On my 40th birthday I said halfway home, but I didn’t believe it.

There was a skittering in the skirting boards last night. Some small creature stuck and twisting, desperately scratching about, confined. A baby squirrel or a bat maybe, the latter because we have plenty of bats here and its vocalizations were high-pitched scared clicking noises, panicky sonar. Unless it was some dolphin, swum there in metaphor, but no.

We put duct tape across the slightest gaps and as I lay pretending sleep, the skittering continued, fainter, not in any way like Poe, but only sorry and sad. This morning all is quiet and I woke up thinking of dolphins and the excellent New Yorker cartoon that sees two of them floating across a simply drawn ocean and one, smiling, is saying to the other “I just want to swim with a middle-aged couple from Connecticut before I die.”

Me too.