Posts tagged love
Posts tagged love
I often wonder whether you’re alright. If you still long for home. You’ve learned to hide your feelings quickly – either that, or you’ve mislaid them altogether. I seem to spend more and more time with you, talking about things that I haven’t said to anyone before. You have that inviting feel to you. I wonder if you feel the same around me, if we are really friends or if you’re with me simply because I’m the first one you met in this strange and wonderful place. And then I realise I don’t care – it’s enough for us to be in each other’s easy company, and if it feels right… Well, that’s what I’ve always gone on. I feel right around you.
And now, lying on top of the truck staring into the never-ending night, we seem to fit with each other. I can feel the rise and fall of your chest, the warmth of your body lay next to mine. I’m not a rational person, not in my actions and impulses, I jump before I can see the ground and so I move my hand until it’s touching yours and when you don’t move away, I feel a small thrill in the pit of my stomach. It’s been too long. I doused anything more than friendly affection when I ran away from home, hardened myself so the homesickness wouldn’t overtake me. But you seem to override that. I feel… I don’t know what I feel, what I don’t feel. You confuse me, and I’m glad. Things have been straightforward for long enough. You disrupt my routine, I fall behind in my work because we spend so much time together just being, and it’s what I need. What I have needed for a long time.
Even when you take my hand, we keep looking skywards. Your fingers lace through mine and I smile, knowing that you’re smiling too. I gave up wishing on the first star a long time ago. Maybe I’ll start again.
“We’re kindred spirits, you and I. We see the world in a different way. I mean, look at all these people. Just stand back and drink them in. All you can see is how happy they are, all drunk on tonight. Good food, good music and good company, and that’s all they need, and isn’t that beautiful? Everyone so full of themselves - not in a self-righteous way, but full in the way that you feel after a moment. These are those moments. Look at everyone dancing - it’s the people that make times like these, not the way society’s run, it’s purely the people. They’re all young and beautiful and so full of life and energy, they radiate a light that only people like this can experience. Not everyone can see that.
And of course, once the food has been eaten and the wine is flowing freely, people get emotional. People cry and people argue, but people laugh and that’s the most important thing. People laughing like they will never laugh again. And the tears and the tantrums suddenly aren’t important, because it’s moments like this that you realise the saying is true. These are the friends we will keep for the rest of our lives and more.
I mean, I’ve got friends at home who I have known for eighteen years, and yet these people in this room, dancing on this stage, feel like true home to me. I could be anywhere in the world and the knowledge of moments like these would make me feel I belonged.
That’s why we fit. That’s where we fit. In the place that nobody is the same, you don’t have to be a certain way to be one of us, you juts have to have the passion and the drive and the unbidden longing for life itself. Even if people don’t think they have it in them, it’s there. We can see it. Why else would there be nights like this, if people weren’t head over heels in love with this part of the life they were living.
It’s moments like these where you can stop for a moment and watch from the sidelines, and be so happy you can’t put it into words. You don’t quite understand why, but there’s something there that puts a smile on your face and makes you want to dance like an idiot and hug everyone who’s in the room.
And maybe it’s the alcohol - that certainly helps - but maybe, just maybe, these are the times of our lives.”
“You don’t get it. Everyone depends on me, everyone tells me their problems because they think they have none of their own. They think I run this thing and they think that the smile on my face is a real one. But it’s not. And I don’t say anything. Because if I break, who’s going to hold the rest of them up? What would happen if one day I woke up and said, fuck it. Do it yourselves.”
She’s sitting with her arms wrapped around her knees, staring out at the tents. The rain has slowed to a slow drizzle and it’s sunset. She’s been sitting out here for just over two hours.
“I feel that way sometimes, you know. Like throwing in the towel. Like sitting in the corner of the truck and closing my eyes and refusing to move. Like letting the world go to hell without me because I can make my own way there. And every so often I look at letters from home and I cry harsh, hard tears. Not the dainty crying that ladies do, it’s a strangled cry and it gives me a nasty fucking headache afterwards. I sob till there’s nothing left inside, and then I wipe my eyes and carry on. It’s a cleansing process. I don’t tell anyone about it. Well, not till now.”
Dead ends of cigarettes litter the roof of the truck and the one in her hand shakes as she perches like the sole guardian of this travelling show. Her dark hair is plastered to her forehead and her thin jumper soaked through to the skin.
“I have trigger words for my tears, four of them. I want my mum. I say those words over and over and over again and my throat closes up and I feel so fucking alone that I cannot believe it. It’s the only time that I ever let myself face the reality of what I’ve become. I’m alone. Yeah, I have the show and I have my sister, but I’ve left everything else behind. My education, my family. My mother. And the worst thing is that if I turn back now she would welcome me back and not blame me for anything that I have done to them. For abandoning them. And I couldn’t do it, I couldn’t go back there because I can’t stay in one place, I can’t be stuck somewhere because the truth is I think I will fail. If I keep moving I can’t form attachments and I can’t get hurt. I just hurt everyone else.”
She shivers. Presses a saturated sleeve to her eyes, sniffs and carries on.
