The door opens and, with ungainly gaited glide, the visitor zeroes in on a chair right next to mine; a harbinger of claustrophobia in what, until this moment, had been an airy space.
I feel his breath on the back of my neck, perceive a penetrating gaze absorbing all that appears on my laptop's screen. An intense sense of dis-ease crushes me, I find myself almost gasping for breath.
It's rare that just a few minutes can seem like endless hours but, today, this was the case. I had no desire to rudely scream and exorcise the presence from our dwelling place, for here is history, albeit a quite tenuous family tie.
I vacate the room and head for the garden, an opportunity to breathe freely once again. Fortunately ma belle senses my un-ease, coping remarkably well with her own, relieves me of the need to endure this painful companionability for a moment more than necessary.
When one's stamina levels are already low, entertaining can prove a stress too far.