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Melpomene's Experiment. - http://turkeyphant.livejournal.com/
Melpomene's Experiment.
Swan song

As I was returning from the cathedral, I heard the biting clack clack of her heels on cold gravelled macadam as she strode quickly behind me. She always seemed in a rush these days - rushing to get to the next of her many appointments or, maybe, she rushes to avoid a confrontation with me. I decided to try and part with a positive final memory, do my best and be gone with this unbecoming awkwardness. Regardless of what she now thought of me, I wanted to wish her a good holiday. Maybe, just maybe, it could show I still cared.

"Jon! Jon!"

The shout had come from behind, about the right distance back. I had just been building up my confidence, preparing to turn and try to speak to her. I looked back, conscious of the way I looked. Crestfallen, I saw that it was Lily calling my name, not her. Nevertheless, from this distance, my eyes briefly caught the glinting moon dancing delicately on her pupils - she wasn't looking, and so I glanced away.

She didn't carry my photo booth album, nor a key to a mystery repairman.

As I stopped to allow Lily to catch up with me, she broke from Lily's side and briskly brushed past my right shoulder, careful to avoid any unintentional contact. She flashed an acerbic smile so brisk the that corners of her lips barely had time to rise, but still she bowed her head by that tiny mordant fraction I remember so vividly.

"Merry Christmas, Jon."

When she uttered the laconic valediction, the words passed her lips completely devoid of emotion. She only said it because she felt she had to, and I couldn't even discern the trace of lisp I was so familiar with hearing. She had said because she felt obliged, not because she cared. It was exactly what Suda had said.

And with that, she was gone; she marched swiftly away into the darkness, her sharp heels rapping mockingly against the flagstones. I stood there and watched her silhouette disappear through the halogen lamp-slashed mist and melt into the murky gloaming again.

Lily abruptly broke into my thoughts and politely asked if I could help her save on the mobile bill a bit and summon Johnny from upstairs. Johnny, her boyfriend, the one she loved. Someone she really cares about.

I took a deep breath of the acrid air around me, and ran up the spiral stairs to fetch him and then pack my bags.

Adieu.

___________


Thomas à Becket II

Ninety minutes earlier.

"I need to go pee."

Richard was sitting next to me. It was the last day of term and he'd previously downed his last couple of litres of orange juice before the school Carol Service. Unfortunately, his one visit to the toilet beforehand had turned out to be insufficient. He shuffled passed my chair and half-ran down the aisle, scurrying back out of the nave. Once he'd gone, I took the opportunity and stole his unblemished candle.

Five minutes later, the service had started. Richard hadn't returned and the congregation's candles had been lit. Through a majestic arch in the quire, I could see more flickering candlelight as the crypt choir sang the hauntingly beautiful first notes of the opening carol. Hundreds of delicately individual flames darted on the spot as they danced upon waxed wicks. They managed elegance despite their astaticism.

As though it were a strange planchette, I felt myself receive subconscious messages when my satin fingertip pads accidentally brushed across the cold stone pillar next to me. A tingling sensation darted from my hands, streaking lines across my skin as I stood there in that candlelit cathedral. I stared up the smooth pillar that reached up to the majestic ceiling and, grasping my unbleached cylinder of wax in both hands, saw the faint glimmering echo of frolicking candle flames; they were blurred, but still frisked gently on the stone of the high arched roof. As my eyes followed the splashes of orangey, coloured glow above my head, their line of sight encompassed thousands of minute details. Tiny etched crosses, bezelled symbols, magnificent stained glass and splendid gothic vaulted arches supporting the whole building - they all caught a little of the flushing lambency. Surrounded by the undulating swells of angelic singing rushing through the pews, I tried to understand what this ostentatious-but-beautiful cathedral stood for. There I stood, under the high ribbed ceiling that seemed larger than the sky, next to those ancient stone pillars that seemed to reach to heaven; the entire nave was surrounded by the luminance of candles that reached the far apse in addition to the vibrato notes from an irreproachable soloist singing of a flower with eerie beauty. I could have been standing there back in the twelfth century and the carvings and thin, rocky arches would still have been as perfect - still, for all its pure grandeur and graceful pulchritude, I wondered whether Canterbury Cathedral is anything other than a representation of evil?

While those candles were still lit and the choir was singing a song that seemed to come straight from god's lips, the bible came near in a procession and the robed sacristans stood on either side, staring directly ahead, their candles raised high above on golden stands. Philly stood directly opposite me and, again, the high harmonies struck a poignant chord in my heart even though I couldn't hear the words. Frozen still, her hands grasped her stand and I stared directly into her dark eyes over the top of my candle flame and between the priest and her fellow altar server. Sometimes she seemed to be looking right at me but remained motionless, and, somehow, I knew from her skin's pallor and blank eyes that she didn't see me at all. I could look through those empty eyes and into her skull yet she could never react to me and, most painfully, I still would be no closer to her.

