Wednesday, 6 June 2012

That outside world

Four days without internet and already I am giddy, thoughts clattering this way and that like subway trains loathe to pause in their passage. This room is big and good for dancing. No two-bit shuffles here: I am the ballerina and the baton twirler and the marionette.

At Sunday’s market we got the whole globe for a euro because it was broken on its stand but we are smart people and we know the truth is hurtling through space with no top nor bottom. Delirious people, we are reminding each other that we should be outside. It’s so easy to curl and be comfy; my flesh is so soft and tends to horizontal.

But, yet.

Those streets are a blank notebook waiting for a fountain pen to scratch a three act play. Those streets are mile upon mile of blank tape waiting for a wayward heel to tap the button record. Those streets, these streets, let’s pace eager feet in some direction and see the texts that flap like banners behind and before ourselves.

I take a face between my palms and I yell I’m not old enough to try be quiet and we need to walk because everything else is just so much wet clay. Dump the shopping bags on the floor like abandoned guinea pigs aghast at this new reality.

The door opens and slams and, suddenly, we are standing outside.

Walk walk walk walk walk walk walk

Last night we went wandering and I remembered the person that I am. I had forgotten this; I had lost the footfalls that make me Jane. But it is, and always has been, my recipe for happiness: take one boy and one bottle of wine, set forth in a direction, discover. Actually, even the boy and the wine are superfluous. New York cured a litany of broken hearts with feet after feet over bridges, all day and forever. I talk of the sluttery that heralded the release, but that came later. The post-care medicine after the surgery. The truth was walking.

We pointed our bodied west and armed ourselves with Chardonnay. We walked through chi-chi Kreuzberg with its baby boots and pottery studios, and we laughed. James pointed out every building that looked like a cake of a building and said, “Look at that building. It looks like a cake. I love it when they make buildings that look like cakes.”

I concurred. I explained to him that all of this was ours and no one could stop us from walking down these streets: whatever happened, whether we were rich or poor or settled or wild, the city streets were the last honest gift to the people and we would wander forever without paying a dime to stare at the cake buildings and drink and hold hands and revel in the rhythms of our feet.

He said, “Yes, yes, you’re right,” and we grinned and then we came across a waterfall carved out of rock all the way to the skyline. In the distant peak there was a church spire and a green merman tended to the bottom pool like a Greek myth waiting to grab you by the hair. There were caves made of pine needles and lazy boughs where a girl could sit and lose herself hiding from the tarmac and the troubles of the world. But no time for that now, we walked on

through red-orange-green beep beep junctions and cobbled backstreets and shop windows and supermarkets more wine and statues at the side of the road like waiting armies and leaning buildings trying to read the newspapers over your shoulder and then, at a square, in Schonenberg, we stopped.

We wanted a cigarette but there were no cigarettes and it was late. We had worn our shoes out. It was time for home.

We boarded the subway and sped home like penguins diving into deep water. We covered an incredible distance in an incredibly short time. We bought more wine and came home to the swingseat in the garden and the rain started to pitterpatter on the cover over our heads.

We promised each other more walks, always and forever, and then I fell into a deep deep sleep where I dreamt of ballgames and rollercoasters. 

Monday, 4 June 2012

Schleiermacher strasse 13

This time it really feels like an engine that hasn’t been turned over for a long time. This time it really feels like we’re not guests in someone else’s drawing room.

I didn’t expect it to get cold again but here we are in a second winter. The cheap flat has no lights wired into the ceiling and we are carving out a niche in shadows and slippers. I call it the cheap flat but if you saw it you would laugh. Our sofa sits like an abandoned rowboat in the centre of long, still lake. The ripples are polished wooden boards that stretch for miles. In the bathroom, the sink looks like a sheet of folded white pristine paper.

It is neat and beautiful and empty and adorned with red rope lights, now, to make it warm. James is delighted with the colours that play on my cheeks as I lean in. Without overhead lighting, we are soft pink squidgy things; without bulbs, our boundaries spill and puddle.

I am ready to like it and I do. No bulbs, no internet, no one else’s things. Just a parquet floor and candy cane striped wall box. At the edges of the road I will find things and drag them home and we will make ourselves happy with objects. I will take a photo and show it to you soon. You will smile and you will tell me it’s beautiful.

Friday, 1 June 2012

new house

Yesterday there was one moment when the boys were off with the van seeking out fridges and I was alone in our new house, on the swingseat, in the garden, listening to rain pattering on the shade above my head. It was the moment when things were happy and I decided there will be good things in this flat, more words.

I’ve been quiet of late; I’ve called myself busy. Flats jobs life bleh. Though there’s also that none of that matters if I’m not awash with words, because really it doesn’t. Treading water, cycling on the runway into an epic headwind.

We moved the percolator before we moved ourselves and that makes things difficult—without coffee I approach the day like a drunken floozy in a hall of mirrors. I will walk to the kitchen now without tripping on cat and I will set something to brew and then I will sit here and think of a way to say what I’m thinking of.

Or I’ll crawl back to a soft bed and curl, like an eyelash, between them.