It's cold tonight. Peeking out from behind wispy and fleecy cirrus that sweeps across the sky, an achingly a full moon strained round the corner of the steeple's spire and beamed down light to warm my soul. I look up: my ceiling is only heaven's floor.
The moon always seems full these days; so radiant and strikingly beautiful. Light banter flowed effortlessly through the still evening air. The twinkling stars were out, and gentle photons are refracted through clouds, reaching our eyes at the same time. Simultaneously meaning together - together because we're together. Everything else under that sky doesn't matter at this moment. Her delicate hand is tightly gripped in mine as though I could never let her go and, while she softly talks, I look upward - bright-rayed craters are illuminated by an unseen sun and I think to myself for a moment. Just recently, I would have thought it equally likely that I could be on that milky-white moon four hundred thousand kilometres away as being here, spending my evening with a pretty girl who captured my heart so. I uttered a silent prayer to no deity in particular: Please, please; let this be real.
She tugged gently on my arm and I obediently followed. Sniffing the air, I could close my eyes and know exactly where she would be. That faint musky aroma wafted through the air molecules, drifting to me - I beamed. On anyone other than her, I would have been put off by such a scent; it was almost too...too confident. She looked back at me and smiled the most radiant smile that could light a thousand moons. Supple muscles toned by years of fencing competitions contracted slightly and again, I felt a lithe little pull on my arm. I wouldn't have minded if she were ripping my arm from its socket; just the touch of her was enough. We continued talking, but about what I can't remember.
The perfect silence of the night was shattered suddenly by a distant girly giggle coursing through the deserted evening air from across the Green Court. Mist was beginning to settle. As she led me into the undercroft, she stopped for a moment and turned slightly, "If you ever get to know me," she coyly said, just loud enough for me to hear, "I bet you'll end up hating me". Looking into my eyes, she knew that waiting for my reply wasn't necessary, for we both understood how impossible hate would be.
Later, we lay together on those red-carpeted stairs. The silvery moonlight was just reaching our feet - it was so delicate I felt that breathing too hard would make it dissolve away to be fleetingly lost forever in the endless, yawning canvas of sky. She's in my arms and I look down, wondering whether it would be appropriate to kiss her hair again. From this angle I can't tell whether her eyes are open or closed and it makes me think back to when we had staring competitions when I first met her. So close to her now, I can smell her perfume stronger than ever and the atoms of pure sweetness curl up to my nose in whorls that make me giddy. It's so flattering when a girl makes an effort for you. Our moment is suddenly interrupted by a teacher opening a door behind us, but he's soon gone - the contaminant forced out because we're so intimidatingly perfect together. She flirtingly smiles looking up at me and we talk on, me wishing the sun to never rise.
But wait, wait - back up just a little bit.
This tale began when we all least expected it - over the supper table her irises were absorbent, and I could see through them into something far beyond. I never used to be good at staring competitions, but now the food heating up my chin from beneath is forgotten and I can keep my eyelids from automatically shutting forever. If I should break my gaze, I won't see her anymore; I'll no longer be looking into her eyes. More than anything, I want to see. We walk out past the kitchens - that smell of acrid alkaline detergents, the magical lightning ball in the physics display and the bottle-green hedge that always seems darker than the night.
This night, she sits with me on the war memorial. The stones are hard and cold and so rough but we talk: successive personal mutual self-disclosures and the private evaluation that is all part of the ritual. Before I leave her side, she reaches out, completely unexpected, and embraces me in a brief but warm life-giving hug. An ephemeral moment of shared intimacy was the beginning of the process; that sweet feeling as you begin to assimilate all those tiny imperfections and idiosyncrasies that linger in memory after everything else is forgotten. This was just the start.
Oh, linger indeed...
All you see is a replay / Every time you close your eyes I'm there/ Crashing over and over
Those hundreds of barely visible idiosyncrasies now torture me. Everywhere I see her, I'm reminded of something I was once so much closer to. And now I can't make myself forget them. But still, I can't remember what clothes she wore. I can't remember the conversation on either of those evenings so long ago because I can't remember any of the things she said to me. And after all the time I spent looking into them, I can't even visualise her face or remember what colour her eyes are and I'll die if I ever try to find out. Hell, I can't even look her in the eyes anymore. But what about the things I do remember? My problem is I remember all too well...