“If I let myself think about what I’m actually doing, I panic. That’s the real me. Racing ahead and ignoring all my problems because if I face them head on I will collapse, more so than now. I don’t sleep properly. I have the worst nightmares available to mankind and I get up in the morning and hate what I see in the mirror, I’m jealous of everyone who’s prettier than me or who seems more in control than me, anyone who is loved because I wish I could do that. I wish I could give up. Just go home and hug my mum and have her tell me everything will be okay. Just leave everything behind. But that’s the cowards way out, isn’t it?”
This isn’t the girl I know. The one I know is smart mouthed and always grinning. She punches walls and spits insults. She doesn’t cry. She never cries. And this is the first time I’ve seen her anything other than utterly self assured.
“Or maybe the cowards way is to do what I’m doing. Not facing anything. Running away from my problems. I don’t know what the fuck I’m doing but I can put on a good enough front that people trust me. People think I can do it. And the truth is that I’ve never been so out of control.”
I am lost.
I am floating through a hall of mirrors and my reflection has run away from me. What’s most disturbing is that this is normal. It happens all the time. Sometimes I catch a glimpse of it as it disappears, twisting away from the glass surface to join all the other lost things.
Like my hairbrush. My bus ticket. My bracelet. My heart, but I found that soon enough, still beating but with a little piece missing from it.
My reflection returns after a while, takes me by surprise when it does. Gives a smug little smile knowing that it has been to places I will never be able to get to, knowing that the memories it has made will forever stay buried in my unconscious mind.
I am lost.
The pieces of my frantic mind try to assemble themselves numbers one to ten but they cannot count, they’ve forgotten how. They’re good with words though. They spin lyrical fantasies that fill my waking dreams and persuade me to say things that make total sense inside my head but sound stupid to anyone else.
I am lost.
I turn down pathways that have arrows pointing in both directions, my internal compass is spinning wildly and I have to run my hand along the wall just to keep myself from drifting into the road.
I am lost.
I close my eyes and count, start with number one and then double it again and again and again until I cannot work out the numbers. I twiddle my thumbs. I press my eyelids until I can see colourful patterns against the darkness. I chew the inside of my mouth. I jiggle my leg up and down and up and down until people look at me strangely and then I smile at them and say that I’m fine, I’m just waiting for someone.
But I’m not. I am lost, and the worst thing is I don’t mind it.
I don’t mind it at all.
I want to write music. But it’s one o’clock in the morning and I have no piano. The formula is in my head, and I think that will last till tomorrow, but I cannot be sure. I want to sit at a piano with a notepad and pencil and no shoes and just write and play and play and write. I want to write about love, loss, laughter - all the cliches.
It’s been too long since I last sung. I need to sing. I miss my voice. All it seems to do nowadays is talk and discuss things about theatre and politics, all it does is order drinks over the bar and make small talk with customers at work. And underneath that is my true voice, the one that sings with soul, the one that I love and miss. I want to sing again. It makes me feel alive when I sing, it’s the one thing that I can do without feeling self conscious because although I can’t hit the high notes, I know I can do it. I have my own style, my own voice. But it’s getting lost.
I want to sing and sing with someone else. I want harmonies to send shivers down my spine, I want the lyrics to light up the air around me and I want to feel the almost unbearable lightness that comes when you close your eyes and let the music carry you away. I want to feel the room explode with emotion, and it doesn’t matter what that emotion is. Emotion is the fuel of music, emotion is what we need in our lives.
There is no better feeling for me than standing in front of people and singing, and seeing the look on their faces. That’s the thing about being backstage - people are amazed when you can perform. And I want to do it again.
Scrap that. I need to do it again.
Tomorrow, I’m going to get all my stuff done, and I’m going to take my clarinet onto campus with me, and I’m going to go into a piano room and write some music. I need to sing again. I need the music.
And in a ball of light and shadow
He fell to earth. I found him.
I claimed him as my own.
Wondering at the lightness of his frame, the grace
With which he fell.
More like flying, I said to him.
He never spoke.
And as he slept, I watched him.
Chest rising and falling, heartbeat
Like a bird. Only softer.
The fluttering of a wing.
He whispered to his shadows about being lost
His tears as cold as his eyes and just as full of question.
When he awoke, he told me he needed to return
But he didn’t know how.
He didn’t remember how he got to earth.
He didn’t remember anything.
And I sat and cradled his heart in my hands
Wondering where he had put mine
When he stole it
His bore two black scars
From where his wings used to grace his back
Used to carry him through the clouds
Through the dreams and nightmares
Upon the stratosphere
Before I took them.
Ripped them from him whilst he slept.
He will never get them back.
I took them in exchange for my heart.
They wrote their dreams on paper
And hung them from branches for the world to see
Declarations of love, unspoken apologies, confessions
All hanging amongst the leaves of the wishing tree
And we laughed and smiled and rolled our eyes
At some of the words that were written there
But certain notes made us catch our breath
Struck by the gravity of what was written there
The fields were filled with people
Surrounding our wishing tree
And when we closed our eyes at night
The branches were all we could see
Hanging on strings taut and tight
Because of the weight of the words
And the power contained within them
That if spoken would not be heard
If there had been any doubt before
It was all written away
By the wishes and dreams we collected on paper
In every hour we stayed
They wrote their dreams on paper
Entwined them in branches for all to see
And we couln’t have asked for anything more
Than what they gave to our wishing tree.
