Damn it Gary Barlow, you’ve done it again!
Just when I’d figured out which of your songs to avoid (some may argue all of them), you came in on the radio today with ‘The Flood’. I was immediately transported to the night before M died, when I came home from my Zumba class, where we’d ‘cooled down’ to that very song.
If I’m honest, M had a grey pallor that night. I came in and He was slumped on the sofa watching one of His LoveFilm movies; but maybe that’s just retrospect making me believe I’d missed something that could have saved Him. He sat there laughing at me whilst I re-enacted the moves of the Zumba class;
“Pet,” He said, “you’ll never be a dancer.”
I look at that sofa now, which sits in the new living room of my new house. Untouched since the night of Zumba and ‘The Flood’, I imagine it must still be imbued with M’s DNA. He would sit in the left hand corner and often our hands would interlink when I was on the adjacent sofa – a gesture which said ‘I love you’, without words.
I searched all over for His DNA after He died. I picked His chest hairs out of the shower plughole, scoured the washing basket for His unwashed clothes. I looked for toenails, pubic hair, any trace of His existence. Even recently I have opened a tin of His hair wax and found a perfectly-preserved finger trail where He had scooped it out for the very last time.
I still do look for His DNA. I look for the prints of His feet inside His shoes, sniff His dressing gown, even though His smell has long gone.
I see it most in our daughter though. I am fortunate in that I see Him every day in her smile and her eyes (chocolate brown, exactly like His). I guess He lives on, despite the flood.