I had made it to the moon, reached my own zenith. The impossible had happened once already - maybe it will happen again. Just maybe she was right: I probably shall hate her. Certainly, I was right: even through my hollow prayer, I knew deep down what the true answer would be.
But, as I tumble down from the lofty heights of her friendship, there's nothing I can do about it. I wasn't even there long enough to make a mark, to push my flag into the Sea of Tranquillity next the to the stars and stripes. And now my foot prints have been dusted off the surface and my only space shuttle is broken.
I am Jack's complete lack of surprise.
I was getting by. I was coping. I was content with things.
I still had hope.
In lunch, Hamway tells me about how cool she is because she had to turn down three guys in two weeks. Apparently some guy named Chappers followed after McD and I. Heaven help her in such a difficult crisis. I was distraught, though I don't know quite why to such an extent.
I desperately wanted to destroy something precious, to take out all my rage and anger on something, anything. I wanted to smash a perfectly faceted sublime crystal of sparkling brilliance. All could think about was shattering that diamond, annihilating the covalent carbon-carbon bonds, rending geometric crystalline structures atom from atom and violently cleaving apart rhombic dodecahedra. I wanted to be stamping the glassy remains into the ground next to what scattered shards remained of my heart.
Instead I wondered around the school with Steven and Hannah gratuitously swearing at everything as though an endless stream of profanities could somehow remedy the situation and render things better. I had instantly spiralled out of control, seeing everything through red-tinted lenses and annoying the hell out of everyone. I insulted random people and things and said "fuck" a lot. I just felt an uncontrollable hatred for her and Hamway - pure cacoëthes was surging through my veins, pulsing millimetres under my skin and pushing on the valves which are too weak to hold such pressure back.
Later Hamway taunts me to look cool in front of (mutual?) friends and I feel bad, but not only because of him. The main reason is because I know I have no one to stick up for me. I storm around, subconsciously hoping to meet her. I want to find her round by the cathedral sitting where were sat together on that fateful night. She lay there saying how nice it was to be held in my arms and I sat there stupidly happy, even though I was being squashed between her and the part of the ancient stone that had been worn away to leave a textured patch that felt coarse and bumpy through my jeans. An elderly couple had walked past, aging relics of their time, and, seeing us together, tut-tutted at the promiscuous youth of today.
The cathedral where we sat that night is far older than them and will live on longer than anyone we'll ever know. But, at that time, on the sixteenth of October, I truly believed that the love I felt for the girl sitting with me would outlive it all.
On my way back, I went to sit down with Luke on the old memorial where it all began. She was sitting behind Luke talking. I had found her.
I realised she was the last person I wanted to see right then. Despite not having any time for me, it seemed she has enough time to talk to a random Shell... She sat there, upright and almost sanctimonious - she was trying to justify things by rattling out a list of her many commitments in an unavoidably loud voice loud she knew I'd hear. I wanted to cry at the fallacy of it all. It was all I could do to keep my face expressionless. I couldn't speak or show my reaction without breaking down completely. It hurt so much, but I'd lost her long ago. It could have done us no good. Anyway, I collapsed onto my side to escape her view and viciously scratched my nails audibly into the stone memorial, slashing at nothing, but making my fingers bleed. She suddenly got up walked off without saying a thing.
There's no time like the present
Wake up, Neo...
But of course, we can't live in the past. All good things some to an end. And now, we have to fast forward to the present. The time is now, and no longer is it stacked with fickle hopes and dreams, bounteous promise and a romance shared with someone special.
As always, there are so many things she does and say which make me physically wince, make me want to mock her like I do Jess Clarke. But something further inside inhibits these seemingly intrinsic reactions, and I feel I want her all the more because I am seeing through and wanting to compromise with the thousands of tiny flaws I find staring at me so vividly.
Now, forward some more. Let's zoom in on today right after double English.
Lunchtime - about 13:20.
