• Vol. 02
  • Chapter 10

Moving On

It’s the sky, of course, the vast indifferent sky. That’s what holds him. The same sky he knew as a child. He used to go roller-skating, he tells me. On his own, in the little park near their apartment, through the grey drift of afternoons. Skating round and round, quite slowly, and all the time singing to himself the one song, Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, ‘I Love Rock’n’Roll’. Quiet and slow, like a promise that if repeated and repeated must come true: and we’ll be moving on, and singing that same old song, and we’ll be moving on… Like a needle in a run-out groove. He knows five languages, he tells me, but he isn’t perfectly at home in any of them. He had a job, even a career, he tells me, but now he can’t work, not properly, not the way he used to: he can’t cope with the noise, the arguments, and they said he was unreliable. He tells me this from a place far away, sound and meaning travelling slowly, some kind of delay… Then his eyes lift and his smile breaks through like sunlight through cloud. But it’s okay, he says, I am kind of a floating person. And he leaves me with the song and its promise, bright rock’n’roll shifted downtempo, transposed to a minor key, a phrase revolving slowly under a wide grey sky. We’ll be moving on. We’ll be moving on. We’ll be moving on.