Nan told herself not to be silly. To stop thinking about what had not happened in years, and not to be silly.
And this how it starts. You tell yourself not to be silly and so you’re serious and see where that gets you in the end.
Why kill time, time should be savoured, taken advantage of perhaps, but not killed surely.
On Tuesday I had to tell someone that things couldn’t last as they were anymore as much as we wanted it to last forever – where forever means another 18 years, or with some luck a bit shorter. Poor ducks, she took it well and I felt terrible.
There were many coincidences – the first that I can remember is Esther of the bank, who remembered Mr. Y of All Saints and of course it made sense at the time since teachers see many students, but few students see that many teachers. The ratio is unfair. And teachers, they carry many a burden, and sometimes like me, have to tell the Nans of the world that things come to an end.
Why do I write any of this anyway? Who’s to know, who’s to say what is right or wrong. We won’t get into the ethics, morality or possible triangles that could make themselves known. The thing is, the thing is...the thing is...oh never mind what the thing is.
If the Thursday past, past and maybe past one more week was any indication, there’s a blue pool that is glimmering in the distance. It could be a mirage, but it seems to become more tangible with the days that pass, and the gestures that flutter by one’s cheek (no 4th fingers here, BK).
A time line or sorts – one that would make Julian Barnes proud – or maybe annoyed that he’s being aped.
Saturday lunch followed by high, high, high skies and white, white, white apartments with blue, blue, blue, translucent pools. Then a doublet following a triplet.
Then another Sunday of unparalleled style, colour and lack of substance – which really was the whole point. The hurly-burly, the noise, the colours, the explosions of sound and unknowing despairing hubris of cigarette holders and exposed knees. The sights and sounds were followed by sounds and sights of a different sort, with sighs and whispered non-declarations that smelt of sharp lime and Corona beer.
A move, lateral, but a move nonetheless and the hubbub of the move was deafening, and stilted at the same time. Grand plans and steps down with buckled knees and secured clearances sought.
Sometime after this the octet started but before that, another exploration of all that is East of the pleasant, and then fires were started – literal ones that is which warmed none, but burnt some. And that was strange – more West than East of pleasant – but still strange.
Elephant Ears came next, but without the tusks so there was no contribution to the ivory trade. And with the elephants – who’d obviously plied the spice trade – came a potent combination of liquid, golden spices that were poured down one’s throat with impunity but not by the ICBs who were invited, but missed out. And as if this wasn’t enough, there was more to be had. More spice and sweetness the next day.
Then a pause – of course there was a pause. There’s always a pause. I went away - it was after all a long weekend, and during the continuance of the pause, I stayed while others went away and while they were gone, I stayed and grilled because there was a request for ‘American Food’ – modified American Food in the style of Oakland that is. And grilled I did, and was grilled too by BKKB, one of whom assured me of the efficacies of lifting not the third, nor the fifth, but the fourth finger while the other said to make like a cougar and jump with paws and claws stretched out. Once used to jumping out of windows, always use jumping as your modus operandi – and there you have it, you, KB, have now been immortalized in literature. How does it feel? Do you feel like Miss Haversham in Great Expectations or Rebecca in Vanity Fair? Who knows, perhaps I’ll surprise myself, or rather the Expectations will surprise me.
When the fires were turned out, and the hungry hordes dissipated to the East – but this time much, much further East than East of Pleasant – in fact East to the almost Mountains – another Sunday brunch under the bridge with denizens what live by rushing rivers, who stay by the shady riverbanks to hide from the sun and who in sound if not in actual fact also write deliberately inflammatory things on pages such as these – except that these pages are far too literary for to be read. Maybe I don’t mean literary, maybe I mean abjectly confusing and meaningless like the meaninglessness of life in the shape of a fluorescent cross. You be the judge of that – whether its literary or a dog’s mess although a dog’s mess can be literal too.
And from there, a veiled confession and eloquent (I thought they were eloquent, but what do I know? Perhaps they were just awkward, confused like the empty noise within) followed by notes that were quite the opposite of jumping (out of windows or otherwise). What is the opposite of jumping anyway? Stomping? And notes that led to the Thursday where a cancellation was made and taken advantage of – and i will be clear about this now. All was done with full integrity and in the proper sequence and I did what was best – I did. Yes I did whatever may be said, all four agreements were cleaved too.
And from the Thursday to the rainy and noisy Tuesday. And there were butterflies, better described as flutterbyes of the gentlest, softest and most delicate sort. And they fluttered past with gossamer wings of fancy that barely moved the very molecules of air, so soft and delicate were they.
And dive I did into the wide blue pool – how could I help it? What else could I have done? There was no hope, no rescue, no chance that I could talk myself out of that. And I paddled furiously to keep from drowning as tempting as it was – okay, I admit it, a little water may have got into my lungs – to just give in to it.
The last long weekend of the summer came, and with it a bitter-sweet farewell, the end of the octet but not the last one, I hope. Then the storm broke in full and that was only a week ago but in the intervening period the nubile were sought out and asked to cook, and how they cooked. And how we talked, and ate what was cooked. And now here I am, in a mish-mash of wonder.
The orbital tracks and linear (kind of) zig-zags suddenly became triangles while we ate. And I laughed giddily this Tuesday past with Dr. J about the triangles – I’ve not told him about all the possible permutations yet, and i don’t think he’ll want to know, but goodness...the potential for material within. Lines, orbits, circles and triangles. From Boleean Algebra (if this, then that) to Geometry in one dinner. How does often that happen? We shan’t mention the other conditional sentences of note for it does nobody, especially me were I to mention them in full, any credit.
I’m giddy. I’m tired, I’ve written my baby proposal and put it in the hands of a caretaker and trust that all will go well. I’m on my way to Rome today and there’s mish and mash. But the sequence of the mash. The Mish came before the Mash. Whereas the Mash came down in full the last time this happened. And as I said to myself, it’s about buh-loody time the first memory was expunged. And so it has been.
But the wise words of Fay Weldon come back to me except this time, I might just ignore them. Mind the gap, she says, mind the gap – it’s not the gap of the London underground, but the gap between what we want out of life and what we get out of life, and she names the gap to be disappointment. I shall not heed the gap in its entirety, nor shall I ignore it. I shall acknowledge that the gap exists and manage the gap as best as I can so should I fall, I will land well. For after all, it’s not the fall that counts, it’s how you land.
Now to go form some equilateral triangles and manage the photo stream that offend none.