And in the morning
Will it feel as real
As the night before.
When you’re sober
And in focus
Will he still fill your head
Like he did before.
When you say it’s just one night
And there’s festival lights
Will you still get the buzz
Like the night before
And when your friends make a joke
In the days that follow
Will you still laugh it off
Or will you not be as proud
And not laugh as loud
As you did
All those nights before.
At age three I was baptised
In the name of the father, and of the son, and of the Holy Spirit.
Aged seven I was confirmed
Same age I did my first holy communion
And now, before you this congregation
At aged eighteen and a half without ordination
I christen myself a New Romantic
In the name of the thinker
And of the dreamer
And of the all round believer
Let us pray.
I’m a Roman Catholic by birth
A believer by choice
Not in the Bible, but in humanity
I believe in the power of the voice
I believe that there is at least something up there
Something to make people stop and then stare
I believe in a God, maybe not the one you please
‘Cause I don’t believe in bringing man to his knees
I’m not for the church or the temples or prayers
I am for faith
Not for religion
But I also have great respect for what you believe
I can give just as well as I’ve learned to receive
I admire the Buddhists and atheists and nuns
I respect anybody who sticks by their guns
And yes, I will concede some points, but my faith holds strong
I do not tolerate sponges for long.
I’m for punching walls, screaming and crying – but not always
For laughing in church and running down school hallways
I’m for love – not matter how long it takes to arrive
I’m for constant amazement at being alive
I’m for never quite keeping my feet on the ground
Getting lost in a daydream and never being found
I’m for sunsets and sunrises that forever linger
I’m for fidelity without having a ring on my finger
I’m one for forgiveness, for equality in schools
But I also believe in the ghosts and the ghouls
For the magic and make-believe that are so fantastical
You will them to be true.
I believe in scaring yourself with ghost stories at one in the morning
For vampires and witches and omens of warning
And yes, I do believe in fairies.
I’m for smiling, for sunlight, for samba, for song
I’m for not being afraid of getting things wrong
I’m for sex before marriage
For joy and sensation
For love at first sight
And for shameless flirtation
I’m for people, for parties, for presence, for the power
To capture great ideas for hour upon hour
I’m for unfettered optimism
Balloons without strings
Because those are a few of my favourite things
I’m for carpe-ing diem
For yawping out loud
For not being afraid to stand out from the crowd
I’m for not fearing life, and for not fearing death
I’m for romance, excitement and savouring each breath
I’m for original music
For classical poets
I’m for weirdness, and God knows I’m not afraid to show it
But I’m also for thinking
For deep contemplation
And I can attain a complete cessation of sound.
Because silence can speak where words do not even dare to tread.
My brothers and sisters, I hope you’ll be forgiving
This boundless obsession that I have with living
You can have your beliefs and your noble semantics
And I’ll stick with my creed for us New Romantics.
I danced barefoot in the rain today.
I laughed at nothing and walked alone down a country road and refused to be logical.
It’s like there’s a helium balloon inside your chest and you want to spin and sing and smile at strangers.
I’m not stupid
I’ve read too many books to be ignorant and just sit back
When there’s ideologies and religions all under attack
I know what goes on in the world today
I know the shit that happens and the vast array
Of crimes that are committed for no apparent reason
Other than conformity to a violent culture that changes with the season
We go from hate to indifference at an alarming speed.
I recognise the brainiacs in government, the only people to see sense in taking money away from those who bring life to the world.
Both my parents work in social services. They devote over eight hours a day to people who cannot live without care, the vulnerable, the weak. They feel it.
My little brothers and sister probably won’t go to university now
Thankyou, my good sir, for the nine thousand pounds
It will take for them to get an education like the one I have now
And I am in constant conflict with my own apathy
That takes my degree and throws it right back at me
But I find time between the work and the play
And the feeling of gravity that hits me each day
To dance as if nobody else is around.
I smile because the smile is my armour
Happiness is my torah, my bible, my dharma
Don’t give me your frowns and your half arsed excuses
Do something about it – be the one who refuses
To see the glass half empty, or even at all
Be quirky, or flirty, or be off the wall
I danced barefoot in the rain today
And let all my realities wash away
With the water that fell to the ground around my tattooed feet
That were tapping in time to a different beat
And when people looked and raised eyebrows and muttered to each other
I didn’t give a damn.
The thing is, permanent conflict does not give us an everlasting permission slip for depression.
The last thing we need right now is another harbinger of doom
Would it break your façade if you condescend
To smile at me? I don’t want to be your friend
But people need each other whether they like it or not
If they’re rich or they’re poor, or the things they have got
Are everything that they want from life.
Smile at people - it’s not that difficult.
Do something crazy. Go and dance in the rain
Give someone a hug – they might think you’re insane
But who really cares in the grand scheme of things?
Embrace life and see all the joy that it brings.
Take time out to laugh and to spin and to sing
And take time to learn and time to romance.
Take life in your arms and give it a chance.