I wandered around the empty rooms feeling like an intruder in my own domain. It hadn’t always been like this. There was laughter here sometimes. I peered in every room looking for something but the something I was looking for never revealed itself to me. I thought of my agent. More of a confidant and friend really. He had guided my career for over thirty years. He was always there. He had a few other clients on his books but I was his main income. Was I being selfish leaving him? Would he survive? There was always the possibility that I might work again. I hadn’t closed the door for good but the likelihood of a telephone ringing anytime soon was becoming a redundant memory. I kept him as my agent in case I needed him to look through any contract that needed signing. He had a legal head on him and knew every clause and statement. He also drove a fantastic old car and knew every old inn and restaurant for miles around. He was in all degrees essential at times.
Perhaps that imaginary conversation with mother did ring true. Was it really tragic? Was I really throwing everything away? I came back down the stairs and into the kitchen.
'Out of sight out my mind, I would be forgotten,' I said to myself.
That conversation in my head came back to me. It was quite true. There were no letters, the telephone had not rung.
Perhaps it would never ring again.
I could pick up the telephone and call someone.
They can call me.
I should really take time out, go and walk around the garden. It was after all one of the reasons why I bought the house. But if I did I may not hear the telephone ringing.
'So what?' I shouted to myself. 'If it did ring and I was in the garden I wouldn’t hear it and the answer machine would pick up a message.' I carried on talking to myself continuing well thought out conversations.
'Well, it could be important. It could be a studio. A comeback.'
'No, probably the bank manager to discuss the overdraft.'
'No, not the bank, just admit it, no one knows you are here.'
'It’s a new situation, a new feeling. You need to get used to it.'
In the last house there was always someone there. The cleaning, the ironing, the rubbing of the silver. Gardening, peeling potatoes, a life going on, a pulse beating.
'You always wanted solitude, well here it is.'
'You always hated the telephone.'
'And now you are sitting here talking to yourself willing the thing to ring.'
Talking aloud to myself.
I needed to do something normal. Play some music. Wash up the breakfast things. Prepare lunch. Pick lettuce. Start afresh. Away with self-pity.
But then the telephone rang. I sprinted across the hallway banging my shin against a bookcase, hobbling in agony hoping to reach it before it rang off. Joyful voices. Old friends. In town for a while. Would I be up for a visit? Could I give them a bed for a few nights? Wings to my heels and the pain of the shin forgotten, I flew upstairs to the spare bedrooms throwing on clean crisp new sheets, opening the windows to let in a cool breeze, a happy lunatic.
Of course I would not be forgotten.
The telephone would ring.
It already had.
I placed fresh towels in the bathroom and sprayed the rooms with a vanilla scent. I started to sing. Order had resumed.
I had returned.
Copyright Mark Binmore 2019.
All Rights Reserved. Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise) without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and publisher of this book
Before being rewarded with the calm he craves, he is forced to endure the relative evils of life.
After decades spent in what many called 'the spotlight' James withdrew from acting and turned towards a quieter, more contemplative, more settled way of life. He both dreaded and yearned for a change from the preceding numerous years of 'continual motion'. Seeking a place of his own, he found it in a secluded house in London surrounded by trees, a garden and numerous rooms where he would sit, with his thoughts and wait.
During this period James would write eloquently of the struggles he faced – the changing face of the house and the garden; the awful fear that he had made a frightful error; the recollections he tried to erase, but couldn’t, and a return to what he knew best. We capture him in creating a real home, a sanctuary of simplicity and quiet ease where, perhaps for a time, he could bring his memories back to life.
Sunsets Etc, is the first book by Mark to be published by Fontana in an exciting new five book deal. Expected publishing date late 2019.