It’s a giddiness that grabs me unawares, that comes and then goes almost as quickly. It finds me as I’m walking, takes me from being vaguely conscious of doing one thing and then completely immerses me in another: delivers a slap, a shock. It’s like a beauty that is there layered behind the levity of the day. It’s as though every single light is suddenly pitched to illuminate that beauty. Something that has been there, in front of me, all along. The sweetest of nauseas. I look down to her, at my side.

The diagonal, formed by two limbs. Hands which join to unify two lines. Two arms.

Down, over my shoulder, down the arm to those hands which connect. A sheath of her fingers around just two of mine. My thumb and two fingers around the outside of that grip, to caress, to move and constantly affirm a father’s attention.

This diagonal.

Down, down past that hand, my hand. Her hand, like soft fruit, as yet without protrusion of knuckle or plane of bone.

Down, past the pink fluted, elasticated grip of her coat, sealed at her wrist.

Down the blue sleeve, to her own shoulder, where the diagonal kinks, like a bend brings deformity to a wire coat hanger.

That bend, into her face, where I can’t see, not from up here. Here, where only the jut of her brow, nose and chin can be established. Underneath that, the flap of coat, the eager stab forward of two red wellies.

Her head, bobbing up and down, in rhythm with her feet. Her eyes, which I can’t see.

Her eyes.

Her eyes, which I know are watching her feet, mesmerising herself.

Those feet. Heels, slamming into the ground, exaggerated, proclaiming her love for those wellies.

That intensity.

She adores those red wellies.


I look up, dizzy. It’s like falling without ever hitting the ground. Upwards, to the line of trees on the horizon, banking down to the right. The trees, too, falling, falling in on the road, which I can’t see.

Her head, lifting towards mine. This line between us humming. This simple line. This beautiful diagonal.

I squeeze at her hand.


And it suddenly all falls away.

That line still there, but that fever: gone.

All gone.

Still walking, but that beauty now gone.

Gone. That diagonal.