The taste of Paris was still on her palette and the ache for the city churned her gut. The intense over-tired frenetic almost ecstatic desperate energy with which she had devoured her time there was still tangible in the memory of her heavy eyelids and the almost drugged stupor with which she watched that city go by at night though the warped pane of glass on the bus. The hum, the thunder, the pure unrelenting power that is released, reverberating as though it pours from the very cracks of the city streets. A city so packed full of history, beauty, love, art, tragedy, music, disease, pain, power and life that the very foundation hums with the centuries of people who’ve lived there. One does not live in Paris, one simply exists along side it. Paris is not a municipality or a postal address and it cannot be found on a map or pointed out from the air. Paris is a state but not one governed by officials. Paris is an element an experience an enigma built not by bricks and mortar but through ideas and creations and theories. The walls of each ancient building are kept from caving in, not by strong masonry but by the force of ideas held within. The streets are filled not with traffic and its pedestrian sounds but with the ebb and flow of music and prose. moving between the buildings, surrounding and enfolding everything in it’s wake. Paris filled her up and emptied her out simultaneously leaving her weak and empowered. If such beauty and perfection was attainable on this earth what chance had she?
The homeless man on the bus espousing cheap, common platitudes into an outdated Nokia, "Listen Kathy, life is what you make it, you're only young once, shut the fuck up and listen, 90% of life is showing up, the early bird gets the worm, know what I mean?"
Eat em! I pulled them out special for you! I saved all my special things for when I got to see you, I set everything up just so, so you’d notice it and decide to love me based on the angle that i “carelessly” toss my throw pillows on the couch and the cute way I set the table and the funny slippers i set by the door for you to notice.
didn’t you see the new undershirt I bought to peak out from just underneath this top I’m wearing over it just the right amount, didn’t it make you want to take me in your arms and squeeze just tight enough for me to feel safe and whisper “I love you” in my ear? No? Well then what about the mascara? This one said that it would give me super-sonic eyelashes. Can’t you feel a slight breeze when I bat my eye lashes coyly in your direction? Does it make you want to sweep me off my feet and take me away with you? Oh golly. Oh I know! My cute, funny and quirky jokes must endear you! I know they must! I read in Cosmo that guys like a low-maintenance gal. Oh… what’s that? You missed what I said just there? Oh.. well never mind then, I won’t repeat it… it wasn’t worth it anyways.
OHOH! did you notice the music in the background? It’s Jazz. I know you like Jazz. Don’t you think I’m just the most intellectual and interesting gal? Listening to jazzzz and all that?! No? Oh, well… well what if I drop a name, as they say. Yes, yes I like that John Cold-train fellow, and no, no I just can’t stand that Joshua Red-man, he’s just too in there for me. What’s that? I was mumbling again? But I thought soft-spoken women were sexy… Oh, oh well again, I shan’t repeat myself.
Time to try again. make a joke, laugh, don’t let him see you sweat. or smell, or eat or drink for that matter. You’re Grace kelley on a Skate Board. You wear pearls but you can chug a beer. You hate spiders but you’ll jump out of a plane, go on, giggle. Jack-ass? Oh yes, you are! Oh… oh goodness me, I meant…Yes! I’ve seen it! All seven of them! I felt like stabbing myself in the eye, oh what’s that? No, no, no, you miss heard, I meant I laughed so hard I couldn’t breath!
Other men? Why in heavens would I look at another man?! I mean you’re so busy looking around that you’d most certainly spot me looking the other way. Oh nothing, just a giggle again. Oh where were you before you came here? (heart drops thirty stories into your stomach, which is empty, you weren’t going to eat until he got here) Oh you ate at her house? Cool man, totally radical, is she well? Don’t let him see you sweat, you’ll smell. Don’t be mad, he’ll think you’re a bitch. Oh the necklace you gave me? Why yes I wear it everyday. Won’t you let me look after you? No. That’s right, you’re full.
No, no. you can’t stay. Because father is upstairs waiting for you to leave and you don’t know it and he won’t come down until you’ve left. You’re upset? You wanted to stay? A minute ago you didn’t even want dinner. WHY?! Well if I wanted to date two people I would have moved to Bountiful, British Columbia. No. I want you, so much my imagination can’t imagine what it would be like to lose you. Thump. Thump. Thump. Thud. Thud. Thud. Don’t cry he doesn’t get it. breath just breath, he thinks he’s being sweet.
No matter how many girls want him he won’t pick em, lucky girl you are. He’s drunk. So are you. Shut up. I can’t. WHY?! Because I’m in your mind you self-absorbed prick. PRICK?! NO. BOOM, BOOM, boom. quiet now you’ll have to work, work, work. soon. Live in the now, because if you don’t tomorrow it’ll be SDM. SDM?! SMD! what? Nothing.
No I’m Audrey, I’m Grace, I’m Elizabeth, I’m Tony Hawk?! No. You’re so 90’s. You’re clueless. Shut up you bitch, you aren’t cool. I would be if I understood jazz. Lies. That’s what They told me at the hip store, hipster. No Shakira! Fuck you.
No shhhh!! Listen. This song. It’ll get him. He’ll hear it and understand every lyric and then, finally he’ll sweep you off your feet. Oh… never mind, he doesn’t want to listen. He wants to go. Go where? to sleep. So do eye. woops I meant I. I don’t mean I because I do everything for you. But I don’t she does. The queen asleep in her bed, sleeping always and working her magic, bringing happiness to her tribe of artists, she’s the only one who can. She’s smart. Not me, her.
