Sunday, 13 February 2011


We were boiling down my etymology. I poured out my lavender scented tea and missed my reflection in the mirror, smoothing jam onto doughy chunks. Her coffee split onto the saucer, she doesn't drink milk normally and this croissant wasn't good. The air was fresh and I was late, the sun dried my tetchiness. She questioned and landed on class. I told her how it wasn't cool to be clever, so I never tried any more than my straight-A default. I wanted to fit in, but from a late early age I attempted a curve at different. I didn't tell her this. I spent the day trying to pinpoint my causality.

Later in the week, his friend recommended her psychologist mum's book for the shop. They'd always talk about Life around the kitchen table, she reflected warmly, my discontent glowered slightly. They used to tell me to stop thinking, I blurted. Really? They used to tell me, you think too much, I corrected. An interesting slip, I thought. I dunked tea bag with finger tips and thought about this. I thought about this more throughout the day. I was congratulated on scholarly successes, encouraged outside them, but there was always this dark place named Too Much. What would there be if there wasn't life? If it was too much aged eight then what about now?

Today he mentioned the limbic system, again, nodding confirmation to his wife who mentioned it last. He attributed the early years to our later expulsions, how his affection for kinky sex was down to something (unsaid) in his childhood. Headscarves, rollers, who knows what, I don't care to imagine what. It made good sense, being able to call myself the almost absolute opposite of kinky, no, not even finding a bit o kink in near-celibacy. Him up there, getting off on his PVC dress with protruding pierced breasts that I'm now tempted to Google but know I don't want to go those net nethers he mention.

A purely happy upbringing as mine has nothing to process, no excretion to be made. In it's own context, my childhood was extremely rosy; attention, encouragement, time, love. All the good stuff. Still, she dug deeper. There has to be something, she pushed, can you think of anything. I spent the week thinking. Freud stroked my chin. I'm tempted to call her to tell her about the cessation of thinking, but there's no need as next remedy's destiny has been laid. Graphites 6c chimes nicely with my going to her fancy dress party as a Staedtler 2b pencil.

Sunday, 6 February 2011


I dont have a lot of faith in the world as it is at the moment, so something as small ish as a personal theft throws me like a lifestage breakdown. I fell against the churchyard railings, crumpled under stinging eyes and disbeleif, crying wildly like May 2009 on the kitchen floor. Passersby passed by and I realised how we don't really care about each other. Was it instinctive to feel this bad about being robbed of what was mine, or was it more instinctive in fact to hunt and procure goods to further oneself. In short, was I the more intelligent one here, or were they?

I walked out of Waitrose pretty smug, with a bag full of bargains. Then, a moment of incredulity where, is this real, am I in a film, am I outside Waitrose, am I in a dream, am I in my life, are my eyes broken, there's a bit missing from my bike? Silver Thomson 27.2 by 330 (swoon) seatpost and an inherited Brooks Honey Team Pro S Saddle. Did I leave them in the supermarket next to the deli counter with the friendly boy with a lisp, no he doesn't have a freezer full of meat because they're not allowed to buy anything before the end of the day! No. I didn't take it off. I popped in for some Seville oranges and popped out with discounted meat minus £180 worth of parts.

Shit? Fuck? What the fuck? God (heavy on the 'oh')? An unfamiliar exclamation. I noticed the Big Issue seller, noticed his collection of spent d-locks, felt suspicisous towards him, having seen his Search For the Forgotten Pound amonsgt the trolleys fifteen minutes earlier. Had I not given my last pound to Street Smart in Giant Robot, I would've given it to him, I'd thought. Perhaps then he would've 'kept an eye on' my transport. I never give to charity, and apparently today I gave to totally the wrong charity, double misplaced philanthropy. Damn Steven Fry.

I calmly asked Big Issue if he saw anything, spied his teeth, we conversed but I wasn't there, he hadn't seen. I needed humanity, compassion, generosity, that list. A guy with stripes and a St John bag unlocked his bike, it looked worthy of a survey, how long was yours here, I asked, playing petty detective. He was warm but I wasted time. A security guard took my enquiry as a woman on her way out confessed to seeing two guys with my goods walking That Way five minutes ago. A Hunt. I hoiked the heavy meat into my back, damning its misbalance, clipped in and tried not to topple backwards. Two rib steaks, two plaice fillets, oranges, apples and a whole duck (with giblets). Fucking meat. No longer winnings but a weighty reminder of loss.

Now, fixed, no saddle, plus meat, on ballet calves, and slight mania, equals difficult. I talked myself down as I found left foot, don't sit down, he'd said, don't sit down, I thought. I headed That Way. Then it turned into two. I took one and felt my chances halve. I shouted at strangers, amazed by my own power. Those days you really melt into a crowd? It's because you want to. The day you want to be heard they're listening before you've realised you're talking. I scanned bodies, those in twos, chose small roads, not the City, why would you go to the City if you had to steal? I got off at the graveyard, passed couples and a man, a woman with a dog. Jarred bars into bars and collapsed next to stones.