She was sitting opposite me, hair done up neatly in that short blonde ponytail, face as flawless as ever and that voice I never knew whether to adore or detest. Neither wanted to glance up at the other, each tried to remain as engrossed in separate conversation as possible. I heard her pipe up about university choices: to make me like her even more, she's of a completely adverse mindset diametrically opposed to mine. And so I'm drawn to this person, the type that I'm so used to mocking, but can't find room in my heart not to love. Like mummy tells her, the top-three universities are already lined up in rank order of preference. A career has been decided well in advance, the flat is already bought and her maid will be sent over from Singapore. I chuckled at her pseudo-smugness, and she replied matter-of-factly, "Of course, I can only go to a university where they have good fencing facilities".
Of course it's always about fencing; fencing comes before everything: for her it's valued far above any friendship, love or other person. Especially me.
I only just managed to hold my tongue just as I have done before. Just like the way I never told her how much I cherished her company in the evanescent moments when I was graced with it. How I never really told her about the crushing devastation I felt when I lost her. Like the way she'll never know of the long dark nights I spent fulminating everything under the sun and the nights I longed for a hearty dose of powdered numbness. Again, I kept a straight face and quickly excused myself. I had to get away from everyone sitting there in that dining hall and everything to do with this school.
Ever felt an uncontrollable hatred for a minority sport before?
I think about all sorts of shit involving Nick Brown who she seems to be spending more and more time with each day. Every time I see her with him or Rob Jennings by her side I lose control of my rational thought processes. Like Prometheus on the rocks of the Caucasus, I can't escape from this perpetual torment. Everywhere I look in this prison I'm forced to confront morbid memories day after godforsaken day - perpetual Chthonic purgatory, eternal damnation. It thought they would blatantly end up together, because that was the worst possible outcome I could imagine and hence, was inevitable. But later I realise that's not the worst possible thing that can happen to me...
Her being with some random person is not the worst thing at all, because I know what's happening now is the worst scenario anyone could envisage. Seeing this girl prancing about happy all the time ratifying her lies and turning friends against me while I still can't stop caring for her is the most destructive thing of all. The searing pain I feel when she cares so much more for the person who wanted to destroy her than she ever felt for me is worse than I ever thought possible.
Dare I reminisce?
God, how many weeks has it been? I enjoying walking by myself every day and looking at the clouds and stars and cathedral and sky. It's become a strict routine now to, every night, walk a death march oh so slowly round the Green Court, looking up to the sky, and the illuminated cathedral. My gaze often falters for a second around that ladder I once pointed out to her. The sky has only been dull a few times - usually it's more interesting than anything else in the world. Everything's so mysterious, and so beautiful. Seeing the moon through the clouds or a few stars sparkling through the low dead mist is more fantastic than anything else during the day at this school. It amazes me that there is such profundity beaming straight into my head and such beauty there to be viewed by someone like me. Nobody else seems to notice as they hurry past.
I went to the back to the cathedral, back to the seat where we last sat together. Again I walked to the place where we lay together on that Wednesday evening before the end. The stony pillars that had stood there watching hundreds of young lovers go past whispering sweet nothings. I wonder how many had lasted... I was unsure whether I should come here, but again I felt drawn to the place, if only to torment myself even more. It was quite early in the evening; the bells had been ringing out loud for the night service for a couple of minutes. Huddled there alone, I slowly etched into the smooth part of the surviving weathered and beaten stone. The knife streaked across hard the mineral and with each stroke I willed her out of my soul. As I cut deeper and deeper into that place where we sat, not only did my name join the hundreds of others, but I extirpated, deracinated and purged her memory. I don't know whether it worked, though I hoped it could release us from the endless cycle of aiuchi. Metal scraped against stone, scoring measured lines that should've been crimson red. I could have cut deep into my flesh but nothing could have hurt me - I was already in too much pain. Surely it could never hurt more than this? Carving scarlet lines deep into my arm wouldn't give the release than pain allows. My pride had been hurt more than my body ever could be. I got up and walked swiftly past the congregation, unable to look back to what I'd written: "J. Hobbs RIP 17/10/02"
Hauntings from the past
- Over these last weeks since the death of me, she has sat there in every English lesson ignoring everything that has meaning over and over again: Shylock's flagrant lack of mercy and compassion; characters in crises show their true personalities (which one, Philly?); the agony and ecstasy of love; too much, too soon et cetera. Not once does she even blink or look up at me. She won't acknowledge me anymore and the mythical eagle rips my intestines from my chest again and again with every unneeded unflinching dismissal. Then she goes and tells everyone about how much fun she had flirting with Alex last week. I thought I was gutless to start with...
