Tuesday, 2 February 2016


February 2nd. Imbolc. A whisper of spring in a sprinkle of blossom. Perhaps the world is ending. February 9th. I turn 27. This is supposed to mean something and be marked in a celebratory fashion. I should make an assessment of my Life Goals and check the momentum of my Progress. Or get so pissed I forget the hugeness of the universe. Instead, I've bought myself an electric toothbrush because my teeth are showing their age. I don't like brushing my teeth. It reminds me that my body is perishing. Jeanette Winterson writes in The Powerbook: "Death will shatter me, but in love's service I have been shattered many times."

I can't remember my dream. It's lurking on the cusp of my recall, my brain is sieve-like, a mesh, my imagination is swirling river water and debris. My dream is the gold speck. I know the gold is there. It takes a sleight of mind. I flick between forgetting utterly and focusing with arrow flight determination. Thud. The arrow hits target. I remember.

The auditorium hums like a fly behind a curtain. Anticipation is spiking and shattering as the crowd rumbles, one mans' laugh booms and causes the rushing rise of talking to break. A black phone screen reflects a light and winks, I blink. A girls waist is so tiny I move through judgment to jealousy to desire - my friends are talking around me but I am deaf. Centrally on stage we can see there's no-one at the microphone. This sight reminds me that our hero is not coming to play to us. He's dead. No-one wants to remember. The crowd in the auditorium are asleep, though standing upright and vibrating with a conversations murmur.

I see a piece of paper folded, fallen to the floor. In it is written coded directions out of here. I follow them under the green exit light, into a dark alley where the street lamps barely reach. Back gates and passages intersect the alley, brambles and weeds reclaim fencing and failing stone. An air vent with a broken cage over it has been marked as a point of interest on my scribbled map. In the vent is a book. In the book is a shadow. In the shadow is darker writing. I can't shape it into sense, and my skin itches, my eyes sear red, asthma works like corset lacing constricting my lungs. But then you're here in the dark side street. You've got a leather jacket on, which looks ridiculous. I've never seen you in a leather jacket. But you work like an antihistamine and I am calm and laughing because you're a fool.

©Amy Leonard, 2016.

No comments:

Post a Comment