# 17 || "I’m restless. Things are calling me away. My hair is being pulled by the stars again."


I woke up this morning dreaming of trains and tresses and tea. My novel is going nowhere, it seems all of those lazy summer afternoons I imagined - my figure strategically placed in the semi-sunshine with Lua the laptop and cigarette - will never ever happen. But for lack of anything real to write, here is an excerpt from a story that is so incredibly far from finished . . .

"We embrace under the sun and I’m mute because the ecstasy is overwhelming. I could never say that two hundred days apart from her felt like two hundred y e a r s of grey sky. Tiare can comprehend a lot of things but she wouldn’t believe me. Not because she doesn’t know what it feels like to be in lust but she would never think I would say something so unreal. I converse in silence all too much; it’s a lonely covert world sometimes.

The river running through the world reminds me of bluebirds and leaky pipes. Tiare is telling me about a land she encountered once upon a time, in a land over 16,600 kilometres away. It might as well be another reality, because I’ve never been Anywhere. It seems as if Tiare encountered someone or something so magical there I think she might spend the rest of her last eight lives trying to match the same euphoria. I don’t know why she has never mentioned this place before. She says this feeling is like throwing your heart down the rabbit hole and forever waiting for the laws of physics to send it soaring skyward again. Because she believes what goes down must one day fly up and it’s not a theory, she says. It’s candor.

And we both agree that you must hold onto your hope and never let go. Because impossible is nothing, ever, at all, but keeping your dreams alight like fire is a choice not an entitlement. Me, I believe in an imperfect world, where everything would happen as you wished it would. Human beings might walk on cotton wool clouds and bruise black-and-blue if a butterfly comes too close. Everything happens as it should, and we must hold onto ambition because it keeps us on the solid side of the cliff. Dreams aren’t easy concepts to carry, but do so with every shred of strength and I promise  you will thank me later. Because lately I don’t know what to wish for, it’s white noise from the moment I awake. And believe me, it’s far worse than disappointment."

Sometimes I am surprised at how exceptionally precious and involved we are. Sleep on a stone floor under your great-aun'ts bed for 3 nights in a row, wake up in a hotel room with white walls / without windows, dream on a creaky bed with a lifeless cockroach inches from your eyelashes. Get caught out in the rain, swim in an eerie lake and forget to bring a towel, eat a supermarket salad on a damp bench with everything you treasure in a canvas bag that is slipping down your shoulder. And smile because your alterego on the other side of the piazza thinks you look just fine, - perhaps a little spooked - nobody can see the fear trembling your heart.

I write to remember and savour and romanticise everything so it glitters. You'll see how when you focus on the details everything seems a little more luxe. The roof over your heard, the time you loved something, the fact you can see these letters and make words with your mind. But if you like you can focus on the tears and the grief and the aching and remember how glorious all the times were when you felt free ! Remember the thousand deep breaths that saved you from screaming and strangling. My heart glows and the void ebbs and flows.

It's not that everything is falling into place, it's just that I am falling into some kind of rhythm that keeps one foot in front of the other always, I'm moving and mastering. Or rather I am just realising that 'there is always here', and I'm exactly where I am which, by coincidence, is just where I need to be. What does wrong-place-at-the-wrong-time mean if I wouldn't have known and seen everything I am, if I hadn't been where I was? It's simple, it's present and it's free(dom). And I don't know, it's not coping, per se. It's locating the sparkle and igniting something inside of it. It's not a silver lining but it's the antidote to terror and quelling the ghosts. It's just a phase, a rut, a dream, a nightmare.

and truly,