syrup by jadamthwaite

10 Jan

Hammond doesn’t know what to make without Julie.

She’d been the one with the plan. She would show him the patterns for things she wanted to make and he’d follow along, dutifully handing her the pieces at the end so she could stitch them together and fill them with polyester stuffing to make draught excluders or teddy bears. Now he just crocheted. Crocheted and crocheted and crocheted great long cascades of colour that spilled over his knees and flowed across the living room floor in thick-knotted rivers.

Even if he did meet another woman, she’d never be able to find her way to the sofa.

In the loose woollen loops, Hammond sees the rises and falls of Julie’s signature on the divorce papers and he concentrates on the heavy thud of his heartbeat as the evening traffic clatters down the road like motorised saucepans. Sometimes when there are footsteps on the path outside, he worries that someone might catch a glimpse of the bright woollen stitches through the gap between the curtains.

Crocheting is hardly the sort of hobby he can share with the lads in the sorting office.

At six o’clock an alarm goes off. Hammond hits the button down with a crochet hook and carefully lifts the wool from his lap, settling it beside him on the sofa like an old dog.

This is the dinner alarm. He’d never remember to eat without it. Every afternoon when he comes in from his shift, he arranges his supper ingredients on the kitchen counter and pulls up the little button at the top of the alarm clock. And every evening when the shrill beeps splatter into the living room, he wanders off to the kitchen and cooks himself a simple meal, which he eats on a rusty blue tray in front of the evening news, surrounded by the friendly loops of brightly coloured wool.

Later – when he’s washed the dishes – Hammond picks up his crocheting again and watches a film from the library.

When everything you know dissolves like sugar, the best thing you can do is knot threads of routine into your life and bundle yourself up in their warmth.

Hammond knows Julie would agree.

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5 Responses to “syrup by jadamthwaite”

  1. ingridfnl January 10, 2010 at 9:04 pm #

    This is beautiful Jenny.

  2. typicalquirk January 10, 2010 at 11:16 pm #

    You and I were definitely on the same train of thought. This was really well written. I liked the loops of yarn in the living room being like a river. Good work!

  3. eli January 11, 2010 at 7:22 am #

    very sad, but nice womblike imagery.

  4. phoenix.writing January 16, 2010 at 8:34 pm #

    “Even if he did meet another woman, she’d never be able to find her way to the sofa.”

    ^ Grins. That line’s really stuck with me. The crocheting imagery was bright and pleasing.

    It’s sort of really sad, but I feel as though he *is* knotting routine back into his life and will pull through eventually.

  5. jadamthwaite January 17, 2010 at 9:39 pm #

    Thank you! I enjoyed writing Hammond… even if he did turn out to be such a sad character!

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