Good day, Dear Sir. Seeing you walk with lordly gait down the path skirting
Wellington square, brings to mind the brilliant blue of the Oxford skies
on that summer day when seven (or was it eight) of us writers sat talking there.
The muses kept us company as we compared tutors, graded lectures,
talked of writerly jealousy. Of literary semiotics and hyperreality.
Of Spark and Sartre, the boundaries of art and philosophy. A Scottish rose
sprawled on the grass, looking up The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
All our maps and guidebooks sought to trace our lonely paths through the stars
despite the gentle bonhomie. Our laughter rippled through the breeze. Time ceased to be
as it does in Oxford, best of all cities. More so when writers meet in casual camaraderie.
And you sir, sauntered majestically into our midst and bestowed upon us smiles that lit
up at your royal feline presence. Seeing you again today, I feel pained. You look so tired. I want to stroke your smoky fur, buy you a pint of milk, take you home. Instead, I raise my phone and click at which you look up as though on cue. I wave to you.
Note: For a grey tomcat who lives around Wellington Square, who surprised us by majestically sauntering right through the circle where we sat one Summer afternoon. I wanted to call him Smoky but E insisted that we call him Sir Valentine. In retrospect, the name suits him rather well. I wrote this after seeing him earlier this month.