- Philly may have many personas and exterior façades, but Suda too always said there were two mes: the nice thoughtful, generous, humane and kind Jon in my letters to her and the Jon who taunted and abused and betrayed her every day at school. I told her the real one was the one she could see not some superficial version I was able to carefully manipulate in my own time. I wonder if anything about Philly is real.
- One weekend, Russell invited her on supper leave. I don't know which of them (if any needed to) decided I wouldn't come. Right away, she gets really drunk and stumbles round off her face. Made me feel fucking fantastic. And so, I drove myself to the deepest despair and depression again and imposed it on all around me. I forgot about everything and couldn't be bothered with anything.
- I remembered how not-attractive she can be in uniform.
- I walked with myself and Rammstein in the drizzle and met Philly coming back from Luxmoore, Tradescant or wherever at the end of Happy Hour. She has either been visiting Harriet to bitch about me or Rob Jennings and his girlfriend to bone. She's so worried about being locked out of her house that she has no time to speak to me. She never visited me once. She always said she was too busy for me, that she had too little time for someone such as I. Before she never would have thought twice about stopping to talk to me. However, I always seem to see her with someone else and it hurts deep down.
- Heh, I had been recommended psychiatry sessions by at least four people in a two week period. I didn't have the energy to explain the many reasons why I don't want to see a school "councillor". I already know about a thousand useless people who speak to it and almost certainly don't need to at all.
- Meanwhile, Hannah decided to seriously fuck up this kid by doing a Philly to the power ten to him. All the time I desperately urged her to not fuck around with him and actually get round to doing all the things Philly doesn't. Look at me well over six weeks later - I can only imagine how screwed up this kid is feeling. Also, Hannah starts to really piss me off by being oblivious to how annoying she can be. And other than being an über bitch, she decided to go and ignore me for a week when I need her most.
- Now Harriet's decided to hate me too.
- I realised I always do things even though I know somewhere that I'll make everything worse. Irrational subconscious compulsion to destroy things I love. I can't bear to see it all go, but desperately trying to interfere with the course will mean that I'll never ever get it back.
- McD is as bitter as ever, though I still can't understand quite why. He made an even worse couple with her than I did. He still loves her though, and has written over ten nice poems about her before slipping into arrant misogyny. He says it's his right to make her suffer as much as possible.
- On a Thursday, I skip activities and go to watch a film in refreshingly damp weather. This is my synopsis of Die Another Day: Evil fencing girl is biggest traitor ever and betrays nice man after seducing him. She plots with male fencing partner to take over the world and repeatedly fuck up nice innocent friendly hero man whilst making sweet love to her partner. Remind you of anything?
God put a smile on your face
One night I was literally shaking with rage and surging with ferocity - I was in such an appallingly bad mood. So pissed off with everything in the world. Everything in this school. Two years of solitary imprisonment and then what? And there's nobody to talk to and nothing to look forward to. I thought she would be someone who cared when I wasn't feeling good. I though she'd be someone I could talk to and who would give me a hug when I was down. This is exactly why I miss Philly. And this was exactly when I spoke most truthfully: with all my energies put into hate I forgot about normal barriers and spoke and spoke and spoke with unusual honesty and not enough time to realise how candid I was being.
Vicious streams of 0s and 1s. Pulses of ons and off coursing down metallic phone lines and these encoded strings of ASCII formed as close as I can get to my soul in writing. As I stared at the squashed-square LCD panel hunched up in front of my desk, I squinted in the dark and try to type quietly so as not to rouse my roommate. I'm replying to dotted pixels, specific quanta of light and here, via a heartless machine, I generously squeeze out my atman, my inner psyche, as though it were the last dregs of hair gel in the tube. Spurting opinions without time to think, I spoke truer than usual. Living off the last few grams of C8H10N4O2 molecules, my fingers dart over keys that are still greasy from the hastily buttered muffin I ate to keep my mind from wandering. Running sentences that never seemed to end, a discourse straight direct from the neurones in my brain - spontaneous free association of emotions and thoughts. I uttered everything on my mind I'd always been scared to say to myself without stopping to think how appropriate disclosing such information was. Reading back over the logs with alainvey and ickleprincess, I'm shocked at such honesty. Cogent and eloquent it wasn't and there may have been appalling spelling and grammar and typos aplenty, but it was all I could do to get it all down before my thought processes over took themselves. No time for multi-tasking, I ignored the higher-level processes and focused entirely on core system tasks. And they spoke with such wisdom to me, responding as though they really cared. For that, I love them more than I ever loved Philly during the little time we shared but, in another way, so much less.
