Foxes of London

Every day the world tells me I need to pay attention and so I do. I wait for two hours after I wake to check my messages and then I wait a little more before I reply to them. Then I check the news and then I wait a little longer to check for more updates. Then during the day, during my work, in between walking and eating and reading and writing and napping, I check for more messages and then sometimes I reply immediately. The world requires our attention and our replies.

Once early in the morning, it was 3am I think, the neighbor’s cat found her way to my husband’s pillow and when we woke up and found her, we yelled and jumped out of our beds and later while my husband changed the sheets and after I had chased the cat out, I stood on the patio facing the main road, and I looked down and a fox looked up at me. We stared into each other’s eyes and time stopped and stilled and all was silent for a moment before she ran away into the dark and I went back inside my bedroom.

This bedroom that faces the main room causes me many angsts. During lockdown when the pubs were closed and the cars were gone and people were indoors, I forgot that I lived on this road that was always full of cars and buses and people. And then the pub around the corner opened again and Friday and Saturday nights my husband and I wake to the yells and laughter and calls and screams and cries and whistles and hullabaloo of people who have had more than one drink and are expressing themselves fully, more fully than their lives allow otherwise. I wish them well but in the dark blue of midnight, the sounds mingle with my dreams and I wake to a fugue and a fatigue unlike any other I experience. This is not waking to the baby crying next door or to the dogs who howl and fight under our windows all night in our home in India. This is a fatigue that carries with it the weight of all our human failures and sorrows. I don’t know how much longer I will be able to live on this road. But sometimes I remind myself that before the buses and the cars and the screams and the drunken singing, in a gap and silence between all of that the foxes still roam silent. I have to do everything I can in my days and nights to find them.