Friday, 24 July 2009

she is lonely

She is lonely. It isn't fair: she isn't alone, not fully, not enough to go out and hump and grind against the crotches of the outdoors, not enough to clamber into sooty basements and kiss open-mouthed wet kisses with the strangers who dwell there. It is just that he is not where she is, and this makes her crazy. She has developed too many nervous tics; she picks the skin on her feet and tongues the back of her teeth endlessly, probing her mouth for another. There isn't one. She is going insane, she sees a string of towerblocks exploding in a desert, the sand catches fire. Her fists clench, imagine shattering through glass or mirrors. This is how she feels while she sighs and stares and thinks of him: like a fist all weighed up with potential, a fist ready to do what fists do, a fist only-just harnessed and waiting for the catch to be flipped, to pummel and destroy.

How did this happen? Well, somehow it came to pass they fell in love. Everything was sublime. He rolled over and kissed her, hesitantly, and it was all the things she'd been waiting for, all the anticipations of attic boxes and memoirs destroyed by fire. She kissed him back with glee. That was the beginning: glee.

After the glee there was more. A universe drawn out in paper roses and lipstick smudges and furtive hands that found their way into each other, fingers wriggling. She felt as if she were finally home, but it was a home built on on a precipice of ecstacy she could plummet over at any time. She would fall into a jagged pit of excruciating pleasure, rip open her heart and bleed into the cracks. Vultures would gorge on her and swoop into the skies to fuck, their bellies full. She would pass from happiness into something else entirely.

They went for long walks. They made pizzas with goats' cheese and roasted plum tomatoes, and ate them in bed in their underwear. She licked his thigh, and he spilled wine on the covers. Soon, they were surrounded by dubious stains. That was fine.

For entertainment they had spatter B-movies, Bette Davis' films and Andy Warhol documentaries, but they seldom made it to the end credits. There was always something more interesting to distract: the curve of an ear to nibble; a sideways glance to indulge; a whole world of flesh which could, when provoked, rip open the seams of reality and send them cascading into a world of white noise and vibrations. She was a screamer. He never held his hand over her mouth, but sometimes she bit her lip, pretending he was.

He had a ticket home: he left. She didn't cry. She knew he would return.

When he came back it was how it had been, again. Maybe better. They learned each other's soft spots and secrets, and built the private language available only to people who have seen each other ransacked and supine. She asked more questions, she no longer felt as if this was a baby bird or spider's web she could destroy if she wasn't quite careful enough. Her friends liked him. They spoke to him in conversations that didn't always include her, and it seemed a marvel that this boy could have materialised in her world and become something real which existed outside their bed and the scavenging of sensations. Neither of them talked about how it would be when he left. They knew from before it would hurt. When the fortnight was over, they kissed in the station. She felt like the end credits to a film.

To be continued...


I begin to think there are differences between the East and West coasts, tangible ones. If you spend every day watching absolutely the sun rise or set, you are bound to fall into its way of thinking eventually. On the West the sun sets, it disappears at night into a vast and endless sea, and it is the end of the day which is commemorated. You are lazy. You wait for the night to arrive and you plan your way around barbecues on the beach and kisses in drive-thrus. Everything comes later, and there is an orange heaviness that weighs upon the evenings, making everything wait to be technicolour and restful. On the East you bow to the sunrise, it raps on your window and shakes you into coffee and work and things that need done. It rises up over the sea like a vengeful goddess demanding your time and attention for what will come. On the East coast you are wired; on the West, stoned.

I work to align myself with these places: I am, whatever impressions to the contrary, born and bred of the East. I will never wake early, but when I do it is with coffee. And it is the East which carries the feeling on throughout forever, the East of amphetamines and spasmodic dancing. We are not taught to relax, and this is good, forever on edge and waiting for everything to crumble or explode. In the East your cuticles are bitten and you listen to punk music. You prefer flamingoes to peacocks and tornadoes to oceans. You are missing things but you are happy to be this way: you have bruises where you tripped from the abyss. On this side you don't stop, because you know the world will rise up soon. You are leaning across, waiting for it to happen, looking out to sea where it already is exploding into reality an ocean away.

we drank

We drank like it was a mission to push ourselves to, like fasting, or fisting. We drank until the sky span and faces melted.

I couldn’t feel my feet. I wasn’t sure I still had feet. I had legs, this much was certain. One of them was sleeping. Maybe we would never go to sleep again. If we went to sleep, there would be a time for waking up when everything was ordinary again, and our teeth hurt and tasted rotten.

I didn’t want to let that happen.

So; there was whisky, and then kissing. Oh, and Pro-Plus, coffee, more cigarettes.

“I love my friends,” said Alex.

We laughed at Alex, though silently we agreed. Then we agreed loudly, emphatically. Fuck, our friends are cool. What about those normal people, with jobs and lifestyles? What do they do at night when the streets are suddenly quiet and baited with possibility?

We weren’t sure.

From the window we could see into muted bedrooms with Ikea lampshades. We could see Arthur’s Seat and it put in our head ideas of climbing. Sometimes in Edinburgh, drunk students fall from the Craggs and die, or at least break limbs. But we weren’t students and we were immortal. Time for hipflasks and sunrise and magical things.