The situation is this
I have found myself in a situation
I have become entangled
In a situation
With a stranger on the Internet
I like my situation
To be frank with you
To be quite honest
It is a delightful exchange
And behind the words
There are feelings
Stretching and growing
Taking on shapes
Like strange topiary inside
And on the screen
Archive for the ‘Writing’ Category
The situation is this
Crying is all right in its way while it lasts. But you have to stop sooner or later, and then you still have to decide what to do. When Jill stopped, she found she was dreadfully thirsty. She had been lying face downward, and now she sat up. The birds had ceased singing and there was perfect silence except for one small, persistent sound, which seemed to come a good distance away. She listened carefully, and felt almost sure it was the sound of running water.
Jill got up and looked round her very carefully. There was no sign of the lion; but there were so many trees about that it might easily be quite close without her seeing it. For all she knew, there might be several lions. But her thirst was very bad now, and she plucked up her courage to go and look for that running water. She went on tip-toes, stealing cautiously from tree to tree, and stopping to peer round her at every step.
The wood was so still that it was not difficult to decide where the sound was coming from. It grew clearer every moment and, sooner than she expected, she came to an open glade and saw the stream, bright as glass, running across the turf a stone’s throw away from her. But although the sight of the water made her feel ten times thirstier than before, she didn’t rush forward and drink. She stood as still as if she had been turned into stone, and with her mouth wide open. And she had a very good reason; just on this side of the stream lay the lion.
It lay with its head raised and its two fore-paws out in front of it, like the lions in Trafalgar Square. She knew at once that it had seen her, for its eyes looked straight into hers for a moment and then turned away – as if it knew her quite well and didn’t think much of her.
‘If I run away, it’ll be after me in a moment,’ thought Jill. ‘And if I go on, I shall run straight into its mouth.’ Anyway, she couldn’t have moved if she had tried, and she couldn’t take her eyes off it. How long this lasted she could not be sure; it seemed to last for hours. And the thirst became so bad that she almost felt she would not mind being eaten by the lion if only she could be sure of getting a mouthful of water first.
‘If you’re thirsty, you may drink.’
They were the first words she had heard since Scrubb had spoken to her on the edge of the cliff. For a second she stared here and there, wondering who had spoken. Then the voice said again, ‘If you are thirsty, come and drink,’ and of course she remembered what Scrubb had said about animals talking in that other world, and realised that it was the lion speaking. Anyway, she had seen its lips move this time, and the voice was not like a man’s. It was deeper, wilder, and stronger; a sort of heavy, golden voice. It did not make her any less frightened than she had been before, but it made her frightened in rather a different way.
‘Are you not thirsty?’ said the Lion.
‘I’m dying of thirst,’ said Jill.
‘Then drink,’ said the Lion.
‘May I – could I – would you mind going away while I do?’ said Jill.
The Lion answered this only by a look and a very low growl. And as Jill gazed at its motionless bulk, she realised that she might as well have asked the whole mountain to move aside for her convenience.
The delicious rippling noise of the stream was driving her nearly frantic.
‘Will you promise not to – do anything to me, if I do come?’ said Jill.
‘I make no promise,’ said the Lion.
Jill was so thirsty now that, without noticing it, she had come a step nearer.
‘Do you eat girls?’ she said.
‘I have swallowed up girls and boys, women and men, kings and emperors, cities and realms,’ said the Lion. It didn’t say this as if it were boasting, nor as if it were sorry, nor as if it were angry. It just said it.
‘I daren’t come and drink,’ said Jill.
‘Then you will die of thirst,’ said the Lion.
‘Oh dear!’ said Jill, coming another step nearer. ‘I suppose I must go and look for another stream then.’
‘There is no other stream,’ said the Lion.
—The Silver Chair, C. S. Lewis
[Most] blessed is the man who believes in, trusts in, and relies on the Lord, and whose hope and confidence the Lord is. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters that spreads out its roots by the river; and it shall not see and fear when heat comes; but its leaf shall be green. It shall not be anxious and full of care in the year of drought, nor shall it cease yielding fruit.
—Jeremiah 17v7-8 [AMP]
Good. Yes. Thank.
It was a wedding. Lebanese. I’d never been to anything like it before; all unrestrained dancing and clapping and stomping. We were on the dance floor, the DJ dropping the hot jams bang, bang, bang, one after another after another. As I whipped and nae nae’d and dabbed beside her (lies, I did none of those things/did my own things) having the time of my life, I also recorded her in my mind. Her cropped asymmetrical hairstyle casually swept to one side, cheekbones like you wouldn’t believe, her black dress elegant, flowing to the floor, pure joy smeared across her face in a moment that kept going on and on and felt like it might never end.
A covering of cloud had taken the edge off what had earlier been an almost unbearable beating-down from the sun, yet still a hot wind blew across the city from the dry inland to the west; from the desert as like as not. The light and shadows rubbed up against one another, all definition gone as they mingled softly together; a deepening of the light under trees seen from the distance added an almost mystical quality to the afternoon. The heat had driven most people indoors in search of respite, with air conditioners turned up full bore, and the unusual quiet of the streets added to the strangeness in the air. A storm was coming. He could feel it. The anticipation slid down his back between the sweat on his skin and the lightest t-shirt he owned. He walked down the street toward home as quickly as he could bring himself to, eager to be out of the heat, yet not willing to exert himself to any great extent either. The wind was picking up, driving dust and debris before it, the direction changing, now from behind him, now from in front. He squinted as his hair blew around his face, wary of the grit that might find its way into his eyes at any moment. Glancing down a side street he could see the city disappearing into a haze. It wasn’t just windy, it was a dust storm. He picked up his pace, and was soon at his front door, slamming it shut behind him as a gust rattled the pictures hanging along the walls of the hallway.