Later, the candles had all been extinguished en masse in a chilling and smoky hecatomb while the last drops of hot max dripped off my service sheet, leaving little red blemishes on my knuckles. I'd laughed with Mount and, at the end, I caught sight of Hannah behind me waving and smiling so wide her eyes were forced to shut. I was consistently ignored by the Bailey girls who seem to have become such good friends with Russell and the flawless choir reminded me of so many things about this school which make it just like Reigate, but with an unforeseen keenness, obedience and effort on behalf of the pupils. I quickly escaped from that cathedral through the cloisters and Dark Entry without bumping into Hannah to say goodbye. I couldn't make myself stop thinking of those tall, dark pillars made of stone so very cold.

___________


Harrowing ambition

Writing this and reading over old entries made me think of this short excerpt, courtesy of Shakers:

Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury;
Signifying nothing. (Macbeth: Act V, scene v)
Life's funny. To a kid time always drags. Suddenly you're fifty. All that's left of your childhood fits in a rusty little box.

I have watched so many superbly beautiful films during this lifetime.

It must be my guardian angel.

    mood: All my life's ahead of me
    choon: Yann Tiersen - J'y Suis Jamais Alle
Comments
From:ickleprincess [.]
Posted: Monday 30th December, 2002 at 14:56.02
 
We went to Canterbury Cathedral in year 7 I think...visited the Canterbury Tales place (have you been there? you should) and then onto the cathedral...they said we could crawl up the steps that are inside, just like the pilgrims would have done. Everyone had to stand still for a prayer to mark midday or something.

I don't know how I feel about religion.
From:turkeyphant [.]
Posted: Tuesday 31st December, 2002 at 17:16.57
 You should come again.
I should? What did it make you feel? Which parts of the cathedral did you go in?

Nobody does
From:ickleprincess [.]
Posted: Wednesday 1st January, 2003 at 09:02.17
 and see you?
Yes, the Canterbury tales are actually quite amusing...and it smells in there. I can hardly remember much about the cathedral...we went out to look at the cloisters, had to look up at the crests with the faces on them...something about all the rich families having one...I remember certain parts but I'm probably thinking of some other school trips as well.

The size and scale of such places always kinda moves you, freaks you out...we went to the Thomas à Becket bit...it's odd, like 'look, there's some history just over here'.

Sometimes you can believe that there's a god, sometimes it moves you. The rest of the time I'm just, numb to it all I suppose.
From:turkeyphant [.]
Posted: Thursday 2nd January, 2003 at 05:39.19
 Eh, why not?
I don't actually know where the Canterbury Tales thing is, though I have heard about it so it's definitely still there. I'm unsure as to whether it would quite as amusing for me now - nobody would come with me anyway. That's usually better, I guess. Year seven was a long time ago - did you crawl up the stairs and flagellate yourselves?

I have only gone into the cathedral a few times - always because of compulsory school events such as ordinations, matins, evensong et cetera. One day I should go in there and look around by myself, but not yet. I was merely in awe, struck by the ambivalent clash between its incredible beauty and, diametrically, its sheer reprehension and repulsiveness. The crypt is where Becket was killed, right? It's eerie down there - we had to have a Eucharist service once and I really liked the place. Again, the absolute perfection of the choir's singing is quite moving. I heard from Hannah that a couple in my year covertly made love down there.

I'm not sure whether I love the cloisters or loathe it. Being around the cathedral and looking up at it when floodlit at night is always awesome, especially when the incessant tintinnabulation of the evening bells rings through the city. My headstone is situated in the cloisters; it was the last place I lived.

I'm either numb to it or just realise it's greater than I could ever comprehend and hence, can't start to gather my thoughts to begin to come to my conclusion. Perhaps that's what brings on the numbness, perhaps it's because my soul is too small to take it all in at once. I sometimes empathise with others' thoughts or writings, but I can never be sure they're right. I wonder whether I'm scared to understand. But I'm sure I know what I'm doing. Even though so many issues are clouded, I'm always firm in my beliefs to the point of pontification. When I feel utter hatred for what the cathedral represents, it doesn't involve theology at all - just plain moral absolutes.
From:massy [.]
Posted: Saturday 4th January, 2003 at 07:25.34
 Re: Eh, why not?
From:turkeyphant [.]
Posted: Tuesday 7th January, 2003 at 13:42.25
 You want justification, huh?
From:massy [.]
Posted: Tuesday 7th January, 2003 at 18:49.03
 Laugh as, for your entertainment, Jon seizes the wrong end of the stick and wields it like a katana!
From:turkeyphant [.]
Posted: Wednesday 8th January, 2003 at 07:20.20
 I knew nobody wanted that, however, you didn't make yourself at all clear.
From:ickleprincess [.]
Posted: Sunday 5th January, 2003 at 09:52.43
 That came out wrong, just didn't know if you'd want to see me!
From:turkeyphant [.]
Posted: Tuesday 7th January, 2003 at 13:43.47
 You're just biased, shorty ;)
From:ickleprincess [.]
Posted: Wednesday 8th January, 2003 at 11:59.20
 Short? Moi?
From:turkeyphant [.]
Posted: Tuesday 31st December, 2002 at 17:31.54
 Why did you go?
Did you stand still?
From:ickleprincess [.]
Posted: Wednesday 1st January, 2003 at 08:50.30
 School RE/English trip, I believe.
Yes, although everyone began to fidgit cos we had to stand still for what seemed like so long.
From:turkeyphant [.]
Posted: Wednesday 1st January, 2003 at 13:07.45
 Still, I always get out of having to wear the stupid robe...
Yes. We have many stupid services of one type or another throughout the year which drag on far too long.
From:turkeyphant [.]
Posted: Tuesday 7th January, 2003 at 13:30.39
 An analogy.
And the thing is, after waiting for so long, all the patience and grief turns out to be for nothing.

