Monthly Archives: July 2007

New words for old desires

It’s just various lists today and that is all. I like lists very much, I have been making and collecting them for many years; my paper notebooks, the most important ones, are full of them. I think they’re eloquent and shapely, suggestive, intent, expansive, neat. I like lists of songs, lists of names, lists of places. I think they’re my favourite pages on wikipedia, the ones that just list hundreds of names or words… they’re just so full of potentialList of Fanta flavoursList of misquotationsList of fictitious Jews. There’s a list of lists! Joy! Be still, my beating heart!
I especially like indices, and contents pages too. But I even like shopping lists, sometimes, or menus, or when people make those food diary/calorie intake things; there’s poetry there, I’m sure of it, freeform and grinning up at us. Teriyaki chicken salad sandwich. Blackcurrant-banana-orange-juice smoothie. Piece of bread with chocolate spread. Green milk. I grow old… I grow old… I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled. Gertrude Stein understood this before I did. I don’t know what to think about Gertrude Stein, I suppose I like to think she and I are alike in some ways and not in others. Alice B. Toklas, more, maybe; she liked hats too. I’d like to read her book very much, it’s called What Is Remembered which is a very good title. It sounds rather sad. Anyway.
Entries on the ‘Missed Connections’ page on Edinburgh Gumtree: I love those things. I habitually read them for other cities, not because I or anyone I know would be in there, just because they’re nice. I love it when people look, notice, react, I suppose. It’s proof of that.
So, yes, as I was saying, Entries on the ‘Missed Connections’ page on Edinburgh Gumtree
Lynette
(West Lothian)

i always miss
(edinburgh)

Bryan Temple
(Leith Trinity Newhaven)

Livingston, you got petrol at Morrisons Petrol Station, and smiled at me.
(Livingston)

angry number 10 girl
(a princes street bus stop)

girl in the green car
(jewel)

Laura Scott
(Leith)

The girl who is not a librarian
(edinburgh somewhere)

London Kings X-North Berwick-Edinburgh Waverly
(Edinburgh)

debbie cemetery
(edinburgh)

Need to find Ryan
(Edinburgh)

Import prohibitions and restrictions that the New Zealand Customs Service enforces at the border (I had to look it up for work, so that shows how long I’ve had this beast tucked away for)
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You made me forget my dreams.

This summer is rainy day after rainy day after rainy day.

The latest incarnation, the shower I just walked through, is these heavy, tangible, fat drops, a centimetre or two across: few and far between to start with, so that they feel like a deliberate affront when they hit you in the face, but soon running together like a stream. I’m walking home with K’s graduation rose sticking out of P’s Canon bag with my Nikon tucked safely waterproofedly inside, and I’ve got my pearls and my cassette tape t-shirt and my boy jeans and my blue socks that almost match, but one’s got skulls and crossbones on and the other has hedgehogs, and my oldest trainers on, the Converse ones from about 1999 that are more holes held together with bits of shoe than anything, and I don’t mind the rain.

My hair looks better this way anyway, an inconstant, mad tangle with sodden silky rat-tail tendrils snaking through it and dripping cold onto my hot skin, shocking in my cleavage like a tiny caress. Or perhaps it doesn’t look good at all but it feels good, it makes me feel wilder, and besides I like the smell of it later while it’s gradually drying. I’m bruised all over from Friday night‘s shenanigans.

I’m living in my two favourite pairs of jeans, in strict rotation between me and the radiator in the kitchen – they’re never both dry at the same time – and on occasion other things, my summer skirts and my spring boots, and B’s giant old Guinness t-shirt and S’s shorts (‘it’s actually just an optical illusion’), on Sunday evening when we leapt up off his bed and into the rain, having assessed its heft by watching the tree outside the bay window – B calls to S who’s in the bathroom and I run with him barefoot out into the street, laughing, aimless yet irresistibly drawn, like moths to a flame; jumping and splashing in all the puddles, the filthy streams of the gutters, fag ends or no fag ends we jump in there nonetheless, the cold water feels amazing on my feet, it’s unstoppable and immediate, it’s how I’d like to be.

B’s got no shirt on and when I hug him it’s surprising the difference it makes, you don’t usually touch your friends’ bare skin, strange even when it’s wet and feels slick like a seal, which it does now. It reinforces the instinctive feeling, the real-ness of the moment; it feels necessary and inevitable, I don’t know what the carful of traffic wardens think, or the people in their flats watching from the windows. If I were them, I’d want to join us; fuck that, I’d want to be us. When the thunder rolled it woke something up inside us, we are savage, we are frank, we are human. Human in the rain.

It doesn’t feel like the rain is ever going to end, and that’s okay. It’s right now; by which I mean, it’s what’s happening now and it’s right, it fits, S’s shorts fit me, everything fits me and it’s okay. I feel what I am: young and alive.