Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Flying South

Chapter one

I guess the first time we spoke was around winter. I remember because we watched the birds flying south, and I remember saying

“I wish we were flying south, th...”

There was a short interval of sirens. Neither of us spoke. I never speak over sirens and she had nothing to say.

I also never speak in night clubs. I hate raising my voice over loud noises. I’m the same around trains. Sometimes I just stop talking mid sentence. Leaving whoever I’m with in limbo. Hanging on my last word. I continue, mid sentence, as if nothing had ever happened. And everybody except my closest friends just look bewildered as they try to remember what I was saying. They usually never do - loud noises always come in the middle of the dullest conversation. I guess it’s just god or whoever trying to make me shut up. But I always carry on. Fuck god, or whoever.

The sirens pass, and I continue

“...en we’d be there to watch them arrive”

She replied, instantly

“then let’s go”

I said no, but we shared a smile. Brief, but real.

I knew from this moment on, if we weren’t already close friends (which we probably weren’t) that one day we would be.

I think she knew that too.

Chapter two

Her feet were always cold.

I remember lying in bed with her. Our bodies close and warm and wet. When it got too warm she’d bend her knees and put her feet on my stomach. I’d tense up with the cold.

But she wouldn’t flinch. She’d keep them there a while, till I had absorbed most of the cold, then she’d straighten her legs again and we’d continue lying. I’d take her hand and squeeze it softly. I never thanked her but she always knew I was thankful.

Some things just don’t need saying. And when you do say them it never feels right. It takes something away and you just lay there a while, regretting the words and wishing you could turn back time by thirty seconds, and just turn to look at her in silence instead. That always says enough if it’s the right look. And when you’re in love, it’s always the right look. Even when it’s an angry look, it’s the right kind of angry.

It’s the same with “I live you’s”

She never liked them and I didn’t really get why.

But now I know “some things are best left unsaid”

Chapter three

She had cold feet, and I had cold hands.

We were probably both anaemic but neither of us liked the doctors, Guinness or iron tablets so we never bothered to do anything about it.

Sometimes when we sat in bed at night, reading, whilst her housemates watched the Simpsons, I’d hold a cup of tea in my hands to warm them up.

It felt amazing, like drinking soup on a winter evening.

After holding the mug for as long as I could stand, I’d let go and softly take hold of her upper arm. I would always grip the mug in such a way that the palms of my hands became numbingly hot, but the fingers would remain icy.

This is what she liked

Pure heat would be too much

And the combination of boiling and freezing was a bit of a head fuck and always made her dizzy.

Helium dizzy.

Chapter four

Her and her friends had a theory -

The first day of summer is the day you go to light a cigarette and you can’t see the flame at the end of the match.

Summer didn’t start until that day

And that night they’d all go to the local seaside town and get drunk on the pebbly beach to celebrate the start of summer

Sometimes summer started early and sometimes late

She told me once that the latest summer she’d ever had was in two thousand and seven.

The eighteenth of august. It had been a particularly rainy year.

The earliest was a few years before. The fourth of February

They didn’t celebrate that year. The group saw spring as their favourite season, and this year it had been skipped, and so they all felt a bit bitter.