I grew up in a place feeling out of place, and since have moved from city to city to weave stories of drunken parties, drugs and lustrous sex.There is a photograph, from two weeks past, of four of us in a bed. When I think about my life, this is not how I imagined it would be when I was younger.
Purely for the thrill of the chase I recently decided to come between a couple, to be a temptress. And in the fall out, I fell in love. Now I am waiting in the shadows for the outcome I wished for, but it wont happen. It has occurred to me that I am extremely lonely.
I am writing you a letter than
I will never send, much like the letter I wrote six years ago. I penned that during
my last night in Brighton and sealed it with hope before placing it in my
holdall, but when we met in Victoria, I couldn't let go of it, do you recall? I
I still carry a flame for you.
During my mostly unsettling times you have been there, we talked a lot through
my first year of university and I remember sending you a text asking, part in
jest, if you would take my hand. After a few weeks of flirtation you simply
disappeared. A year later, I walked
with my friend and then confidant, along the beaches of East Devon, and whilst
staring wishfully at the crashing waves on the soft clay rock, I recall the
words “If asked I would drop everything to be with him in London” falling out
of my mouth.
This happened, in part, after
Rome, when I stayed with you. I could
have easily not returned to my studies, but rationale (as always seems to be
the case) won, and for that I guess I will always be sorry.
During our Italian Holiday we
were like lovers, and there is not a point in my life where I recall being so
close to someone. Although Rome wasn't without its moments, I came back with a
terrible holiday hangover. Do you recall I cried on our last night? For several
weeks following our adventure I was able to bring happiness by recalling our
trip. In an intimate encounter I withdrew after stating that you are the only
person who I knew who could make me truly happy. I fear now that this time has passed.
When we met on those steps in
Victoria station, on that oddly mild November in 2007, I knew there was
something. Until recently I still kept tickets, photographs, found objects from
that day, and quite often replay it, et al., in my head. Perhaps this is
one of my major downfalls, as I increasingly imprison myself.
As the summer of 2011 faded, you
told me you had met someone and preceding this, that you had kissed someone. I
pressed the self destruct button. That night I slept with whomever I could
find, and for several months after, I went from bed to bed.
Come September you stayed with me
at my parent’s house in Devon and every night I cried myself to sleep knowing
that you were only a few rooms away, the room that I grew up in, and that I couldn't have you. During my trips to London I would
often tell you how I “didn’t want to go back” to where ever it was I was
heading; University, Devon, Bristol. I
was “so stressed”. But realistically, it was because nothing could have been as
settling as being with you, even through our arguments, and even with the torture
of knowing that you were someone else’s – although I have know that this has
always been the case, yet for some reason it bothered me more this time.
When I met Richard, I was
extremely jealous. I still am. When I meet your friends, I am jealous not
because they are with you, but because they know a part of you that I don’t. It seems all I really know is how to annoy
you, and you I.
At times, and usually over the
most trivial things, a hurricane spins in my chest, and my emotions boil over.
This I guess is an example of that. I can pretend to be your best friend and
wait for you in the hope that you might change your mind, another year, another
six years, twenty, a life time. But I am hoping that by writing this, these
feelings will somehow magically melt away and disappear leaving only sweet
I have never met anyone, with
whom I am as deeply infatuated with, in love with, and now I am calling to
question how much of this is a product of my perception.
I moved to London with hopes and dreams that
so many bring. Stability, employment, happiness and even a love of the mundane. I am here, not to better myself, but to find myself and now I'm wearing thin. I have come to realise, that no matter what I
do, what I have, who I have, I will never have enough for you. I am in love with you; I would die by your hand.
But the same cannot be said about you for I.
It was during one of those transitional periods, between the
seasons, those late summer months, with the weakened sun still warm enough to
lounge. It was around that time, between seasons, that I found myself around
my home town.
During my earlier years, at eighteen perhaps, these months,
August, September, were always held as golden months. It was customary in our
small town to lie on the beaches drinking in the last of the summer waiting for
the end of era beach parties. One, or two, of these parties had been
affectionately named The Last Supper and were, by and large, massively over
organised and anticlimactic. Still it was the atmosphere that we all came for not the company.
A fire was often lit in the far corner of the bay where the
sea had calved a semi-open grotto from the soft clay rock. Glowing embers
would fly into faces and ash would spatter clothes and sun glasses, as the gentle
sea winds would take the flailing flames up into the empty dust of the
summer nights. The drum of conversation always present to compliment the American
pop-punk, and full of passion and prospect, the great unknown, laugher, life adventures, tales of travels yet
to be arranged. The heat would lift the smell of smoke and hops through the air
as if fuelling our dreams and what they would come.
There were often dreams mentioned, or stories told, that I was eager to follow and indeed the protagonists. But since living them and
with the passing of time it was clear that these dreams where just that, and that gathering like those we had could
not exist in the present.
And I guess it's not really appropriate to call this A Bristol Novella.
At Embankment I make a right and then a right and a final right, lifting the dead weight of my legs, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27. Does the top step count. A question I always ask. And I'm standing on the bridge, looking at the lights and the polluted sky, and the stark, washed out, white dome of St Paul's. The moon kissed boats, bottles, buildings, half crescent faces of tourists. I'm listening to a Japanese man, who cant be more than 45, command his girlfriend - wife?- how to frame a photograph, and someone talks at me and a camera is held to my face, and I'm just staring, trying to blot out the noise, hands glued to my side.
And in the cool night air I just walk, the chill waking me with the smell of cinnamon, stake alcohol, piss. And I'm on South bank and ironically, I don't have an destination and I just walk, staring into the night.
At a taxi cab, blue, three months previous, the driver loads three bags; one a red holdall, into the boot. "23 degrees" a interaction I choose to ignore.
As the cab pulls away, over the raised drains and various characteristics of the hot summer tarmac the Wills Memorial building, framed by the cab window, starts to shrink and ripple as heat from the pavement distorts the image. Adele Someone Like You plays, clichéd, over the radio, and I push the headphones of my iPhone into my ears, and stare blankly through the cool glass, the shadow, the shop fronts, through buildings and people, and the floor starts to distort and melt, and it all melts, and my eyes roll and shut as I grab the jesus-handle and a calm surgical white rushed through me, and I feel free.