Room

 

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When she woke up there were strands of hair everywhere. There was a moment of wild panic as she straightened things out in her mind, and then collapsed back into bed. Her eyes stared up listlessly, coated with a dull film.

There were times when I read books about adventure, when I explored forests on my bike.

Her room was a jumble of things that frightened her. She would count the number of boxes it would take to sort everything out, to pack everything in and it would number in thousands. Small boxes for the rocks and shells and a giant one for her bed. Sometimes before she fell into a restless sleep she would see the lid come down neatly over her in her bed. A rubber hot water bottle lay next to her bed within arm’s reach. It was a wobbly and fleshy pink, like the inside of some innocent young animal. There were no pictures of people in her room, only lonely and bleak landscapes. Hope to her was forever a forbidden drug, and hope to her was a deep and encompassing sorrow. It wasn’t truly sorrow, it was sorrow and anger and a cruel pleasure all mixed up together.

I shaved my head when I was seventeen and my mother said what if it never grows back?

A stuffed pig lay next to her. She called it Maurice. She had stopped answering texts, emails, calls, letters. Everything had been stopped months ago. The front door was battered but silent as she lay in a nest of glossy hair. The wardrobe was shut but there were sounds coming from inside it – like slow, deep breathing.

Father is in the wardrobe, curled and powerless. He speaks in Morse and he cannot understand anything. He gets violent and bangs on the walls around him sometimes, but they are too strong. He screams, less and less frequently. He mostly runs on the spot inside the wardrobe now. There is a yellow lamp in the corner which he gazes at and croons to.

She watched him with regret sometimes, connected to him by some primal thread. They looked into each other’s eyes and saw other lives reflected back.

A girl I knew told me once that if you tore a little bit off a butterfly’s wings it would fly faster.

She had never known pain, she just thought she had. The things she created shone dully, peering through black cobwebs.

 

25 Candles (of Mind Numbing Disappointment) Playlist

  1. High and Dry – Radiohead

 

This is how I start my day. Well this is how I start the enjoyable part of my day. My day actually started at 6AM when I was woken up by people who sounded mad with enthusiasm and happiness and wished me a happy birthday. Listening to them talk made me want to slowly disappear into my duvet and preferably die by becoming one with it. So I am now lying in bed in the pose made famous by murdered people with chalk outlines in a defiant protest against life and birthdays.

2. Fake Plastic Trees…and also Fade Out – Radiohead

High and Dry has done the trick. I feel a little pumped. The Bends is a great album and I go on to Fake Plastic Trees, which is soaring and enveloping despite its disconsolate content. But luckily I love extremely sad music. Sometimes I listen to the sound of tears streaming down people’s cheeks. Fade Out and we are moving into bleak – but beautiful – territory. Great birthday material – except, obviously, for all the beauty of the song. That’s the very opposite of what birthdays are made of and represent.

3. Crown of Love – Arcade Fire

Sad. Sad. Sad. But really grand sadness. I would like my sadness to be announced by orchestras and guitars. I imagine a camera overhead gently turning and slowly zooming down to my body. Corpse attitude indie shot. They will probably put that on a motivational poster for hipsters now.

4. Disco 2000 – Pulp

Because I recently saw a list it was on along with the Arcade Fire song above. I wonder what life means and why he couldn’t be with Deborah.

5. Blue Monday – New Order

80s electronic music is the best. I felt this was the logical move after Pulp.

6. Love Will Tear Us Apart – Joy Division

Joy Division. I love them. If you think that this song is heartbreakingly sad then you should not listen to any more Joy Division. This is actually medically verified. This song is a unicorn jumping through a rainbow while a child caresses a buttercup on the other side compared to the rest of their songs. I have reached an impasse now which will result in one of two ways – either I will survive the end of this playlist or I will end up killing myself. Do I listen to more Joy Division today? Do I risk the Russian roulette of the effects it will have, coupled with birthday blues? Or do I back down and listen to some Smiths and gently move on to Suede or something?

I put on some Lemonhead.

