Thursday, August 6

This City Don’t Feel Mine

WITH A STRANGE otherworldly apathy, I pass through the streets and am not witnessed in my doing so, but taking the path I sing to myself and call upon memory. Squeezed between the fingers of Gresham St. and London Wall is a small churchyard, wherein the office-workers gather to flirt and eat their modest lunch. The grass spills out over the edges, the trimmed trees, the pond around the fountain has rainy pins & needles, while small fish perform punctuation marks for my pleasure as I course round their rim. St. Barts, crossing over many streets, stands up tall; I shy away from its entrance; memories lie within, ogres, fairy-tale.
O, linoleum floors, I would like to be upon you again! Never did I gratefully enjoy your slaps.
There are tourists about with maps in their hands, children lagging. Although I have never asked them, I do not believe that my parents were ever heartbroken, nor my brothers. The wind is still and the Atlantic closeness immerses the city streets. I suspect that they went from trivial relationships into each other’s arms at nineteen years of age and did not look back. Indeed they occasionally speak of past girlfriends and boyfriends, but only as though they are reminiscing a rainy day at the beach or a bitter cup of coffee. I eye the security guard then turn my eyes up to the concrete blocks of Barbican. I wish I had been as fortunate as my parents; turning nineteen I thought, with a great deal of envy, how they were together by then. All I want is love, for it not to flutter away on the wing and leave me be. Walking down the street all I want is love, as intensely as if it were my life’s sole purpose and without it my existence were insignificant. I am no longer sure whether I want love or I want her. Upon the fragile shrine of my emotional conscience she is love, surrounded by candles, cups of whiskey and a bowl of Skittles. My middle-brother, I suspect he knows nothing of heartbreak. He has yet to learn it. The two serious relationships he had prior to his current (and a child produced, the mother absolutely wonderful, and I like her enough to name it love) left no mark on him when they ended. Who will scratch my back now? he wondered. I envy him, too. My youngest brother, he is scared of love, unwilling to let it get close enough to eat the apple from his hand! His immaturity hindering him from letting a girl penetrate his being, so he stands upon the periphery, refusing to commit, scared to commit, trembling. I would like him to get stuck in, embrace the perfection of love – no matter how brief or damaging it is!
I am envious of my family.
Walking down the street all I want is love.
Look how it has damaged me! I push myself up against the building. I put my fingers through my shirt! Look at this bastard, love! I should turn into a frog, I really should. I cannot keep listening to Be Quiet And Drive (Far Away) forever, although I might try. Love songs are one of the things I cling on to, speaking a language preciously wrapped up in the sentiment I keep close to my breast; you cannot see it, yet it is there, luminous and glad. She told me she could not listen to a particular song because it reminded her of H— & I, so I cry out—‘Every love song reminds me of you!’ An album I made to block out H— has lost its meaning; I have mangled it, changed it, added to it, now it is her & her only; I pace these pitiful streets calling out for her like a bird. Every song I ever heard is sung in the shade of her body, prettied out by her beauty, caressed by the wonder of her presence, and I am standing at the kerb, titling my head a little trying to look at her wrists, trying to comprehend why we can’t even be friends.
I am envious of my family. I see no way but down and these burning writings are nothing if not the swan song of someone who lost their darling.

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