Monthly Archives: July 2006

Hot in the city.

This weekend, I have mostly been drunk. It’s too hot here, and alcohol makes you dehydrated. I feel dried up, like a raisin. In fact, more like a paper flower: when I was little, once or twice I remember my mum bringing me these beautiful, tightly folded, brightly coloured tiny paper flowers, and we’d fill a bowl or the bathroom sink with water and then float them on top and they’d bloom. Open out gently and gradually, just like real petals, but faster and more surprising and you felt like you’d made it happen yourself. (Like with my begonia – latest news on that: still alive!) That’s what I feel like today – hot and hard and dry and tight. I want to blossom, I want someone to float me and open me up.

I’m dreaming of cool water every night recently – I dream of rivers, of deep dark mirrored lakes and the endless ever-changing sea. Of stillness and storms, silence and susurrus, and thunder and the roar of waves. I want to do away with the space and layers between me and the elements (well maybe not fire). I dream of submergence, of swimming, of running through fountains, but mostly of floating alone with nothing but blue – water and sky – for miles around.

In my family (I don’t know if it’s idiosyncratic or normal), we have two Hebrew/Yiddish names, just as most people have a first name and a middle name. My brother got given both of his around the time that my mum converted, when he was a baby – his regular name (Samuel) has a direct Hebrew equivalent (Shmuel) so that had to be first, and his second one is Yitzhak, Isaac, which means ‘laughs’. Because that’s what he did, and still does; apparently he was an unusually happy baby. I wasn’t. But my sister and I, I don’t know if it’s because our regular names aren’t Hebrew ones, we each got given one by our parents and then chose the second when we reached 11 or 12 and started preparing for being bat mitzvah. Mine from my dad is Adel (Adele? Edel? Aydel? I don’t really know how you spell it), which is Yiddish and was his grandmother’s name. Because it’s Germanic I don’t know if it means anything. The one I chose is Ahuva, meaning beloved, so I never forget.
Anyway, that’s background: the name my sister chose, she told me in March just before her bat mitzvah, is Mayim – water. I never even knew that was a name (although apparently it is, just not a common one), and I thought it sounded slightly silly, like River Phoenix and whatever his crazy siblings were called apart from Joaquin (Summer, right? And Rain??) But then after the service my mum gave a little speech about her and talked about her choice of name and how appropriate she (Mum) thought it was: water is both beautiful and necessary, it’s life and it’s inspiring as well. It’s flexible and changing, it’s rivers and mist and ice – it’s soft and hard and it’s quietly much stronger than it seems. It smooths rocks and wood and sharp edges, makes those pretty sea-glass pebbles you find on the beach. It gently, gently, slowly, slowly wears down everything in its way, even the hardest stone. Then I understood. Thanks Mum. Incase you’re bored at work and nosing around again.

Someone else’s picture.

Mint and tea tree shower gel is good, though.

I suppose you’ll be expecting me to say something about this.

The End of the World. Cup.

Er… I cried a bit. John Terry set me off though. And Robinson (see? not a thug.)* I hate it when men cry. So how was I supposed to cope with supermen crying?
I’m less disappointed that we’re out, more disappointed that England can’t really say “we was robbed” this time – disappointed that we didn’t even begin to try to live up to the hype, that there was no beautiful football, it was all ridiculous and no sublime. Let down and hanging aroundovers all round. Oh well, next league season starts next month, yay! Seems like I’ll mostly be cheering Spurs (obv) and Hertha BSC Berlin. Ho hum.

In a way, I think his story is the saddest of all. Look at him there: “Hooray! I’m going to Germany… on holiday!” To sit on a bench for another month. Thinking “I could’ve put that in”, “I could’ve got that cross”, “I could’ve been a wee bit more subtle about stomping on that guy’s spuds”.
THE NEXT PELE? screamed the headlines. Well, I guess we’ll never know. No World Cup fun till you’re 21, son (you have to read that bit in a sort of Sir Mix-a-lot style, kay?)

*AND BY THE WAY: It’s totally true what I’m always telling anyone who’ll listen about Albert Camus being a goalkeeper. He played for his university’s team (Algiers) but had to give it up in 1930 when he contracted tuberculosis. He was serious about it, too – there’s lots of lovely stuff in La Peste where he has one of the characters reminiscing about t’beautiful game and going around scoring ‘goals’ by kicking pebbles down the street into the drains. And apparently he once said ‘All that I know most surely about morality and obligations, I owe to football’. I read somewhere that he said he was keeper because the other positions made your shoes wear out faster and he was poor as owt. But I think it’s really because it allows – no, demands – lots of thinking time. So they’re all, like, cerebral and that. Vladimir Nabokov was a numero uno, too:

‘The goalkeeper is the lone eagle, the man of mystery, the last defender.’