july contemplations

romanticising some of the simplest moments from this summer – part 1

The scorching sun burns my chest and I can feel my ribs when I walk back home on the melting gravel. In the morning there’s a melody that I know by heart now with the curtains rolling up to make me see the day on the quiet street. Only an old man living in a pretty blue house on the right wakes up as early as I do. He has a black cat that snobs my ginger one. The man and I drink coffee at the same time but never greet each other, me on the balcony, him in his pretty garden. He drinks from a pastoral cup, I take big sips out of my London one. We’re very aware of each other.

By the pool and under the shade I can finally rest, my limbs are heavy from the hours spent standing up and grinning weakly behind my chirurgical mask. My back is tensed but after a swim, I can feel it carry me easily again, twisting my body as I wish in the pale chloral water.

Sometimes the stiffness of the ribbons I tie up around us pull up new knots around my waist. I keep stretching myself up to unknown ends and I still wonder – am I doing enough?

I have repetitive lunches in a pretty courtyard where I grow hating every middle-aged woman who peers at me with a tight-lipped smile and says boring things in a sharp Southern accent. There was a young man the other day who came up to me, inviting me for a drink – you’re not from here, are you? You got a Parisian accent. I am not surprised by it, just a bothersome remark that I hear repetitively in France or England. The French girl or the Parisian.

You’re not from here are you? Maybe my richness makes you uncomfortable. I don’t even relate to it, where I was born, what my native language is, but people seem to tie me up to these ideas as a way to romanticise me or push me aside, or maybe both.

I can’t even write in my native language anymore – I can string sentences together, but I cannot invoke their poetry. I lost the richness of the words I was raised in.

I like having thin arms that can carry heavy things. I like things that burn as ice does on the skin – inappropriately. I want to be safe in the dangerous scorching purple skies.

I want to want unapologetically. Dark things, fancy things, instant things, unconditional love, bitter tastes and late-night sex, although the morning’s always best. When the evening settles in and a friend of mine walks by my side in our lovely boring town, I can feel my teenage self clawing back her way in me. I never settle, I always think of the next thing. Maybe this sounds like all too much, but it is barely enough.

Image courtesy of Derick McKinney

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