“I don’t want to think about any of it just yet, to be honest,” she said, “I just want to find myself in each moment.” She didn’t say goodbye, she simply shut down her mind and her laptop, turned off the stars that lit up her bedroom and crawled in between the freshly laundered silk sheets. Perhaps it took her two hours to fall asleep that night, but she slept beautifully, naturally. It was a first.
I like boring boys best, they always seem to bring out the wild child in me. Perhaps it’s me trying to convert them or something. It’s always pretty fun.
I know the ending to each boring boy I’ll meet. It will start out suspicious and mysterious and exciting. Then, they’ll try to change for me. Either I’ll like the new boy, or I won’t. Perhaps they’ll never become a new boy. But either way I’ll get bored and think myself boring and then I’ll leave and meet another boring boy.
I guess I might just aswell meet a exciter next, but every outright exciting boy I meet does the opposite to me. They supress my wild child, not in that they prohibit me from being, but they make my wild look tame. I’m not so fond of that as much I am as fond as my wild self!
Heads thrown back, lips wrapped around the neck of a green, glass container. The security guard attempts to contain them in the barriers of the ‘smoking area’ but it does not work. They are spilling out all over the street.
The swaying man whose conversation had just been cut short, curtoisy of gravity and drunken clumsiness, swears. He keels over at the speed of light, scoops up his love with a sober sort of competency. He swears again. Shit. His once sleek scratch free screen is now a hundred tiny pieces. He talks into the phone telling it of his upset. Sharing the drears of the moment. He swears again. His face is cut, a tear of blood rolls down his cheek.
Over in the corner is another religiousless being. Her face flat on the cold brick wall. When she came out she was accompanied by two of her gals. They had their smoke and they got chatted up a little. She didn’t realised any of it her minds dancing through closed eyelids out onto the street. Sound mean nothing to her. It was cold, hat scarf and gloves cold, but she wore a mini skirt and a leotard. The skin on her arms were scratched and pickled. That mean nothing to her. She was content to stand on shaking legs, faced pressed into the brick. She would regret it in the morning, when she would wake up for church unable to explain away the evidence of her intoxicated transgressions.
There was a girl with unicorn hair, who had a brunt tye friend. They wore similar clothes, as a matter of fact all the girls did bar two. Mini skirt leotard or some other skin tight top and chunky ankle boots. The unicorn girl fell backwards and forwards off of the arm of her male companion. For a second she would lean to far forward and her head would be level with his chest then she would realise and lean too far back aligning her head with the on coming bus pull into the bus stop. Had it not been for the man who had the blood tear rolling down his face, she would have got hit by the bus and probably died. He saved her by standing in the middle of the ‘bus stop’ sign printed on the road, which usual presence forced the driver to break early, releasing the unicorn girl from the clutches of death.
The brunette friend was glazed. It is possibly she had done more than drinking. She appeared to have noticed this near tragic incident and made not an inch of effort to stop it. And fair play to her, her little chubby unicorn friend somehow managed to get the attention of of the boys, while she stood tall above them all in all her artificial height. Looking sullenly down on it all.
Another girl on the other side of barriers that the security man, once again attempted to line up to fit in with their rental floor space allowence, got a hole in her mini skirt. A short lad who was extremely loud, fast and jumpy was smoking. He lowered his had for a talk break, as he spoke about some foolishness his cigarette burned her bum. She didn’t feel it. She was stroking her damp hand along someone’s cheek and up his nose. He didn’t stop her, although he didn’t know where her hands had been and from the feel of their dampness he imagined she has pissed all over them. He grabbed her neck and she kissed him. Then the Spanish began to sing some sort of anthem.
Lights come on, a director walks out and tells them they did perfect. Besides the guy who needed to sort out his cheek and the blood they were all free to go home. The camera man says he’s got rush, good night. And a bald, tall Asian princess calls a list of people and hands them their call sheets.
The extras would no longer be of any use.
