Saturday 26 April 2014

#68 Nearer the river

The light coming in through the blinds showed that the sun was setting over another day in Rotherhithe. It was Saturday evening and I lay sprawled on the sofa, playing with the phone and drinking beer, while my new friend bustled about in the kitchen making dinner. We chatted a bit while she cooked and it was just nice. It reminded me of the great conversations that we'd had during our first few dates the week before.

Leaving the flat for a while to go food shopping had been a good idea and I loved the smell of the garlic and herb mixture thrown over the chicken that we were about to devour. I'd missed a few meals during the week and a hell of a lot of sleep. For a moment, I started thinking about home. How the new housemates were getting along, whether the cat had been fed.

Dance music blared out from the speakers as the girl of good taste shovelled chicken and salad onto the plates. After eating, we cracked open the two bars of chocolate we'd picked out. Hers with strawberry yoghurt, mine full of hazelnuts. She had some more baking to do before the evening was out but assured me she'd be done by around ten or eleven. I lay back on the sofa, got out the phone and started writing as I watched her knead the dough. One more night here wouldn't hurt.

Friday 18 April 2014

#67 Easter weekend

I wouldn't normally kill a mosquito. It sat there, inverted, on the ceiling, next to me in the shower, perving quietly. It was early season and I really didn't want it to bite me as I washed myself. Looking around for something to use, my eyes passed over the narrow shampoo bottles and the fragile mirror, stopping on the pack of disposable razors. Poised for a couple of seconds, I darted my arm upwards, fast, smashing the pack against the ceiling. One of the razors passed through the plastic, cutting me slightly.

Our conversations had diminished lately and I was in a sad mood. Back upstairs, I flicked the stereo up to a high volume and threw open the window, staring outside towards the clouds. My spirits gently lifted just a little bit as I let the music pour over me, standing there drying and looking to the horizon. 

Forgive me for the stuff I've done wrong. Don't let me over-think every aspect of the rest of my life and let the sun shine warm and brightly this summer for a change. I lay on the bed, thinking and writing until the feedback between the phone and the stereo flared up again, creating a siren-like sound. It was time to get up.

#66 A familiar part of the city

"Hey!" I said, beaming, as my Turkish friend made her way into the bar. It had been more than six months since I first stepped through the door of her apartment. Tonight, as it happened, it was her that needed the hug. We pulled up chairs next to the group of friends that I'd abandoned a few moments earlier and ordered some obscure beers.

The next couple of hours were spent mulling and philosophising over the usual stuff; friends, work, relationships. Coincidentally, in his quest to find a pub serving a good selection of ales, Rich had picked one very near her building. She'd just gotten back from a date by the time I made the call. My friend looked healthy and seemed in good spirits overall. She'd had proposals from two gentlemen lately and I spent a comical couple of seconds over-analysing how impressed I should come across at the revelation but this was all good news.

"Don't spend too much time chatting online" she cautioned sagely, "cause you can never fully know a person that way. It's not a true interaction". I decided to try and keep my own counsel on the subject, on which I was also arguably an expert. I might even reach Gladwell's 10,000 hours of online chat in this lifetime. I also loved chatting online. It could at time be a strange, intense, habitual kind of love but this wasn't that what the internet was for?

Apparently her flat had become cluttered again, so I offered to help her with some of the lifting and tidying, my other area of developing proficiency. "It's ok for now. Maybe at some point" she said. As we walked out of the bar, I turned to say goodnight to a couple of other friends. When I turned back around, she had vanished. I gave her a quick call, just to say goodnight and that it was good to see her and jogged off to the tube station.