I used to work in an office. I used to sit at a desk next to a window, which looked out into an odd half-secret space, an inner enclosure. Around the walls were other windows, usually blinded. I was often bored, sifting my way through reports and policies, writing my own in the same rational calm language that slowly gets things done or undone. There was a door at the bottom of the courtyard which I supposed was used by maintenance and repair people, but I never saw them, and so as far as my office day was concerned this strange interior space was inhabited only by birds: pigeons, starlings, sparrows; occasionally a pair of magpies (one for sorrow, two for joy). Throughout a whole year I watched them come flying down out of the trapezoid sky, their anxious fluttering and flapping amplified by the walls as they hustled for space on ledges and buttresses. In the rain and cold they rested there in rows, patient, silent, looking back at me, their thick white droppings staining the already soot-stained stone.
Swipe to navigate through the chapters of this book
Please log in to get access to this content
To get access to this content you need the following product:
- Becoming a Writer
- Macmillan Education UK
- Sequence number
- Chapter number