Sunday, August 2

Alarm Clock Sound

IF I THINK BACK over this year so far – that of our lord, twenty-fifteen – how ghastly it strikes me. From the start, it made no effort to endear itself toward me, but from a hill in New Cross I watched the fireworks exploding in the distance as tiny pieces of my beloved relationship scattered about. Then my grandmother died and became dirt; ah, all the wonderfulness she had embodied returned into the great soup of the universe and all I was left with were memories; even to see her framed upon my wall my feeble mind cannot register that she is gone. I should like to see her again someday, although I know I will not.
I am in love with someone who is trying to love someone else, and those whom I try to love are not as worthy of it as she.
Friday can go into the night it deserves. I wake up and spend the day with my brother who is rustling on the inflatable mattress below me. I am weary from drink and lack of sleep, as is he, but we both get through on coffee. About the city are cyclists, slowly moving in all sorts of colour. A child slips off its bike, its mother calls—‘What are you doing?!’ and the child is scolded. My brother and I walk to an art museum. Never before have I visited such a place with a sibling, but I would like to introduce him to such experiences, so I get us into an exhibition. I like it because he is in no rush to pass the paintings by, and afterwards he does not speak to me about to them – as talking about art is revolting in the utmost! – but I check on him often. He is taller than me, better looking, but I feel protective over him, which I cannot help but there he is stood before the painting, the abstraction spilling over.
‘The buildings are so fuckin beautiful,’ he says.
‘Yup.’
‘They’re lovely.’
‘I know. Some of them are lovely, they really are… That bar I took you to last night was lovely, that’s the only reason I like about it. The city is a revolting place but some of the buildings are gorgeous.’
He is looking up. I like that about him. Do not always cast your gaze to the ground! We go to a restaurant that I often visited with L—. I ordered what she & would have usually shared and I spoke of her at least once to him. Something in me wishes to tell him more about her, but he has blown his trust with me, and the trust is myrrh, gone. More than once, I imagine I am eating with L—, but that is not so, either. When we say good-bye, I am awkward, unsure of whether to embrace him or shake his hand; as it is I do neither but shuffle away, the sun going down on Commercial St.
In twenty-three days, I shall be thirty.
‘I was so happy when I turned thirty.’
‘Why?’
‘ ‘Cause I felt as though I’d made it through all the crap.’
Sometimes I want nothing more than to return to the cricket green of my twentieth year. It was there on those cooling Sundays, as the summer receded, that I found a peace I treasure now. As the players rounded about the oval, I took my seat & my beer, my tobacco & my peace, and watched them, with the fine-tuning of autumn ringing in my ears. It was immaculate, as life can be occasionally. It seems so long ago; it seems as though it happened to someone else, not me, someone in a novel. I am heartbroken by how quickly life moves, how it attempts to leave you behind. It is all one can do to not feel as though they are being dragged along. If I were to choose from the absolute pleasures that have graced me recently, in recent years, then it might – yes, might – be when L— & I were on the sofa, watching something on the television set, her legs draped across my lap, her trousers hitched up so that I could stroke the flesh between those and her socks, relaxed completely, in love, happy, if only momentarily, yet the kindest and purest form of happiness I have known.
The past runs away from you. Life, too, runs away from you.
So it is I approach thirty years of age. I would like to not be approaching thirty years of age but I cannot help it; one day I might look back longingly on these days & choose the happier times from it as an anchor of nostalgia – who knows. Indeed, I suspect that it shall be a test of resolve to make it through the next month or so and come out alive; sanity would be a bonus.

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