4 November 2011

Birthday

I try to write the past but there is already too much of it. Excuses are all always in place, hanging between my eyebrows. A vice. My shoulders ache from holding up my own weight. I don’t want to go out tonight...

He spray paints the gun silver. Andy has realised his own weapon and I am a traitor again.

I cake their hair in flour over the tub. Really, they have come as themselves. I am a crazed and violent person who occasionally wears make up.

J and I watch the leaves turn red. Leathery and slick, trees should always be maroon. We never see them from this angle, from above. We’re on the fourth floor and we can see from the top down into the structure.

I am here for 24 hours. A woman across the green put a chair out and sat on her balcony all evening. She wore a pink sleeveless top. She was alone. The next day she put her chair out again and sat again. I love to see the rhythms of other people’s lives. For time to run on habit and deduction. Ritual.

When I get home I open the big blue bag. Inside it is the world’s smallest jack-o-lantern. It is a tennis ball with a ghoul drawn on it. A had presented it to me earlier in the night with a tea light on top of it for me to blow out. She came all this way for us and I am pleased.

There is a slight but noticeable difference in the sound the pencil makes when it crosses the grid lines on the squared paper I currently favour.

I am given books full of pictures.

He has cut an old skirt of H’s into squares. He has cut some of these squares diagonally in half to make triangles. He has followed the instructions and sewn together the squares and triangles to make a quilt. He has given me the quilt.

We walk. Sick of the heat of home, sick of the small space, sick of seeing trees through windows. I am grateful for the cold air and the wild orange leaves spreading all over this part of town. Even in the smallest places...

Silhouettes of witches are framed in the warmly lit doorways of suburban houses. I feel sick and happy. I want to walk all night but I am expected somewhere.

My thoughts are less coherent than ever. But every clause is lucid. As usual I can only see close up.

Tonight is a family meal in a family restaurant for families coalescing for special occasions. Everyone will try. The waiters will smile. We will talk about politics and babies. I hope to leave half drunk and smiling.

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