Melancholic Tuesday

Melancholic Tuesday


In the library old men play at chess; polite handshakes, gently murmured notes of victory and defeat.

I take the long way home, darkness at five o’clock. Empty pavements, October roses, soft tread on leaves that smell of childhood. Past lighted sitting rooms, bonfire night poster tied to railings. Could be the sixties but for the old hospital newly converted; cars sit in ambulance bays, fitted kitchen where once the night nurse penned a love letter in a circle of soft light.

You never wanted to be an old man, gave up chess; never owned a dressing gown.

Well, you got your wish.

Miranda Lewis 2018

I love this time of year. The garden has (almost) been put to bed, clocks have gone back and ’tis the season for night walking and glancing into lighted windows – for the melancholic, to be fitted in between Hallowe’en and the first, way-too-cheerful Christmas trees going up.

As it’s Wednesday welcome to Friday Fiction hosted as ever by the writer Rochelle. Thanks to Jeff Arnold for the photo, to all who visit and most especially  to those who stay to comment.

And if you fancy a quick melancholic read my novella, Dream Girl, is still staggeringly good value at only 99p. Who says nothing stays the same?

dream girl cover right size

49 thoughts on “Melancholic Tuesday

  1. Age is in mind, many wise men say. So if someone doesn’t want to be an old man, that is his choice. Why give up chess? Is it because only old men play? For some reason he is melancholic. This too will pass.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The ‘I’ went walking, thinking about the ‘you’ who never got to be an old man. One of the many things the ‘I’ never asked was why the ‘you’ gave up chess. But that of course is only one of many possible interpretations!
      Thanks for walking here for a while.
      You’re right about age. Those old men in the library possibly feel like boys as they play.


    • Those old converted buildings are strange. I guess you probably have to forget about the past if you live in one. Heard Carol Anne Duffy talk about her father dying in her old school that is now a rest home, and the strangeness of that.


  2. So much in this to like – but my favourite reference was to the night nurse writing a love letter in the circle of soft light. Somehow those immeasurably important hospital buildings seem diminished by becoming residential. Your piece came across like your own love letter to somebody.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Darkly comforting – absolutely. The comfort of melancholia and nostalgia. And indeed different from depression. But you must perfect melancholia with your even darker days!


  3. I love this line- fitted kitchen where once the night nurse penned a love letter in a circle of soft light. The story is full of beautiful imagery. I gotta check out your novella. I am also quite prone to melancholic thoughts, therefore, I could connect with the vivid images you have drawn with your words.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I agree there is something about the early evening atmosphere especially at this time of year that lends itself to melancholia. I particularly find it if I catch the smell of coal fires from house chimneys, perhaps because there aren’t as many now as there were when I was young

    Liked by 1 person

    • I can smell those chimneys! Perhaps the darkness lends itself to heightening the other senses and also brings the sense of being enclosed in memories and melancholia. Those pavements are now pretty busy with Friday Fiction writers enjoying the season!


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