I am haunted. I noticed this a few years ago but have hesitated to say anything because, well, people might think I’m losing the plot. I have to speak out now though because it’s getting ridiculous.
I’m being haunted by an old woman. A wrinkly, frazzled, tired-looking old woman. Most of the time she stays out of my sight but when I approach a mirror -Bam! – she’s there before me. I can’t get past her. Maybe I just want to comb my hair or brush my teeth, or something but she’s right in the way. I’ve tried peering round her or jumping up in the air to see over her head but it’s like she can read my mind because she does the same thing. It’s not as if she haunts one mirror, it’s all of them. Any mirror I look in, she’s there. If I look towards my reflection in a shop window, she’s there. It sounds cruel but I’m going to have to have her exorcised. Or at least Botox-ed, poor old dear.
One of my fellow crew mates remembered that it’s my birthday today, which was very nice of him. Nature has remembered too and I’ve been gifted with not one but four rainbows so far. This means that we’ve had a number of heavy showers this morning but the sun hasn’t hidden away and it’s a beautiful day. Seals are drifting around the ship submerging and then rising. Occasionally one will have a fish in its mouth but mostly they are just looking up at me, looking down at them, looking up at me …
The wind is blowing out at sea, which is why we’re still glued to the quay, but in the harbour the breeze is quite gentle. It’s a cat’s-paw wind that skips across the water creating paw prints of ripples that disappear as suddenly as they arrive. Watching them, I can imagine a giant, invisible cat pouncing on the water chasing unseen mice or cat nip toys. Maybe it’s a ghost cat. Maybe it belongs to the woman in the mirror.
Back in the practical world, it’s Saturday so we are only working the half day. I am sitting in my cabin tapping away on my netbook, everyone else is in the TV lounge watching Scotland trying to dodge the wooden spoon in the rugby. I could go and join them. But the sun is shining. I’m in the Shetlands. It’s a shame to waste the day inside. Perhaps I’ll take the woman in the mirror and her invisible cat for a walk.