I think about what kind of gift I would give her if I dared. An image comes into my mind of a glossy paperback with a rough stick wedged through it. Not placed inside but stuck through the cover and the pages, piercing them, almost sewn in like thread, right across the middle in a vertical line. Impossible, the inexplicable violence of it completely at odds with what it means about us, her, my feelings towards her, and yet it feels like the only right answer. Earthy, and all that mothers. Who’s to answer for our such wild notions? I picture her taking it from me, looking at it seriously, and at me, eyes asking, This Is For Me, From You, This Is The Answer? I almost nod, she almost reciprocates, taking the book. The air between us presses like a vacuum, compressing us into a still scene, each part of my intention crumbled like charcoal and dried into paint. She does not touch the stick, but we both feel it as if it were caught through our bodies. We are both here, but are we ready?
And I’m absolutely hooked. I use this pen when I think I’ll have a lot to write. I’m absolutely caught on you and it scares the hell out of me. What if you miss Laura? What if you decide I’m boring? I can barely think about stuff like that right now because I’m so happy with the time we have together. I’m so into you. Your eyes when I tell you things like that I’m not smoking for a week. Your perfectly crafted scruffy-cute hair. Your proper hugs. Your abundant affection and concern for me, the fact that you lay hugs and kisses on me generously and let me know I’m loved. No matter what you think, you have beautiful manners and your wits about you, and you’ve clearly been brought up rightly to treat people in the best way possible. You might well hate or disbelieve it, but for all your swearing and ‘bitterness’, your people skills are truly impeccable. I like that you have a favourite book, and that you care whether I like it or not. I love the way you walk. I just do. It makes me want to be yours. I am so caught. I love you, and I will be the best I can be for you. I want to disband all my insecurities and let loose with you, because you’ve made me see just how rewarding that can be. Love you.
Two things. Okay more.
One: I love you. That’s all.
Two: The sky the other night on my way home from work was the kind I HAD to share with someone. And if you weren’t in Holland, I might have sent you a picture. And you would have been amused and disappointed at my geekiness in the same moment, and pretended to yourself that you appreciated it, even as a tiny blurry photo. I wanted to stop, but didn’t for some reason. No reason.
Three: It rained so much tonight. It hasn’t rained that much since I started working with you. Maybe that’s symbolic. Maybe it just rained. I got soaked within minutes of leaving the cinema, and by the main road I was wiping off all my makeup just to stop it stinging my eyes. It was one of those force-of-nature moments where you’re just in awe of what’s coming at you out of the blue and need someone there to share it with in your eyes.
Four. I love that I think of you for all these things. It’s comfort and it’s cool to have one person you immediately think of at these times. And you’re a pretty cool person to have that feeling with. I love you.
So you were sat there, right, all cool and laddy, with your lads around you and your hair all sweepy, and your ear thingies that I never knew before were called ‘flesh tunnels’, and your graceful, laid-back walking, in fact everything, every movement is the same, you just have no awkwardness at all, you think you do but you have grace instead, and that’s a beautiful thing, it tells a lot about a personality. So you were there, and I was there, and everyone else was there, and it was kind of intimidating because I was the only girl and there were six guys, and I was new ‘n all, even though there were other new guys there, but they seemed to know more than me, or at least be more forthcoming with what little they did know, and there were questions I didn’t know the answers to, it was like Trivial Pursuit or something, except it lasted five hours and no one won any cheese, just jibes from the Geordie. Right now by the way I’m listening through my old homemade CDs trying to find the right soundtrack to enable me to write this little story properly, so I get out all the bits I possibly could so you can hear them all, even the unnecessary stuff, although I seem to be doing a good job at getting IT ALL out without any help right now. And I’m wishing I had whatever classical piano track it is I heard on Alex’s film’s trailer earlier, that’d be good for it, classical’s always good for thinking, but I’ll have to wait for tomorrow when he’s next awake to find out what it is. And right NOW I’m thinking how good it would be to set all this as speech against video clips of you, me, and us, instead of just giving it to you on paper, how LAZY, and you’re into your film stuff so that’d be kind of thoughtful too I guess, winner all round.
So you were there, right, and I was there, and all there was to acknowledge that was you STARING at me whenever you looked over my way, I saw you, you can’t get out of that one, you caught my gaze too many times for it to be accidental, so I knew there was SOMETHING between us even if it was just kind of mutual INTEREST, you know? Like when you just see someone interesting and kind of not ‘hit it off’ but do, in a way, like not ‘get on like a house on fire’, although we ended up doing that too, but like, you just kinda feel there’s something you’ll have to learn from each other, or something important to do together, not like Save The World or whatever, but maybe something slightly profound, just to you guys even, nothing specific, that’d ruin the mystery and the romance of it all, but – there was something there. And I thought, who’s this guy, who’s this guy who’s COOL, looking at me on purpose and not caring enough when I notice it to stop smiling, and me smiling back like a kitten, hearing snippets of gossip about you out of the mist of boring stories of work and all, and you dismissing them, you were annoyed, you weren’t expecting it, you said ‘oh, fuck off’, and your head went down, you’d lost interest, wanted to change the subject, like I’m going to do now because this is going to get boring. So then what I remember next is you on the stand with me making a stand with me, but not quite, but almost, you had your straight hat on by that point and I goaded you but you resisted, well done, you got in between the slushy machines but didn’t stay there and hide like I dared you to, which was cool, because you had the heart for fun but the head to get over the idea that it might be worth the trouble you’d get in. Then you told another manager to lick your balls, and I was in love with you again.