OH I KNOW! My socks! can you see em?! Funny? Eh? EH? No.. you didn’t notice. Why did I spend money on anything, I shan’t even take my coat off. I’m always cold. Don’t you like things just so? Doesn’t anyone mind?? A shirt has to just touch the pants like so, pants have to end at the end just like this. coats have to fit 360 degrees just like they should and everything will be ok. Coco knows, just ask her. Black and white. Everything was wonderful. The phone would always ring. it’s too quiet. won’t he remember? no. he’s with the other one, the one where he notices every little detail every rise and fall every lilt and jingle and every secret message whispered by the drummer. He’d by her a beer. me? Oh I’m ‘on lock’ dawg. I’m sweating again don’t come near. please don’t you won’t think i’m just like coco. Always napping and never sleeping. Cute as a button but vicious too! No. Please love me. I’m elegant. Merci. Grazie, T.S. Elliott, Queen Elizabeth, Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Zelda, Paris, Eton, Vermeer, Sylvia, Ian McEwan.
His leg was touching hers and he wasn't moving it, and she didn't plan on moving hers either. It felt nice, lying there next to each other making conversation as the hot sun beat down on them and the cold, sharp water licking at their toes while they maintained this extra piece of contact. She didn't know what it meant, them touching, but she liked the idea of some possibility or meaning behind it, it was almost a perfect day. Except for the giant ball of anxiety inside her that continued to twist and fester into every piece of her being, threatening to consumer her completely. Even as their legs brushed together, she could only feel the glow of the moment for so long before she was pulled back under the suffocating all consuming veil of anxiety that made her numb inside. She felt like everything real had been sucked out of her and that she couldn't experience any real emotions anymore, try as she might all she could do was experience them superficially and they would never sink deeper. All she thought about was being able to love him properly again, she constantly thought back to when he had loved her, but this scared her more because as the anxiety and fear ate at her insides it was also slowing draining all the light and beauty from her body, leaving less and less of herself for him to love back. At the same time and she was wishing for his love, she couldn't shake the feeling that what she really wanted was to be dead, but what could she do? She was just another angsty teenager with a crush on a boy and a touch of depression.
He came back upstairs then, and she tried to hug him but when he flinched away she punched him, twice, then letting her rage slip out for a moment, she slapped him too. He just stood there and took it though, what did he care? he just walked back downstairs.
She followed him again and immediately brought him back upstairs. This time she really did hug him, but while they were holding each other he tried to push her over the railing to the floor below, but she was able to grip the railing just in time, so he slammed her into the lockers instead, then he began to tighten his grip around her neck, until the point where she was feeling light headed and was gasping for air, suddenly he stopped, and they began to kiss but soon he let go and fled towards the tracks for a third time. When she finally coaxed him back upstairs she tried to hug him once again, to retrieve the intimacy and strength she felt in his arms, but he just pulled away. This was the final straw knowing that she couldn't have him anymore and knowing that he didn't love her anymore was like being shot in the gut, and she just sunk down against the lockers, all the fight drawn out of her.
He didn't seem to notice her change in demeanour and grabbed the two duffle bags and rummaged through them as she had done, he finally looked up at her and said; "You would steal my cigarettes you whore." and left her forever.
She knelt down and entered the lock combination and the door swung open, she turned around and looked at him and saw his beautiful face lined with silent agony. He dropped onto the ground next to the locker and sat there not knowing what to do with himself, out of frustration he began slamming the locker door over and over and over, people began to stare but all they saw were two skin heads causing trouble.
She sighed and knelt down next to him, stretching out a hand to comfort him, just then a security guard walked up to them; "any trouble friends?" he asked, "No." She replied. The guard looked at them wearily and walked to lean against the wall to keep an eye on them from a distance. She looked back down at him, he was still wearing his ring which he was ow twisting around his finger in agitation. Suddenly he got up and sprinted down the stairs to the train platform below, she followed swiftly after him, he pelted directly toward the edge of the platform but she caught him and pinned hims against the wall. He moaned in resigned agony, whimpering almost it was a feeling of hopelessness and numbness that she understood all too well. As she held him against the wall she was close enough to catch his scent, not cologne just his normal comforting scent of cigarettes, soap and sweat. She went back up the stairs and he lagged behind, but she knew he wouldn't actually do anything. She opened the locker and pulled out the two big black duffle bags within, she rummaged through them and pulled out some cigarettes, thats all she really wanted back.
The train station was crowded and hot. There were people milling about, the air was heavy with the scent of Cinnabon and self-importance. They had planned to meet, get there things and leave, and they would never have to see each other again.
She was wearing her worn leather jacket and was over heating, but she didn't care whether or not she smelt like shit at this point. As she waited for him on the benches she twisted one of her jet black dreads nervously between her fingers. Just then, he appeared, her heart skipped a beat and momentarily leap into her throat, how could he look so beautiful just walking and not even realize it? His dark hair was greasy and messy, his piercing blue eyes were swollen with dark bags underneath them from lack of sleep, and he was thinner than when she had last seen him, it took all her strength to keep her rooted in her chair and to not get up and run to him. He walked up to her with his hands in his pockets and stood before her without saying a word, they stared at each other for a moment, then she stood up and they both walked towards the locker in silence.
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