Sorry if this is a little presumptuous, but I wanted to apologise in advance for my absence in the next month. I’m off to Greece to work in return for food and lodging for a month on a small farm/family run retreat, so I won’t be internetting at all. I’ll still be writing, of course, in my illegible “intellectual” scrawl, but none of it will make it into the tumblrsphere for a wee while. I’ll miss reading all of your stuff, but I have to confess that I’m rather looking forwards to being cut off from society for a while.
I hope you all have a very lovely four weeks. I look forwards to having a wonderful reading marathon on my return.
She closed her eyes and found herself in a room of glass. Clear, clean glass pressed against her bare feet, and as she looked out through the walls to the clouds beyond she was unsurprised to see that she was naked. It seemed natural, in the glass that revealed things as they were. Below her feet were more clouds, flying beneath her. Or was she moving? It was impossible to tell. There were no fixed objects to gauge her movement by, up here, in the sky. The clouds were beginning to blush with the shyest pink, like a blooming rose, and upon turning round to marvel at the sight, she spied the only object in the room. It was a loofah. Creamy and gentle as it lay upon the transparent floor. Then, as the clouds gathered to a melancholy mauve, it began to rain inside the glass room. The water was warm: not cold enough to make every hair on her body stand up to attention, but not hot enough for her muscles to sigh. It was consistent in its downpour. Each droplet seemed determined to touch her, in exactly the right place. Without considering her action, she walked over to the loofah, the rain following her, and picked it up. She thought she may as well help the kind clouds with their task. So, concealing her right hand within the loofah, she began to scrub methodically all over her body. She started with her face, in gentle circles, and then her ears- carefully caressing every cranny and crinkle. Slowly, she worked down her body, and as she scrubbed at her left wrist -scrubbed at the gleaming white scars that sat there- they too blushed pink, as though trying to mimic the clouds. Then they seemed to redden and push out from under her skin. She was not alarmed, but kept scrubbing. One by one, each of the lines that she had drawn there so long ago, in another world, seemed to exhale and melt once again into red ink to be washed away by the inevitable flow of water streaming down and encasing her body.
And so she scrubbed, and as she did so, she sang. A simple shanty, about the beauty of the sea, and its ferocity and greatness. And with each scar she came across she applied a little more pressure, and they bloomed into blood and were washed away down through the perforations in the glass floor. Finally, she reached her toes and they too gave up their callouses and permanent bruises from over the years. Then, when her smallest toe had been polished to perfection, she opened her eyes, still singing to her shower and she sighed. Her wrists still wore silver bracelets and the cut on her calf remained. She stepped out of the little glass box and stood dripping on the rugged turquoise mat, still dreaming. Dreaming of being clean once again. Then she reached for her towel, and stained its white fluffiness pink with the birth of new scars.
I’m sitting on your bed amongst white sheets that smell of purple, and the transparent sunlight of morning is turning the curtains to ghosts. Ghosts who murmur in the breeze at us in this little cream box with its warm, close smell. I’m sitting here, and my knees are drawn up towards my chest with your sleepy feet inches from mine. I’m drawing, tiny, simple spirals and lines, trying to draw out the tangles in my mind and fill up this white, empty page instead. You are stirring amongst your pillows. Heavy breaths as you expel sleep gently from your lungs, and weary groans as morning’s presence penetrates your peaceful eyelids. I focus intently upon my hand and its small, controlled movements, enjoying the gentle sound of each mark, each reassurance that I am creating something, I am leaving an impression, even if it is on a loose of paper- ready at any moment to fold itself into an origami gull and fly away.
You turn over. I smile as the sound reaches my ears. My head is bent over my notepad and my auburn hair escapes from behind my ears in shy whisps and curls, falling over my face. You move amongst the white sheets and a waft of washing powder and soft humanity drifts up. You’re watching me now, from inbetween those cloud like pillows. I keep my head bent, as I feel your eyes warming my face with their gaze; you could just as easily have had your hand on my cheek, so tangible is your contemplation. And as I draw each minuscule circle I wonder, are you thinking about last night? Last night when we may have forgotten that we are just good friends? Just two people who spend as much time as possible together. Whose clothes chase each other around the same washing machine. Who confide more in each other than they ever have in anyone, lying with arms pressed together, staring up at the quotes we wrote up on your ceiling; or back to back, savouring the warmth of our bodies forming one eight limbed creature; or on our sides, face to face, eyes heavy and tired as we keep murmuring our thoughts - ourselves- into the night. Are you wondering if I was awake when -with my head on your chest, your arm around me and over me and mine across your body- our hands intertwined? When you moved your cheek and pressed it against my forehead? When I could hear your heart beating as if it were trying to break out of your rib cage? Because I was. My heart was beating too- beating so fast to try and run hand in hand with yours. And I think you already know.
The right side of my face is still under your watch, and then the thought enters my mind that I am merely imagining the feel of your eyes on my skin. So I turn my head, and glimpse you buried in that soft mound of pillows, and I see your eyes, exactly where I felt them to be and now two pairs of brown eyes are seeing themselves in the other and a shiver shakes the heavy blanket of sleepiness off me completely. And then I smile and say good morning and you mumble something into muffling bedclothes. And we get up and get on even though we both know.
We have done for some time I think. We’re pathetic, aren’t we?
Yes, this is what happens when 18 year old physicists are locked up in their rooms with a formal report set and an imminent deadline: a plethora of procrastination induced puns. And we didn’t even get onto the maths/phys chat-up lines…
Tom:Something to stave off the boredom I suppose. Note that I don't still have work cleft to do - suppose I'll do the bare minim, I don't C Major problems with that. Any more of these and facebook might Bar me, you know the score...
Ailsa:If you had reached the finale of your piece, I would’ve had to beat you and kick you in the crotchet, and blame it on an accidental (they’re so damn sharp). I’m taking a rest, but I quaver in my boots to think that I chant be able to finish this report of my own a-chord. Sorry for being so downbeat, but alto I’m nearly done, I can’t bear the thought of an encore.
Tom:Well played. But no need to get violin about it - you can always make a counterpoint without having to ac-choir a bad attitude. I'm symphonphetic, but at least it's a lab report and not matlab codas. Simple harmonic motion should be fun, especially the string section - nothing can trumpet. You shouldn't have written Bach if you can't Handel a bit of competition - think about how you conduct yourself.
Ailsa:Oh, are we competing in composition now? You are harping on a bit. Maybe we can harmonise and reach some sort of arrangement? Band together? People would cue up; we’d have a great dynamic. Could even get money from the fanfare. Admittedly, playing along in time isn’t my forte. But I feel that team work is instrumental in this orchestration.You can be the ornamentation, and I’ll try not to be dominant. We can stanza together, and not descendo discord.