Saturday, July 25

Warming

A LOOK OVER, first thing, to catch the outfit; warm days and she dresses accordingly; a thin brown dress that clings to her body like rain. It floats in the air, creeping high up her thighs, bouncing as we all walk from EC to E, where I lead and glance back at her blonde hair in the files of light between the abandoned buildings and carparks.
Nervously, I drink quickly, desperate for everyone to enjoy themselves, standing helplessly and hoping, attempting to appear casual by leaning against the wall by the fridge, observing. They enjoy the music I have chosen and, as expected, rummage about my flat, asking me questions, handling my possessions, pouring drinks. ‘Have you read all these books?’ ‘Of course, what’s the fuckin point of buying books if you’re not going to read them?’ I’m no Gatsby; my parties less glamorous, my shelves less busy, my books well fingered.
She is propped up on the arm of the sofa; a ghastly faux-leather article, unwanted, but stitched-up, stuck with. The plastic has come away in areas, although it all encourages sweat, straight edges, matching the colour of her dress. Down her legs go and so they keep going, long and deliciously formed. Of course I try to not give away that I am impressed with her, not infatuated, not wishing to stare at her every chance I can; this blonde cherubim perched in my living room. Down her naked legs go, down to her naked feet. When she comes and stands next to me, I exclaim—‘You’re not wearing any shoes!’
‘I always take my shoes off, especially in someone’s house.’
‘How Japanese.’ I love a woman’s bare feet. I loved her bare feet, carousing on my floor.
When I look down at her neon orange painted toenails she wiggles them for me and I smile. She walks me over to my window; indeed it is my window, but she is leading me there now and I follow most obediently. She puts her elbows on the sill and leans her bum out, surveying the scene. That is where the crows gather, they pick through the rubbish and they fight, they make this god-awful noise all of the time but I quite like it. In the evenings the curry smell comes off the block like a cloud. I like the look of that flat over there.
So happy am I that she is here, lingering over what is mine, holding up my possessions and telling me about them, I do not believe it. All of the intrusions, yet hers is the only one I welcome, the one I hold on to, imagining she is still there, still here, behind me, watching her favourite film, which she plucked from the shelf and held before me. I’m just writing about you, no, you can’t read it. I became very drunk and in the morning I woke alone, still drunk.

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