We have stupid things similar to this at school on a near-daily basis.
From:massy [.]
Posted: Tuesday 31st December, 2002 at 16:55.28
 
"You suck asses, you suck more asses than anyone else since the dawn of time - from the suckasser" - Jon, to Phillipa.
From:turkeyphant [.]
Posted: Tuesday 31st December, 2002 at 16:56.58
 Silly drunken boye.
Actually, that's what she sent to me from Singapore.
From:porphyria [.]
Posted: Tuesday 31st December, 2002 at 23:32.01
 
I was going to msg you but you're not on aol.
From:turkeyphant [.]
Posted: Tuesday 31st December, 2002 at 23:37.21
 At least I assume it was Singapore...
Alas, it is regrettable. I can't get AOL or Trillian to work behind school's firewall and my father is overly-protective over what can be installed on the internet computer. Here at TD's Trillian isn't on this computer either. Sorry...

Why don't you just say whatever here? TD's version or her text was slightly bastardised.
From:porphyria [.]
Posted: Tuesday 31st December, 2002 at 23:44.29
 TD's?
Actually, it was nothing. I'm just bored and noone is online and you seemed highly unlikely to ask me "a/s/l".
From:turkeyphant [.]
Posted: Tuesday 31st December, 2002 at 23:56.23
 Lovely TD is a hateful man who goes by the name of massy.
From:porphyria [.]
Posted: Tuesday 31st December, 2002 at 23:59.29
 
From:turkeyphant [.]
Posted: Wednesday 1st January, 2003 at 00:05.51
 That's a shame.
From:porphyria [.]
Posted: Wednesday 1st January, 2003 at 14:36.10
 
From:turkeyphant [.]
Posted: Thursday 2nd January, 2003 at 07:28.27
 I wake up when my mother gets in from work.
From:massy [.]
Posted: Wednesday 1st January, 2003 at 17:55.19
 Re: Lovely TD is a hateful man who goes by the name of massy.
From:turkeyphant [.]
Posted: Thursday 2nd January, 2003 at 07:29.37
 Sometimes there are pebbles in the middle...
From:massy [.]
Posted: Thursday 2nd January, 2003 at 15:27.55
 Re: Sometimes there are pebbles in the middle...
From:ickleprincess [.]
Posted: Friday 3rd January, 2003 at 10:51.22
 Re: Lovely TD is a hateful man who goes by the name of massy.
From:turkeyphant [.]
Posted: Tuesday 7th January, 2003 at 13:40.34
 Unrelated: Lollipop song you are god.
From:ickleprincess [.]
Posted: Wednesday 8th January, 2003 at 11:39.57
 Of course that's related!
From:turkeyphant [.]
Posted: Wednesday 8th January, 2003 at 14:54.25
 I know. Still, the reasons why are entirely unrelated.
From:ickleprincess [.]
Posted: Tuesday 14th January, 2003 at 11:09.11
 What are the reasons why?
From:turkeyphant [.]
Posted: Tuesday 14th January, 2003 at 14:49.44
 I think you can guess. Think back to 17/10/02.
From:ickleprincess [.]
Posted: Wednesday 15th January, 2003 at 11:30.56
 Re: I think you can guess. Think back to 17/10/02.
From:turkeyphant [.]
Posted: Wednesday 15th January, 2003 at 15:21.20
 teh death of moi?
From:ickleprincess [.]
Posted: Thursday 16th January, 2003 at 11:37.24
 Am I thinking Philly?
From:turkeyphant [.]
Posted: Friday 17th January, 2003 at 05:48.03
 Indeed you are.
From:amoe [.]
Posted: Wednesday 7th January, 2004 at 14:50.48
 poignant nastiness
Life's funny. To a kid time always drags. Suddenly you're fifty. All that's left of your childhood fits in a rusty little box.

erk.

i am emotionally wounded...

From:turkeyphant [.]
Posted: Wednesday 7th January, 2004 at 23:15.42
 nope
Then refrain from dissing Amélie, David...
for $40 | anyone can conceive a god on video