The string of 24 tiny light bulbs shook left and right and then left again. It had been doing this for hours but it was noticeable now because the lights had been turned on. A special request from the pair that sat under it. Pellets of rain battered the table top and bounced off into the mist of the incoming rain, rain that was being whipped around in the cold hard breath of nature.
She sat forward, on the edge of the bench, leaning over the table into him. He mirrored her, although he couldn’t lean too much, the bench on his side was loose and he was heavy. He held her wrists with a tight grip. She didn’t mind because she was used to it. He whispered something into her ear. She barely heard him over the waves of rain, but she heard enough. She flung her head back, her red lips parted as far as they could be and a jazz voice offered up some joy against the melencholy morning.
It was still dark, eclipse, they said it was. Her laughter called the attention of the staff inside the Sandria Coffee Shop. Then those who’d paid their custom that morning, and others who were around for the sake of temporary shelter, turned their attention to the two sitting outside.
The bench and table were damp and the two out on it were constantly wiping their foreheads and chins with various wet items. They squinted alot and raised their hands a lot, as if they were blocking the sun out of their eyes, which is bizarre because there was no sun – but they were having a perfectly normal conversation and enjoying it.
The onlookers, the in-lookers were victims of the thing some refer to as pathetic fallacy. Too right it’s pathetic. They were victims not because of the torrential downpour but because they weren’t able to find a way to enjoy it. The common denominator was the inner rebuke shared by all of those inside. They were stuck.
They made phone calls explaining latenesses, and they sat a sulked otherwise, looking onwards out. Insanity maybe? Hippies maybe? Dying maybe? Thoughts flitted across the minds preoccupied with frustration. Why on earth are they out in the cold, in the dark, in the rain? What on earth is the meaning of all this rain lately? Rain! Rain.
The laughter had resided, but eyes were still attempting to focus on the silouettes beyond the misted glass walls.
She stood up for a second. She lit her cigarette and climbed over the bench. She said something that was hardly audible from the inside. I love this. I love him. Something like that, something about love. She moved slowly, breathing in the nicotine. She sat down next to him, the bench rocked. She was facing the shop, she was facing the envy. Then she spun around 180 degrees on her gluteus maximus and was side by side with her companion.
The eyes began to tear away from the silouettes, two backs weren’t so interesting. They’d turned their backs on the envy and on the pathetic pathetic phallacy. He had told her a little about his evening on Friday. It involved a video about a pathetic orange cat, and they just both had to watch it. If she didn’t laugh he’d leave. She didn’t care and told him to show her.
She laughed, well she giggled and not because it was funny but because the cat looked like Ed Sheeran. He stayed.
She took his phone and asked him if he had pinterest, he said no and she said he sucked. But she found the absolutely hilarious picture she wanted him to laugh at with her. Thanks Google. A dolls head attached to a chicken carcass. She was elated and couldn’t stop. He said its not funny, it’s sick.
“You’re crazy,” he said and snatched his phone back. “It’s good to be crazy,” she said. She grabbed his wrists and squeezed.
“I have to leave now,” she said, “because you didn’t laugh.” She stubbed out her cigarette on the dampened table top, shot up, hopped over the bench, grabbed his skate board and ran. “Deuces!”
He flung his legs over the bench, wiped his brow with a wet napkin and ran too.
It was fun because they had only just met that morning, and now anything could happen.
“Hi, back here hey. How was your weekend?” he said.
I smiled. I stared a little at his plump lips smiling back at me. I grabbed his extended hand. My right hand flat against his palm while my left clasped his wrist. As I ran my fingers through the hairs on his forearm he pulled me to him.
We were in a dance. Swiftly yet graciously our greeting stance had become undone.
On my right, his left he laced his finger with mine, simultaneously unclasping my hand from his wrist, slidding his hand down my palm and along my arm. My shoulders bore the beautiful burden of an embrace. I could feel my heart pounding in his chest. I stared into his eyes as he reached down. His beautiful face drawing nearer and nearer to mine. His breaths dusting my face like a summer wind. He was a master in the intimate embrace.
