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In vigil ating

Thank you for asking. The show seems to be going okay - there are so many visitors. But despite the constant stream of people, I get a bit lonely - I can't work it out. I sat in the window yesterday when the gallery was momentarily empty and let myself cry. I feel so lonely - not for people, but for what, I don't know. Then more visitors came in and wanted me to chat. One stayed behind today. He must have sloped in behind the life-drawing group who had just finished their weekly session upstairs. (They come in looking for ideas and asking how it's done. I always give away too much and kick myself afterwards.)

He wears an obviously expensive coat but very un-PC - real fur I think - and has a long aristocratic nose. I think he must be important. He makes razor-sharp comments about my work that I haven't realised before and this startles my mind. He is terrifyingly handsome and when I sense him near, something in me stirs. I doubt any of my friends would approve - but my mother would. I suspect he is a wolf.

It's been a couple of weeks now and he never lets me rest, so that whenever I get the odd lull in visitors he comes out from under the desk and with his long nose nudges my book (Being Animal by David Abrams) off my lap, putting his head in its place to be stroked (I do this gingerly). His fur is cool and his muscles are soft underneath. I carefully remove a small money spider and release it through a gap in the window. He wants me to listen. He tells me things. My wolf. And I listen. As he talks he might get up to patrol the gallery for any lingerers, head low and slung heavy, swings slow from ...side to ...side as , musing about the art, yes (- so polite!), but more about his woods, his ravens, his night skies and the sweet earth smell of rotting leaf matter that is beginning to happen this time of year (he is silent after he says this. I think he goes back there briefly).

The beige painted floor reflects him below in the high glassy shine. You might miss this but his talons make delicate scraping sounds as he lifts each pud as he walks in a circuit around the far end of the room and back again.

He has been very helpful in eating up my ever-growing collection of rabbit headlight hearts. They were becoming embarrassing, the way they leap out of my chest the minute someone comes in and bounce all over the place looking ridiculous! I'd rip each one discreetly out shoving them in the plastic green first aid box under the desk, and when no one was looking before locking up at night I'd heap them in a pile with all the others, all still brashly crimson and rapidly pulsing on the once-clean concrete floor at the furthest place, by the emergency exit door. He eats them all up my wolf. He leaves no trace of blood. The cleaner will be pleased. The two women upstairs in the office who come down on rare occasions to give me more lists of where things should go when I go, haven't mentioned the howl he let slip today - a primeval ache of a howl. If they ask, I will say it was just my stomach and nothing but a hunger pang.


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