Not many houses smell of cigarettes in the morning anymore. He used to smoke cigars, dusting the ash into an upturned oyster shell he’d pocketed on the King’s Road. He’d left since, in his green Jowett Javelin, back seat chocked full of chipped candlesticks and muddy army boots, bound for antique fairs and his Sunday afternoon friends.
Lighting a Capstan cigarette, she snapped the lid of her lighter back and placed it on “Memories for You and Me” a book for mourning mothers. From her bed she surveyed a room full of his suburban treasures, rotten leftovers from an erstwhile lover she didn’t know how to be rid of. Like the brass rubbing of East Coker, bought from a thrift shop along with a wilting aspidistra and a used eiderdown.
She had met him once on Mount Vernon, below the infirmary, a parachute tangled in its pointed spires, just a remnant from one of those all too recent forgotten wars. It was one of her better memories, that moment in Mansfield Place, but sentimentality no matter what its skill to ease someone from the doldrums, was never worth a mess. The new found grim indifference of her nature, would soon help her forget.