Thursday, July 24, 2008

it's the end of the world...

…as I know it. It’s three minutes of footsteps laid on wood. It’s metal suspended and sending me out over the sand, over the water, away from the land.

A place where old women slump, deckchairs moulding their spines into perfect curves. Heads eaten by floppy cloth sunhats. Arms at rest on polyester laps. Each a mess of veins, a blue knotted net thrown over their bones to stop them from blowing away.

A place where men line the pier sides. Arms crossed on the top bar of the railings. Never content to sit, they always pace or stand or lean. Silent and staring down to the water below. So blue today. Parallel bars of colour that deepen as they leave the sand behind.

And down below gulls dot the border water. Walking in and out of the fluffy ripples. Pecking and poking. And almost looking like they might grab the edge with their beaks and with a little teamwork fight the tide and drag the blue back up the beach.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

all in all

(further impressions of my Friday night friend)

She loved men as if they were walls. Dressed in shades of height and presence, when they dreamed they dreamed of solidity and dimension. They promised welcome containment - offered boundaries to stop her drifting apart and away. She’d tried ones made of glass in the past but they always broke too soon. The best ones cast shade and gave her something to lean against. Always welcome to someone so prone to sunburn. Their mood could turn unstable with little warning but their conversation was something to graze her knuckles or her forehead against if the mood took her. The ones she fell for were usually well built and fairly logical - made up of little repetitive parts that she could count and measure, take apart and put back together at her leisure. Which was something, and better than nothing.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

gathering dust

Just for one day I scare the skeletons away and reclaim the cupboards from no-mans-land. I sort through accumulated books and letters and cards. I dust off forgotten histories and polish flat packed promises.

I find his picture folded into a secret six - still tacky at the corners from where it used to cling to my wall. And I’ll never not be surprised at how quickly newspaper grows yellow and brittle with so little age. And on a paperback of the best known road trip I find a tea ring. The caffeine fingerprint of someone happy to deface. And then that battered Salinger - the one she left behind amid the heap of less obvious mess. Lost in her secretary chic and Friday night tangles, I wonder if she ever missed it?

I find French greetings and New York incoming flight numbers. Heavy goodbyes and fading Valentines. I read indistinct sentiment laid in bold black ink in a handwriting that used to be more familiar than my own. I discover teenage poems written ten years too late on airmail paper as if the words themselves carried too little weight. And a long gone song riddled with spelling mistakes and that is the least of its crimes.