Serves me right for being a greedy middle class fucker who wants two batches of homemade organic thick cut marmalade, right? If only the woman hadn't wrestled her child into my way en route to the citrus section, perhaps I hadn't seen the half price birds? If I hadn't fondled the light, dry fruit, old objects dying in the crate, the last of the crop, wondering if I could get results from substandard ingredients (they're so fucking light! There can't be any juice in there!) If only I hadn't asked deli boy for the smaller piece of plaice, I like the light skin, not orange speckled, is it one half of the same fish? If only I'd have missed the 26day matured rib steaks, re-queued up for them behind a guy wanting 3 ribs that had to be chopped from a rack. Had I not checked the back of the chocolate packets for percentages and impurities, calculating their grams per pound, speculated on my strength for abstention when there's 400g of temptation in my baking cupboard.

I trekked my calves to Brick Lane on a fruitless mission. The carbon copies riled my anger, though it felt good to have a plain emotion for once, this equals that, rather than a boring story of why I'm this or why I'm that. You take my shit and I'm really upset actually. It's the way we get through days, making automatic decisions based on past evidences. If I do this, I'm safe, if I do that, I'm in danger. Growing up we build our morals and beliefs around us like chicken wire cages of papier mache, delicate structures we put in place to make our sense. Things once complicated become learned, and we nurture our basis of what is Good and True. My day was beautiful thus far. Why does it so often turn?

Moral implications aside, and despite involving the police, more to honor the existential role of the Waitrose security staff than anything, what makes the tears come is the attachment. Some things age and develop a patina of love, become a metaphor for time, merging with us to the point where (I am you, You are me etc etc). Money is merely figures, but miles of saddle time grow a personal history with which we exchange and merge. It's like your house being robbed, I told him, only not so bad obviously. A bike is a strange beast. If you really love it, really love it, it sits somewhere between family heirloom and blood relative. You hurt my bike, well I'd rather take a wound where red literally comes. It's like that.

I've slept on it. I'm not happy about the botched replacement, or troubling Islington police with a trifle occurrence (a hundred pounds, for a saddle, yes, sir). It doesn't 'serve me right', I'm not accepting your heartless attempt at empathy with a mirrored experience, I shalln't adjust my moral graph in totality. The images of the lost goods are burned on my brain, glowing stronger almost than their literalness. The Platonic ideal lifts them to a place they never quite touched in reality, where, after the shine wore off, these bits of machinery had become quite invisible. The replacement B17 S will be here by Friday. It's black with black rails and is going to look pretty cool, probably better. I wont replace the post, the frivolity is through. Three years is a good innings, and change is always best.

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Hot chocolate at The Wolseley

On paper, today was a triumph. A morning of volunteering followed by Monday's glistening chicken (leeks) stew and some granny bread and butter. A quick blow dry and a late hop to the bus, for Blue Valentine at a Parisian-feeling basement screening. An indulgent friend's shoulder over a hot chocolate (Gourmand) at The Wolseley. A quick eyeshadow purchase in Selfridges on a stop-off enroute to dancing. A shotgun 73 seat with Lydia Davies. On paper, pretty amazing. As a glance into someone else's window of life, like the snippets you get on N1 streets into lush impossible basements of advertisement perfection, pretty envy-inducing self-indulgent loveliness. In reality, a bit of a jarring ran through it.

I lay in and threw on clothes below a messy head that I'm starting to grow into, just. A uncomfortable job at monster glove hands, an unsure partenership on a table of lovely children. A realisation that when she found my notebook, she probably read the blurb of me bitching about her (not that I've had stomach enough to retrace this bile past the first sentence), to recognise it as mine (fuck). I ate nearly half a local loaf, the butter, the marmalade, making it unstoppable. I washed my hair and put on my now-mono look, the red lipstick singing to my fringed eyes like a habit I don't want to become addicted to. Date, he asked, of course not, I derided. I left late, wondering why when I'm paid I make it but when I'm free I'm loose.

All became fine once she embraced me and I watched a film which showed some beautiful despair. She listened to my over-processed thoughts and indulged my dilemmas. I fell dangerously in love, mixing silver carafes of molten chocolate and hot milk in a tall glass, overhearing international conversations from people who lived this normality. I swanned to the toilet, sorry bathroom it's called here, spying on cake towers and cute waiters, smiling to myself, proud to be allowed and somehow look right here. I checked my phone, I found your painting behind the freezer, it's lovely, she said. I glowed.

London called and I prowled the rich ways, Piccadilly, Bond Street, Marylebone. I danced seriously, selecting my shots, picking partners by way of an absurd solipsism. It was hot. He wasn't there. Dharma pinned me back and I hardly needed it anyway. The day was closing. I played with my hair in the toilets and decided it was time. Returning to the hall, there he was. He asked me to dance, my lipstick faded and hair mussed, I was unready. His moved jarred, we didn't fit, my hair felt stiff and my lips dry. What to say, I thought, not too hard. I'm so excited about this band, he spoke for me, I just booked them for my wedding. A glee washed over me that bought our counts together. I didn't care. I longed for this freedom, but wondered if I am ultimately only looking for the opposite of a positive outcome. I took air and toasted the sky.

Today was ok. I've been worried about my right brain, logicalising it's glueyness, trying to work through it's inaction. Trying being the word. Trying not allowing. He left me asking if I was a Creative Type the other day, and this had been troubling me somewhat. Where's my frigging evidence, I started asking myself, the person doing a million things but having most trouble with the main event. Sometimes the version on paper doesn't tell the most exciting or true story. Either way The Wolesley broke me. A dangerous love affair began, on the reserve bench for dark days, an eat-in Tiffany's.