I had a cute encounter earlier today. I had finished work and was going to the supermarket to pick up some supplies. As I was coming to the escalator leading down to the supermarket, the kind of escalator that is flat so shopping trolleys (carts) can go on them, a woman with a baby and two small children and an older woman were getting on the escalator (isn’t escalator such a great word?), but the little girl, who was I would say around three years old, just stood at the top and watched as her family slowly drifted away from her. They were trying to encourage her to get on and saying she would be fine, but she seemed too afraid and remained there frozen. I was standing a little behind waiting to see what would happen, so the grandmother (I’m guessing that’s who she was) looked up at me and said, “Can you bring her?” My usual response with strangers is to not involve myself because I feel awkward, but I felt badly for the child, so I gently lifted her onto the escalator and stepped on beside her, fully expecting that now she was on she would go and join her family. Instead she grasped my finger very tightly and didn’t let go the whole way down.
My life has a certain… shapeliness? I work every day. I include church in that, because being a volunteer, leading volunteer teams every week, it’s not exactly restful. I have one day to myself. One day a week. Wednesday has become my Sabbath. The day where I have no demands on my time. I get to decide what I do. I don’t have to be subjected to the whims of others. Except even then I do. This is what it means to live with people.
A stranger has come To share my room in the house not right in the head A girl mad as birds
This is a quote from Love in the Asylum by Dylan Thomas, and while it doesn’t relate to me because for me it isn’t about my love life (what love life… forever alone, etc. etc.), I can always relate to it. The tyranny of the other, and the inability to reconcile with the inevitability of misunderstandings. I am grumpy and horrible. I don’t want to be a hermit. But on my day off I don’t want to see people who don’t live here. So I choose instead to avoid all contact. Except by prior arrangement and with plenty of time for warm up.
IS IT TOO MUCH TO ASK FOR NO ONE TO BE HERE ON WEDNESDAYS? JUST WEDNESDAYS? I ONLY HAVE ONE DAY. ONE DAY. ONE DAY. ONE. DAY.
Okay, end rant.
“sorry i didn’t respond to your text i was disenchanted with the entire human experience,” a thrilling new memoir by me
file under: quotes from the internet that are relevant to my entire life
It was getting close to 1 o’clock when sleepily he checked the time on his phone for the third or fourth time. He should get up if he wanted to make anything at all of the day. He hadn’t gone to sleep until sometime after 3 in the morning (currently the standard), so felt justified that this had given him at least close to eight hours in bed. Last night he had considered the possibility of getting up for one of the morning services whilst also knowing that the chances of this happening were slim to none. And sure enough.
He brushed his teeth and dressed quickly, then wandered around the corner for what he thought of as his morning flat white (never mind when he actually left the house). If his friend was working at the café he would greet her with a cheerful, “Good morning!” regardless of the time; frequently in the early-to-mid afternoon. The biggest problem with getting there after midday is that they were no longer serving breakfast rolls, so he would have to think of something else to have for breakfast. Which was a problem because thinking about food was so much effort. And then he (probably) would have to prepare it. Time! Time was a heavy burden. There was so much of it, and also so little.
Home again, he settled in front of the computer and ate a banana while checking various social media and trying to listen to music. Trying, because he started with one thing then stopped that to watch a video, then remembered a new album he wanted to check out before purchasing. He was about to go back to the first thing he had been listening to when he noticed it had started to rain. He could just hear it over the music, and peering over the top of his monitor and through the lace curtain he could see that, yes, the road was gleaming wetly. He paused the music and decided, instead, to just listen to the rain and knit some more of his scarf. He was coming so close to finishing but he kept procrastinating so it had dragged out longer than necessary. He was ready to finish and move on to another thing. Maybe a cardigan? Probably just another scarf.
The rain pattered gently, and there was the soft clicking of the bamboo needles. The heater by his side took the chill out of the air, yet he could still feel a certain coolness around him. A sensation of the awareness of being alive and in this moment took him by surprise; a wave of tingles rippled across his skin and was gone again. Amazing.
As he continued to knit in the relative silence, he realised he had space for his thoughts. Usually he knitted and kind of half watched a show on Netflix. But in the quiet his thoughts started to run free. It felt good.
Coming to the end of the colour block he was working on he realised it was time to start getting ready to leave the house. He noticed going into the bathroom that the mirror was steamed up indicating that someone else had showered recently. “Great!” he thought. “I live with a cave troll who never leaves the house, yet chooses to use up the hot water right before I need to go out like I do on the regular.” Sure enough, half way through washing himself the water started to cool. “This would never happen if I were a hermit.”
Returning to his room he decided to start writing an epic piece about his eventful day. He liked to think of it as finding the profound in the mundane. “It was getting close to 1 o’clock…”
He considered a title for the piece: MISANTHROPE SEEKS MANIC PIXIE DREAM TROPE. It didn’t quite fit. And now he was running late.