:: Article

The Masculine

By Julia Calver.



This is an account written at a lighted window, of two panes, one of which opens. It is written retrospective. Called a narrative and observations. A woman throws a tendril and leaves over onto the railway. The sound comes across the tracks. That the light gives a terrible account of his days I am forced to narrate. About the feeling of tin foil between the teeth upside down, in a legible loose hand.

I have looked back. Where I passed under the railway bridge outside the station the two orange signal lamps signal back. And the soft indistinct light is on the mound of grasses the signal mounts from; there is no clear sight of the track. I have passed and seen a blackbird, singing from the signal posts, with the coloured sky at his back.

Here I am a man with the man as he stands on the driveway to Gothic Lodge. Separated by the absence of a gate, is difficult. If I would approach him and go through his gate without touching, without being entreated, if he were merely an entrance to the white lodge house with blue gables. Horrific in its foreboding at dusk. If in approaching him he would do nothing, and if the thing I passed towards was only a Gothic house.

Insomnia, depression, childcare, the post office (he was), milk (his long ago), farm work, dogs, livestock. I cannot say by which ways his pre-occupations may yet enter. I have never cleared bracken with a host of men, in a dawn light, with tics jumping onto my hands. But I believe they will – only – as perverse reflection of his sorrow. He is an office worker, and otherwise is by other means idle.

Weary with being upright, gently giving, he is thus working in his job in the office. Near the centre of the city. He to whom this job is given is melancholic. He leaves the place of work at five or six, going quickly, towards the river. Employed is one in whom I put my best faith. If he chooses he may arrive at eight am and leave by four.




Julia Calver is a writer based in London. Recent work has been published in Infundibulum: stories of non-ordinary reality by women and Makhzin.


A a brass ticket for the South London Palace from 1907  inscribed within pearled concentric circles and pierced for suspension. Image courtesy of The British Museum.

First published in 3:AM Magazine: Tuesday, April 11th, 2017.