thank you for the patience. if you are to be with me, you’ll need it for when the haze wears off and you see the tree as it in winter, cold and barren.
if one had to count the wait, i’d do it for them. 751 days or 2 years and 20 days. you get to pick.
so you’ve made me a woman. it was sometime after 11. i don’t really know, i just know it was five past when i arrived at your door. as i laid in your bed, you took my watch off. time became a blurr of flickering candles, mango scented, in clear pots, and the sun shining through your orange curtains. it was so de vie de boheme.
our bodies were a lovely shade of striking tangerine.
we took the time to read half the instructions in the packet, we cast away the rest: we’d be okay. and yes, we were. one, almost hallucinotary, moment of discomfort and we were there.
we had to move down a few times, just a couple of notches to sratch the first notch onto the bedstead. it was interesting how it fit so snugly, so different to how i imagined. and i’ve thought about it many times.
i decided i wanted a bruise to show for it. but i felt no pain, i was somehow outside of myself. maybe it was god. i think it was god.
how funny that a moment like that should feel so simple, so unexaggerated. maybe i got it from pippa lee, but the more i think, the less i think so. i swallowed that book yesterday, in a gulp, but i’m not sure i like it any more.
tonight, it’s going to be hard, falling asleep alone and dreaming of laying in bed with you.
the words stand on the page. they sing, jabber, holler; they are the answer.
i’ve often wondered how one finds themselves. last night i promised you that i would look further, deeper; that i would be stronger freer. and yet, i do not know into which chamber, nook or cranny one ought to look.
it’s always been art. and writing.
it’s always been the sashaying silk of kimonos and the pungency of opium-filled dens that jumped out at me from the pages. it was the sexual odour of it, i guess. the implied liberation.
liberté. more often than not, français. how lucky then that you should have french blood coursing through you.
i read so much of writers with insistence upon their refuge in books. it’s been the same for me, albeit i am no writer. i scribble on a page like a child holding the pen for the very first time.
i remember learning to draw. properly. my sunday lessons with an art restorator. i was the youngest there; and the worst. but i’ve always believed it was art that would save me.
i never did learn to hold the pencil properly so that it would fall on the page unrestricted. i promised to myself that i would one day. and that was all. i promised.
the battle with religion began as soon as people like us really started to think exponentially.
why is there suffering in the world?
who wrote the books of god?
who speaks for him on paper and by spoken word?
who knows what he’s thinking, who knows where he is? …
… et cetera.
the question is why, the question is who. and this is cliche, i admit it. but still, please just think for a moment; that’s all it really takes.
blind faith is difficult now.
there is a burning need to understand it all before truly committing. there is a need to feel something convincing inside, like a sign, like a beacon of light, a fire.
the two halves of my brain work differently. my two eyes see seperately. and i see a world split in two.
the religous half, with its crusades and jihads, all in the name of god; the door to door preaching and pages of propoganda; with its communities safe in a blanket of warmth, comfort, love emanating from each other. and the other, with its splashes of paint, freedom, passion; sexual promiscuity to distraction; with its own very kind of love – rugged breathing and two bodies amalgamating in the night; and words are salvation from pain.
so there’s the bible and the works of marquis de sade, side by side on the table.
we all live in our own sort of moderation: in the world of two evils or of two goods or of a million shades of grey. too scared to ever advocate anything for the fear of choosing the wrong path, the wrong light, the wrong word.
and if it were not for certain death, i’m sure i wouldn’t dare to breathe.
the world spins
and the world is your oyster:
you are an artist
as a young woman or man;
the ice that glistens
on top of the river on the bank of montparnasse ;
you are the paris
of the rooftops and cinq a sept
and of the eiffel tower
shimmering brightly in the dark of the night;
you are the only shard
in the strong currents of your beating heart.
you are alive
and you are an artist.
the film just hit me. bam! result.
how had i forgotten that with art, it’s the aftertaste that counts?
you take the sprig of mint out of your glass;
i use the decorative parasol in mine
to crush the ice.
there’s scruple between us,
stretched out across the bar.
my stool wobbles, straining on its one leg;
you take no notice.
the door opens and shuts again.
we walk right out of each other’s lives
easter has vanished overnight
the way a girl who slept in your bed
disappears at sunrise,
with the high heels tucked under one arm
and her simple black dress somehow longer, subtler.
almost a present, you find her earring clasp on the floor
and an impression of her head on your pillow.
you fumble for a memory of her smile, the taste of her lips,
but nothing comes.
your fingers clutch at the flimsy hook of silver.
later, you realise that’s all there is to find.
next year, you see her again, at the same time, in the same place,
dancing with another man.
something compels you to smile at her.
she smiles back.
i shook and sobbed in the chilly evening air. it was cold and i’d forgotten my coat at nottingham. but there we were, a gloomy 8 o’clock in london and i was wearing a light black jacket for the sixth day in a row. i hadn’t seen you all day; i was angry at you for making my choices; i was sick with fear and hurt and trepidation.
every time is easier, that’s why it gets harder, because after a while you can imagine yourself leaving.
you misunderstood me. you reassured me that you won’t leave. that’s not what i meant. it was i that thought of leaving you. or maybe you’d understood me after all;
maybe you were shaking inside too.
tomorrow it’s our two years. on good friday.
in the evening, we’ll go to see the dutchess of malfi; in the morning, i will wake up and pray.
the irony of it all is unbeguiling. the tragedy of tragedies on our special day. i found the tickets at a dicount and i bought them. maybe i jinxed it. and maybe not.
i find that life leaves a sip for a thirsty man almost as often as it doesn’t; and so everything is left to chance. for good or bad. in sickness and in health, a dice man moment.
and i reckon we need one sometimes. tonight, tomorrow. maybe now?
a six or a one?