I dream of a boat to take us away A long boat, a little boat with sails as white as a spider’s web Bustled by the wind, dampened by the river’s spray To stand at night under a shrouded moon Cold yet warm by your side Watching for the weather to come While the heat of the day drains into the water Leaving a skein of milky threads floating alongside us I dream of a boat to take us away If this seems an unfathomable dream We should remember carefully the mystery of our love The unlikely fortune that finds us here We have no one else so we have each other A fragile and treacherous gift that could break apart One without the other is an impossible thought I want to drink every drop of you While nesting in branches of an unknown tree
Alone in the warm dark
drenched deep in your music
feeling a pain as it pushes into
my wide open pores
watching each breath, following the notes
nerves rising and tangling
and you beside me
your soft hand caressing my hair
wet from the sweat on my neck
I can smell the torment to come
drink in your seducing music
I love the taste of you
Grey is the path we walked on
The cobbles, the road
Each different, each blending
One into another
In the inadequate light of the day
When I walk by now
I see your ghost
Tall and handsome
Black and blue
Jeans and leather
When I go to the bus
On bleak Saturdays
You are there
Standing by the pub wall
Waiting for me
Soon I shall go
You will not come with me
I have written our story
I will be free of you
Under my feet the cobbles were sharp and shiny brown
As I walked slowly around embracing hills
Wishing I could fly
Knowing I must fall
Safe for a while in the hilly cradle
I traced the lines of your face on the tiles
The arms that held me were gone so soon
and life must be traveled alone
A dance in the rain
my last movements, last breath
as water rises up in my lungs
sinking me under your weight
To feel I am falling
the music in my ears
just a rush of water
a slither of sound
When it is not love
when it does not have a name
it is a strange lake of deep fear
and you are calling to me
Hurrah – the book is finished! A couple of glasses of whisky and I have a final draft of 101416 words that has taken 1 year and 11 months to complete. Next is the endless round of rejections and I am trying not to think about those just yet. The next book is bubbling away and I have to write it.
The book does come from personal experience. There is point in denying that. I thought examining the unbearable pain of desertion by a long-term online friend would make it easier to deal with. It hasn’t. If I allow myself to think for one moment about him, I get a physical pain like I am being punched very hard in my rib cage. I thought that by inventing a story about what might happen if I searched for him, it would stop. As Ishbel says in the novel, ‘I think of you every hour of every day’. When I wrote that I did not realise how true it was. I do think of him of every day. Now the book is complete it is time to forget him. Having allowed myself to care so deeply for another person, I shall need some damn good reasons to do that again.
In the last two years, I have come to think of myself as essentially unlovable. If I consider all my partners, not one of them has ever cared much about me; I am too capable, too self-sufficient. I am useful to them, I can arrange their lives, their work and look decorative at parties. But what goes on in my head is just too much trouble for them. They don’t see what I see and that is the end of it. So I shall label myself ‘reject’ and get on with it. I shall tell jokes about it. Maybe I should get the T shirt.
I don’t regret giving up so much to write this book, there was never a choice. I miss Sydney and, most of all, I miss the ocean. Now the book is finished I am free to decide what must come next. Staying in England is not an option anymore. I remember reading Doris Lessing’s Memoirs of Survivor and being terrified of finding myself somewhere as poisonous and uncaring. Lessing’s predictions are ringing very true at the moment.
So a nice clean page. The next strand. I must look for a place to be, where I am safe and happy and probably alone. Preferably with water.
A gentle bolt tore out my breath
A rush of lip stained air
A slither of truth sliced its way in
Dividing my open trusting heart
Looking back to that moment
I knew the pain would start soon
You can’t love in a world gone so wrong
I knew it was better to turn and go
Than take the risk of happiness
If we count up all our the sunny days
There are not enough to light a life
There are fogs and mists floating low
So they obscure the truth
We cannot see beyond their menacing gloom
To the life beyond
Give me one sunny day
When we wake bed-warm and muddled-haired
we will float high on the thermals
Gliding to the far edge of the clouds
After the rain, I will show you a rainbow
Suddenly like a crisp new shirt
There came a perfect stranger
So easy, so sure
Yet walled in and keen to lock me out
A closed door
I wanted to laugh and say I did not care
But I did
I wanted to cry out, just shout for joy
But I can’t
I am silenced
My tongue is cut out
There is nothing to say
The perfect stranger will pass me by
My fashion designer friend asked to borrow my reading glasses the other day. He has reached that certain age where his usually sharp, blue gaze needs some assistance. Being the sort of guy who gets up at 5am in the morning to spray on his tan, I wondered how he would cope with wearing glasses. At school, I was the first girl in the class to get glasses – at age 6!
I loathed them.
At 19, I suffered in contact lenses and the minute it was possible I got my eyes fixed; now needing only a pair of reading glasses to read the fine print. But my friend embraced his failing eyesight like he had suddenly found a whole new brand of designer jeans to try on.
First he researched the materials; plastics, metals, vintage tortoise-shell, then spent his weekends visiting the shops to investigate the shape, colours and embellishments…..and this is all before he has his eyes tested!
Suddenly the huge phenomena of the designer spectacle frames crossed the horizon. I had thought this was a specialist area, like engineering a false leg, but no, if you have a designer name – you have eyewear.
Designer sunglasses are nothing new – years ago I bought two expensive pairs; one pair for the beach and one pair for everyday and then get the lenses replaced every few years. That way $350 a pair is a good investment. But if you are wearing glasses the whole time, forget fashion trends, the shape of the frame is crucial. It sits on the part of you that everyone sees and remembers – the frame has to work for your face.
So my heart sank when the day came to choose his frames – every pair looked the same, nasty rectangles in colours that can throw a horrible sheen on the cheeks. There was every designer in town and beyond. It was overwhelming and confusing.
Why would Vera Wang design glasses? No bride would walk down the aisle wearing specs! Four hours later my friend had what he wanted – rimless, elegant, titanium frames with a discrete very up-market signature along the sides. The colour worked with every one of his fabulous silk ties and his blue eyes were suitably enhanced. He looked fabulous, was a staggering $700 poorer and completely thrilled with his new specs. I suspect he is secretly planning his own signature collection.
I realised that I had got this wrong. I still had a childhood fear of being the ugly girl in the glasses. I had overlooked the exciting opportunity to explore a new identity – to enhance my academic credentials, to be sheathed in a Chanel suit, provocatively sucking the end of my frames as I explain something intellectually challenging and very, very difficult to my next victim.
Now those titanium frames come in how many colours?