I was excited by him so my pulsing body was tense. I swallowed and he heard and he turned that pout into a smile. He drew his face back, away. I remembered to breathe. ‘Don’t go away’. He thrust his face foward again and his neck rested in the crescent of mine. His warmth, my warmth – we were two whole beings whose embrace had made us one. Love. There was nothing between us.
“Hi,” I said, “yep we’re back here. I had an okay weekend. The in laws were over. Ha. What about you?”
I watch the busy people rushing through life.
They don’t have a moment to stop and notice that they are being watched,
Nor do they have the moment to notice that their daughters are becoming wrecked emotionally,
That their sons are on the edge, that their babies are not progressing,
Nor do they notice their dying mother and father or their forgetting grandparents.
They don’t have the moment to notice.
I take a step out from behind the coffee shop window,
I am on the corner of Baldwin Street, in the city of Bristol,
The sun is high in the sky and there are no clouds,
I suck in a gush of air through my nose
While I close my eyes
I blow out a flood of breath.
I am a busy person too,
I am busy relaxing and enjoying my existence,
Eating and drinking, loving and living,
I am two decades old but I have understood already.
I will not partake on the journey where I will be dying to live
When that life means really living to die
I approach a woman who has taken a break from the buzz,
She’s bent over by the bus stop, pulling at her heel.
I start, ‘Excuse me, Mam’
‘No, Sorry, I’m busy’ she says as she tries to run off.
Her heel gives way and I approach again.
‘I can see that and that is why I am here’
‘No, no I can’t talk to you now’. She throws her shoes off
And barefooted she re-joins the rush through life.
She hadn’t noticed that she had dropped her wallet and key
My returning it was unsuccessful because she was too busy.
There’s something I have been wanting to say to you but I just haven’t known how to say it.
I’ve known you for what, nine years – and we have been married for eight of those years. I know you now, too well perhaps and that can never be a good thing.
In the early years of knowing you, my whole life changed. You took me away from the books and the desk and you brought me to the mountains and the oceans and you sat me under the stars and above the clouds. We flew, we ran. I was living life so close to the edge and it was like I could fall off at any point, but because I didn’t know if I would and when I would I wasn’t scared at all. I was drunk always, intoxicated by love and adventure. You made me love adventure and so I chose to embark upon a new adventure, with you as my wife. We wed, and we fought; our two souls, our spirits and our bodies became one, just as God had intended. It was great and it was terrible.
When we couldn’t have children I was really pleased, which sounds weird, but I just thought if we are not meant to have children now then so be it, one day we will – let’s travel. Then you took a dive, from the highest board in our matrimonial pool into the depths of your work. You swam in the swamp of career. I dived too, just about. I dived to find you in it all, but the mess of it blinded me. When I did see you, I could see all this was making you ill. But for some reason you were determined to complete your swim, and so you swam. Why?
Ha. Then you lost your job, I thought I would have my girl back now. Do you remember I had started writing and it was taking off for me? But that wasn’t enough for me. I needed my girl back. I stopped writing so much, so I could be with you. I would take you back packing, sailing, hiking anywhere in the world, to share with you its beauty that we had missed for so long. But you always turned away. Sweet bitterness. You gave me a taste of life on the edge and you ripped it out of my midst when we said “I do”.
I do love you and I do want to try, but I do want to travel and I do not want to live like this any more. I do, Brenda, I do, I do.
What I am trying to say is, that I would like for us to go away and try each other one last time. Anywhere you want, everywhere you want. We could try and make it work if you say yes. But if you say no, then I’ll know we made a mistake. After all marriage will not last on love alone.
As your husband, I would like to tell you “I STILL DO”. But I have to ask “do you still too?”
I Love You Brenda
P.S. – Please say yes.
P.P.S – Re-read our vows. I’ve left them on the living room table in the red envelope entitled ‘wedding vows, 1982’.