Oh, did you think this was going to be a playlist containing 25 songs? No. I wanted to selfishly pass on my disappointment to my readers. Now we are miserable together (say that in a drawn out-children speaking in unison voice)

Girl

I have decided to include drawings in my blog posts. This will be a difficult and at times vexing endeavour as the only camera I possess is the one attached to my phone and it leaves much to be desired.

I was on my way somewhere some nights ago when I saw a girl with strange hair. All of her hair was black except a substantial bit on the front. That was white. It looked very cool and I’ve tried to recreate her below. This is a drawing instead of a photograph because I didn’t want to sit there and take a photograph of her. The prospect made me recoil. She reminded me of a conversation I once had with a person in which he told me about a girl he saw on a train who had dyed her hair in a flame gradient. He seemed to be very enamoured of her and wouldn’t stop speaking about her. He brought her up two more times on separate occasions with an average gap of ten days (but I can’t be sure) between the three events. I had already heard him speak about her so I told him to stop but he just looked at me with some facial expression that I was too exhausted to decipher.


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I am not in the same, slightly ethereal mood I was in when I wrote the last posts. I feel precise and meticulous while writing this. Thus this end will be abrupt but neatly cut.

City Glow

This is one of the best music videos I’ve seen all year (watch it here) and that still, in my opinion, captures the spirit of the music so fluently and completely. I generally don’t like watching music videos because they tend to spoil my experience of the music with colours different from the ones that I see but this was perfect. I thought I didn’t like the confetti at the end at first, but then I caught a glimpse of her twirling through it with a curtain of hair swinging with the motion and I felt my mouth slowly curve into a smile. I loved the whole atmosphere of the city at night when its nearly, but not quite, deserted and it’s something that has always attracted me.

I’ve read, fleetingly, reviews of the song that praise its successful combination of different elements but this was what made the biggest impression on me:

“Romy and I grew up skateboarding together. It was such a big part of our friendship, even before we started playing music.
We would spend every weekend from early in the morning till late at night, skating and exploring the streets of London. We wanted the video for Loud Places to show us skating and going to the places we used to go to.”

That’s Jamie talking about the song and its video and you can immediately see what he is talking about, it’s like he suddenly made a tiny bit of it clearer but all the other bits are your own experiences and hopes and dreams and they are familiarly and comfortably murky.

That’s another one of my favourite scenes. Like a wave. I love watching people skateboard, they have such an elegantly gentle curve to their straight lines.

Look at that. So clear yet muted.

The song itself is one you can sink into and let it pool around you and engulf you. It has unexpected depths of nostalgia and a fond disconnectedness that resonate, not powerfully, but in a dreamy way that fits in with the song.

I have never reached such heights.

Ghost Wisps of Nylon

I recently went to see an exhibition of the work of an artist called Do Ho Suh (I am unsure whether I should put a hyphen between ‘Do’ and ‘Ho’ or not, but it seems that his name can be spelt both ways)

It was an installation of his version of a part of his home in New York done in fabric (Nylon, if I remember correctly). It is satisfyingly detailed in its sparseness and striking once you’ve examined it. Because it does need examination for a full appreciation of its effectiveness. For example, I looked at it through the doors and had an immediate impression of disappointment. But there’s something magical and otherworldly about it once you’ve walked around it. It is essentially a corridor of fabric hanging in a white room. It is out of place and disconnected and mysterious. When someone opens the doors and the fabric moves, you get a sense of transience. As if the whole thing is not real and is fading into nothingness. I feel a slight hesitance in referring to this part of his work as ‘sculptures’ because I feel it is too solid a word for these desolate sheets of translucent colours. I found a picture of it where you can see the door knob which was something that I particularly liked for some reason.

I have since then looked into his work and found out that he creates many different types of artworks, but these are the ones that I find most appealing and moving.

This staircase, for instance, is so surprising. It is so beautiful in its simplicity. The red is just right and is not jarring to the eye. It is both alien and familiar. Like finding yourself in a vast, strange city at nighttime.