Tuesday, November 17

Objects & Place

MY ‘WRITING DESK’ is a corner unit, ugly and small, that came with the flat. There is a desk lamp and a mug in the shape of Jack Skellington’s head that holds an array of pencils, pens and paintbrushes. Also in an empty pot I use for water when painting and a selection of full tubes of acrylic paint. A pack of condoms in next to me from last Friday night, when it was thrown as I held her right leg aloft on my shoulder and all of her excellence twinkling as I rolled one down my sex. My mother bought me a scented candle – which burns at the moment – but is almost spent, lightly perfuming the immediate area with a fragrance called ‘Amber Noir’; the wax a deep blue. I’ve put my wristwatch down next to me so that I can count the time in the movement of hands. I am always careful of the time. The bottle and the glass are by my side, the former bowing deeply at the latter.
In the hallway, the entrance to my flat, is a wooden stand for my shoes, upon which I have stacked the empty cardboard boxes of (twenty-four cans of) Coca-Cola and (twenty bottle of) Kronenbourg. In fact, there is a great deal of cardboard there that I have yet to take down to recycling (as I can never work the lock into the rubbish enclosure). My nose has still not got used to the smell of cardboard. Down the length of the hall is a Turkish rug, a runner, patterns over dark red, still shedding its infant strands. Eventually the rug will settle but I doubt my morning feet will tire of its softness.
My bathroom is on your immediate the left. A bath stained with water in a bacterium-shaped puddle. Above the toilet is a framed Klimt painting, of two women, watching me urinate in an amusingly encouraging way—‘That’s it, fella, keep on peeing.’ My toiletries lined up in a visible triumph of branding; all of their logos aimed at me, meticulously turned so that the shelf is colourfully manic. I like the blue mouthwash; it is the colour of my football team and tastes good enough; sans alcohol. Aloe Propolis Crème is rubbed on my arms every day; this winter wind dries me out.
On my only windowsill there are five plants: two cacti left to me by my ex (both in a sorry state), three succulents I got for my thirtieth birthday, and a thriving basil plant that I do not ever pick from, bought from a Sainsbury’s down the road. Across the way is a constantly darkened window, directly opposite. Never do the lights come on in that flat. The other evening I saw the lace curtains twitch. Something stirred. It disappeared.
(Ah, and all this I write because I have nothing to write! Don’t you see that I have nothing to write, so I start to describe where I live, where I spend fourteen hours of my day, where I pay extortionate rent, where I am cocooned against the world outside, only to hear it blowing viciously against my window, whistling through the thin gap.)

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