I don’t react and continue scrutinising the dining room. The lucidity and minimalism it radiates starts chaotically doubling up in the ambiguities of onyx melting into transparent and semi-transparent glass, chrome clad columns mirroring themselves and dissolving in light, veins of marble blending with rippling reflections off parquet flooring, appearing as curtains blowing in the wind. When I entered this morning, the sun came in through the south-facing window against the fireplace, and up until now it had been tracking across the floor and creeping slowly towards the centre of the room. When I entered this morning, the windows were obscured with thick condensation, now it is quickly dissipating out towards their deep wooden frames. When I entered this morning water droplets crawled along the glass, pulled into spheres by the equalising forces of surface tension.
The guard disrupts my reverie again: ‘That jacket of yours is strange’. Confused, I look across at him and he continues: ‘it’s so frayed around the cuffs and wearing out at the elbows, but there is something that shines in the lining.’
‘Ah, yes,’ I reply, still dazed, ‘the lining is sewn in with gold thread. Where I come from we sew our money into our clothes for safe keeping.’
A mouse unmoors itself from the skirting boards, skitters to the main body of the room, looks up, panics, then runs back again.
Matthew Turner was born in The Black Country and is the author of the novella Other Rooms (Hesterglock Press 2019). His first collection of short stories will be published by Dodo Ink in 2021. He is a Lecturer at Chelsea College of Arts and a Visiting Professor of Architecture and Visual Theory at the University of Bergen. He lives in London. Twitter: @MjTurner_