I find myself blundering about on the internet, doing nothing much in particular. I waste time on stupid social media memes, scrolling down the newsfeed of things like Facebook, obsessively checking email as though I am expecting some notification (I am not). I am wrestling the incalcitrant minutes into submission, making them pass. I am not sure what day it is; checking the calendar is often useless because I find my eyes swimming in the dates not knowing which is today and which was two days ago. I have taken to crossing off each day on the kitchen calendar when I get up in the mornings, just so that I can keep myself from coming unstuck in time.

I have no idea what I am looking for, on the net, in the emails. Some sort of a reset button, something that I can find and recognise and press, and then when I go back upstairs life will be normal again, and Deck will be sitting at his computer, and there would be supper to fix for the both of us when the sun goes down, and then there would be an hour or two of often mindless shared television – it didn’t matter what we were watching so much as we were watching it together (well it DID matter – we didn’t watch drivel – but you know what I mean.)

I am looking for a reset button to press so that I can stop being ambushed by crying jags, so that I can stop pausing as I walk past his office and glancing at the empty chair, so that I can stop switching off the living room lamp and dragging myself to bed in darkness whispering “good night I love you” into the silence as though he can hear me. I am looking for a reset button. I want my life back.

Things are about to unravel dramatically, in another month or so. Mid November marks the moment that he left home… and never returned. Early December marks the one year anniversary of his first death, the time his heart stopped in the little country hospital, the place they clawed him back from the brink; the rest of December marks increasingly desperate procedures, stents, pacemaker, drains… and then, just before Christmas, the Covid axe that fell when they moved him to the nursing home and separated us, for the last time, for good. January, in the nursing home; the return to the hospital; the beginning of the end; the night of the hospice; the last wet dreary rainy hours of pre-dawn on February 1. Getting up in a world where he no longer existed.

November marks the beginning of the first anniversary of all that.

It is coming up to a year.

I cannot believe that. He can’t have been gone for a year. I can’t have already lived alone one twentieth of the time that we had spent together. It just cannot be.

I want a reset button. I want to wake up and find him there.

It can’t be nearly a year. It can’t. It can’t.

Things fall apart. The center cannot hold.

I want a reset.