turkeyphant: but today, i was sitting out on a bench alone about ten thirty and these two girls just came up to me and were like really nice and kind and hugged me because i looked sad even though i'd never met them before but then they were prefects and had a duty? or maybe they just pitied me even though i was fine but when they walked away i scream fuck off fuck off inside my head becasue i didn't need their pity.
They were quite fit too. I must have looked terrible.
And a couple of weeks ago, I calmed down a bit when I spoke to the legendary Allan on MSN. He escaped the school last year, but left a legacy of minions behind. We talked about ourselves for three hours. He reminded I somewhat of ghostlight but in a twisted twin sort of way. Halfway through, Russell comes in and asks me about Lois - Philly told him all about it and now he's asked my sister. I was seriously fucked off. But then I spoke to Allan about her more and still don't know what to think. Like Hannah, he thinks she's scared of me. I can't scream "why?" loud enough. He used to be friends with her and also tells me how similar we are, that we think in the same way and how much he wanted to fuck Chloë when he was here. That is, in the led-onto-desperate-unrequited-love way... There's also a girl he's met at college. A Philly equivalent, excepting the fact she still cares.
No matter how unexciting it is, he is like me and yes, he helps me very much. I decided to stop being gee and to get on with life. Two weeks of being as low as it gets is enough - I make an effort to be cheerful and not get bogged down with depression. I keep it up. I decide to consciously make an effort to crawl away from feeling sorry for myself and try to have some fun. Allan helped me so much. We discussed things loads over that week.
And then, I got banned from the internet for the third time...
Back at school, McD bitches about her more and sends increasingly heartless and abusive emails. I bump into her on Saturday, tears streaming down her puffed red face after she's just received his latest one telling her, in no uncertain terms, where she should fuck off to forever. Two days later, he's sent a sorry letter gracefully apologising and they've talked more than I ever have...
It pains me so much to know she always care about him more and be a closer friend than I ever can be. Not to mention whoever she goes off to visit every single day when I see her walking back and she refuses to even look toward me. McD mentions their chats as I'm already starting to feel pissed off. Hard fucking luck McD, I would just hate to have to talk to her for an hour and a half... I still haven't quite sunk back down to where I was before. I'm just keeping my head above the surface, but I can't take any more tidal waves.
I remember the time she said "I think a hug is a sign of affection and I will only hug someone I really care about". I remember when she would still hug me.
affection, noun: 1. a tender feeling toward another, fondness. See synonyms at love.I know a thousand songs that remind me to think of her.
We had internal exams the whole of the last week. I told myself, "Hey, what more can a man want other than a free weekend, a window to play loud music out of and a warm bowl of pasta?". This was in order to get through the most uneventful weekend of this term. Of course, I didn't see her once.
I would say that this all reminded me of a story I was once told long ago and have kept close to my heart, but alas, I seem to have forgotten all my stories. Perhaps I was never told any?
I know this entry was made worse by its being overly long. I also know she is clearly I someone I desperately need to get over. I've been smitten far too long, and I know I don't want her anymore, but I do want something. I must leave this state of ambivalence. I think I want her in my life and if she refuses, I think I need some finality to it all so I can move on. One thing I know is I can't go on like this anymore. I'm still not sure what to do, but I think I'll survive. I can overcome this and I shall. For now, I've done enough.
Later tonight, I'll probably walk round the Green Court again with the canorous harmonies from choir practice lilting through the chilling evening breeze. Everything is so much darker now - the air is no longer thick with expectation but heavy with mid-winter loneliness. But still I'll walk on, glancing momentarily at the taunting scorn of something that reminds me of her, but never stopping. The thoughts linger with me as though they are still wafting down through the air from those evenings that are now so long ago. Slowly scuffing my shoes on the rough ground, I'll trundle round and round absent-mindedly kicking at non-existent gravel and avoiding the stares of people in pairs, just walking on. Alone.
Why do I always think to myself in µ-speak?