I’m going to tie my words to helium balloons and leave them to drift through the wind currents of the atmosphere. Eventually, they will fail, they will fall back to the world. Perhaps if the winds and weather permits, a delicate and meaningful word may find you.
There is no shame. The rich writers feel tired and forget people’s names. The dead left you their pages, and the hungry, they write better words without your money.
I guess it’s a form of meditation, or refined thinking. I have these experiences and daydreams in this life and there are certain ones I want to capture, or refine, specific thoughts and feelings I want to bring out into the world. And there’s the creative or artist aspect to it as well, that feeling of flow or inspiration, that the words feel as if they’re coming from some place outside of me, that for a fleeting moment I’m tuned into something profound or moving in reflection of this life.
So in a way, I think I’m just someone who values the conversations in my head, someone who wishes to make them a real and tangible thing.
And your complement has made my day, thank you for that.
I feel a wanting in the strangest parts of myself. If I am left alone it rises like a tide. I stroke my wrist against my cheek. The arch of my foot I rub along the back of my leg. The webs of my fingers I pull up and through the hair at the back of my neck. The threshold of my body, my edges, has become magnetized to touch. When I was little I never felt this, and it scares me now. My body wants to feel itself. It tells me things. It asks. It begs. Rebecca, take our clothes off, lay down in the forest, naked on the wet, dead leaves. Let us feel what the humid air does to our skin.
I watch him and the boys at the shaded end of the field. They burn piles of sun burnt grass with matches. It is hot in the gloomy sunlight. I sit in a circle with my friends, quiet in the heat, and a film of sweat has gathered along my spine. It is sticky in the folds of my knees. He does not look my way; playing with fire. I wish we were swimming. I wish he would find me before the bell rings and sneak us out of school and take me to the river. We would swim in our underwear. We would be pulled together in the rapids. We would lay together on the hot riverbed stones and our skin would dry and I would touch the delicate furrow of his philtrum above his paper thin lips. I would tell him how the angels pressed that groove before he was born and he forgot what it was to be a soul.
In the mornings my body is clammy with dream melt and wanting. Echoes of the desires I ran with through the night whisper from behind my bedroom curtains. Touch us, Rebecca. Use your fingers. Feel the cotton. Moan quietly into the pillows so your mother and father can’t hear you.
Long grass feels like an invisible cloak. I lay down in it and I am gone from the world of things and people. There is only myself and the vertigo sky. There is only the grass and gravity. There is only my wanting; wanting to be touched. Touched by myself. Touched by him. I have become dizzy and unravelled by my own skin. It calls out to the elements and the boys with scraped knees and sunburn. Touched by him. Rebecca, stroke your stomach. Feel us inside there, wrought and frantic. Our skin is like peach fur, it wants to be eaten. It wants to be swallowed deep into the salt of this world.
This is a picture of me and my beloved Underwood on holiday in Reefton. Out the window, what looks like a huge sprawling ivy weed covering the garden is actually hops that we stole from the Monteith’s brewery. Home brew is a lot like writing.
We are sat in the far corner of the staff-room for lunch. The HoD of English is there with two other English teachers, Malcolm and Paul. We all have our khakis on, our lunches spread out with the newspaper across the table. What was the Sam Peckinpah western, the HoD asks. What was it, you know, the one where they’re shooting all the chickens buried in the sand? Malcolm moves back to sit in the sunlight with a foot up on his knee, pulling apart his sandwich. Peckinpah’s films, he says, found the poetry in violence. The slow motion of a bullet in the chest. The Wild Bunch, I tell the HoD. He smiles, that’s the one, he says. The Wild Bunch. I smile as well, sinking back in my seat, my belly full, and happy in the sun with these rambling men.
My morning commute begins before the light. As I arrive at the farm fields at the edge of town the morning slips up the coast behind the vale of fog and frosts. The motorways are always full and the red tail-lights creep and jostle each other along in a crawl. I take the back roads to the city. The poplar trees weep their amber leaves in the cold winds that cross the road. The car is warm and the radio shares the news of the waking world. At the lights I sip hot coffee from my thermos and smile with the commuter next to me. His head is wrapped in wool and dips back and forth to a radio song. This day begins soon, and we have slipped beneath the winter to earn our wages somewhere warm.
Here is a new map of the world. The features are yours. The Latitude and Longitude run from your beginning to your end. Your feelings are the topological fronts. The isobars your childhood traumas. The countries are the different voices in your head. The oceans are where you sleep at night.
Those nights of terror the solar winds, the torn edges of the paper. The mountains your scars. The lakes who you pray to. The oceans are three shades of blue and white are your beaches. Here is a new map of the world, the sky is any colour you like.
Sure. If you’re a writer, Jane Smiley’s 13 Ways of Looking at the Novel is a great read. Paul Auster’s Hand to Mouth is another. Are you a writer? I don’t know, but I am so generally that’s what I read about.
That’s great to hear :)
I was a bartender and a group of Japanese businessmen came in one night and fell in love with me. They owned a bunch of bars in Osaka and invited me and two friends to move and run a couple of clubs for them. Crazy days and nights, I miss them when life gets long and predictable.
I lived in Japan for two years but never really achieved anything considered fluent. French? I wish. English? Getting there.
Sorry could you repeat that? While you were asking me I accidently fell back in time a minute.