I was digging over my mother’s allotment today, passing time before my new job starts. I was slowly turning over the clods of earth, meeting many earthworms; most of them pleasant. At one point, the fork slipped suspiciously easily into the ground, in fact it slipped all the way to the handle. I rattled it around in the ground, which was a little strange, more earth fell away, the ground beneath my feet began to slip, my knees disappeared, then my hips. For a brief moment all I saw was a swirling soily tunnel until I thudded onto a cold damp floor.
I was sitting on my bum in an angular cuboid cavern. The light came from the comparatively small hole from where I’d fallen. A giant earthworm with a bobble hat on both ends spoke, ‘Hi I’m Albert.’ ‘And I’m Edgar’ each phrase came from under a different hat. ‘We’re siamese worms.’ Both mouths said in unison. ‘We also have split personalities; sometimes we switch bodies. You don’t need to know this however; you’ve come for different answers.’
I suspected either Albert or Edgar was talking out of their arse.
With that the earthen walls swelled into pictures, these were nothing like the oily holographs I’d seen before, there hues were dense, there forms almost palpable. Gradually after a few flickers my face appeared. Although there were no tears my blue eyes seeped sadness. I noticed how blue they were, had I ever noticed this before?
‘You don’t know do you?’ my face spoke,
‘Know What?’ I answered
‘What to do.’
‘The woman, your new job.’
‘Yes, I know I’m off to London, the city, the music, friends, vibrancy.’
‘Yeah but the woman has gone.’
‘No she hasn’t!’
‘She has, what bit of I’m off back to old boyfriend didn’t you understand?’
‘She might not be, might be just getting her head together.’
‘Might be, might not, but she’s gone.’
‘Yeah but it was so good, how could she go.’
‘Was it good.’
‘Well, it seemed good, we spoke, we joked, we laughed, we had fun.’
‘She was fucked up over her ex though, she just needed a tonic.’
‘But the tonic was good, it worked.’
‘Yes, but only a tonic, and a stupidly intense tonic, look at your blood pressure - 132 over 80 something and you’re half marathon fit. That’s not right.’
‘So what are you saying, I shouldn’t go to London. I shouldn’t live on valerium.’
‘Maybe, check the job offer in Hong Kong, a new country, lights, music, new people and food that’s a whole lot better than London.’
‘She really has gone hasn’t she, that fiery romance, burnt out like magnesium, ashes floating off in the wind. Yeah time for a new start, maybe Hong Kong, maybe London. A new start whichever.’
The hole ejected me like a broken piston part, my hands we’re blistered from the digging, a reasonable area of the allotment turned over and a fine autumn drizzle starting. Gardening is quite meditative.