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Priscilla Masters

Night Visit

Macmillan 1998
Jacket design Bruce Coleman

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Priscilla Masters

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I confess, I am a superstitious person. I dislike coincidence and cracks in the pavement, black cats and walking under ladders. I frequently touch wood. But my deepest-held superstition concerns New Year's Eve. Perhaps it stems from the first time I was allowed to stay up and witness the arrival of the New Year. It sent an uncomfortable shiver up my spine, not the glancing back at the old year but a horrid apprehension for what the new year might bring. I think I was about ten years old, both excited and apprehensive, pleased at the late hour yet dreading the actual cusp of the year. I remember that on the first stroke of twelve I asked myself with a shiver, Am I happy? Am I really and truly happy? ':"- : I knew that the question had huge significance because the entire following year would be coloured by my reply. So for the first hour of the New Year I was always filled with apprehension, using each incident as an omen, a jogged arm, a spilt drink, a torn dress, anger from my father, apologies from my mother, mad, bad looks between them.

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