Colonised by lichen, sheltering tiny creatures far more transient than itself in its tiny cracks and crannies. I love how it looks, and how it feels on a warm day. I love imagining who else has touched it, or passed it by.
People just like me. People from many years ago. People from decades ago. Centuries, millenia. I feel strangely thrilled in old places, around old stone. And strangely at home.

The Man and I often walk past the Roman wall that once formed the perimeter of the town. It's still standing. The colours: rusty brick, sage-green scrub of the weeds that live between the stones, the slate grey of the stone and the bleached white of the mortar (is it mortar?). The flame-coloured flowers that peep out between the bricks in the springtime.
Every tiny crumbling thing here is special, alive, aglow.
I don't know why. But it has always felt that way to me.

Twice at sunset, I've stood in what I imagine was the guard's alcove at the old wall, now open to the sun and wind and rain. I've watched the decades and the years peel away, backwards. Opposite the road there's an old brick building from the early part of the last century. And beyond that, a line of apartment blocks from towards its end. I've kissed the Man, and imagined - or wanted to imagine - that we were here before. That somehow our love was here before. Or was meant to be here now, from the day these bricks and stone were laid, to the day we leant on them. His hand rough against my cheek after it's been pressed against the crumbling wall.

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