“I really miss drinking chocolat chaud
You’d pick me up discreetly at the end of my road
We would go somewhere quiet and drink ’em slow
And I really miss taking drives with you
Forests, fields, and villages we’d pass through
There is not one single thing I’d rather do…”
My current song on repeat. It is so lovely and dreamy, and has a lil of the Badly Drawn Boy/Magic in the Air spirit. Nothing quite like a soft chocolate song to start a Saturday morning.
My misty pennant this week would have read something along the likes of “I’m tired” or “I’m exhausted” … “I want to sleep in…” for it seems that the social life has hit me into overdrive and it is time for me to hide under the covers and read stories of the tear drop woman or overdue London book reviews and listen to sleepy songs. Even arithmetic and my bonds assignments look vaguely interesting. G keeps coaxing me to go over for rootbeer floats and whatnot but all I really want to do is to sleep for ages and dream of autumn leaves like a red squirrel.
I thought the best friend loved red squirrels, but what he really meant was a red fox. So intermittently I have been creating my own magic forests in my mind – based on stories shared by the lovely ZT of her visit to redwoods trees – the tallest trees in the world – an entire forest of tall, beautiful, graceful trees. Flowers with thick stems, lavender petals. Red squirrels that skeeter and tweeter, and follow a certain directed path (she drew it out for me, I love ZT for that as I trace the haphazard path). The way a squirrel makes decisions, the way I make simple decisions like where to eat and when to sleep. She tells me of mountain treks that seem to lead to nowhere on a tall mountain, and looking down to a whole forest of swaying trees. In my mind the forest is something I imagine of anime proportions, talking and whispering, tall trees with the deer she speaks about who are not elegant but instead hide in graveyards and have menace on their countenances. Webs or thistles on your faces- something uncomfortable, unsightly. Then the trees again. I imagine walking into such a forest very, very silently.
I like the way a person sounds over the phone at night, or the way the best friend talks about a longing for toast and a bath, and I ask him whether he wants toast or a bath first. He tells me of black death stories of people walking into rooms and corners of death and a man who falls in love with a dying girl. I tell him about the plot of my new book, where the girl marries a political something but falls in love with another american professor who actually reads her poems and after she dies, screams out each word into the sea, holding the hand of her little boy who was bred with another. He tells me about people around us who have grown up, who talk about law jobs and cameras and life. We talk about the shadows and thistles of life, but Irving, sometimes I feel as though perhaps if we walk for awhile, we might just walk into magical forests every once in awhile to see the red squirrels. You give me that feeling //thats the way I feel with you// just like that.
At this point as I write this the cat, longing for attention, leaps into my lap for a hug (she does things like that), and I realize JRV is right, perhaps I do behave quite like a cat, I draw near then turn away from people. I do my own thing then come back unexpectedly, without announcing my return. And I come back smelling a little like what I have been doing. I sometimes wish I was the other way. Consistent, steady, like a patient yellow river. My emotions strong and built on solid ground, the way ST is. Or like Irving, a contemplative, earnest soul – playful in mind and the life critic. But instead I have fallen to become a cat. And I choose my affections.
Here is the surface of my life. Writing legal papers and having the White Book/Black Book (civil procedure) as my new constant friends, learning ‘advanced’ excel with N, where we came across the coolest vlookups/if/macros/analysis tools and think it is all pretty rad to apply to our tasks (we will create colourful buttons for E for every research detail he asks me for), attending V’s lovely wedding, watching good (X-Men) and bad (Treasure Inn) movies with excellent folks. Playing my first game of Scotland Yard hiding away from detectives around a game board, and whiling away the evening on cosy dinners. Learning new formulas for punch.
But a part of me longs for something slow and quiet – like those long rides on old Japanese trains in the countryside, that pass by rivers to solitary towns that serve cha soba not on ice but on a tile, where you pass by cats in single numbers, where you contemplate what you left behind in the land of the living.
We’ll do all these things again Irving, and take funny photographs, and eat comfort food, when you come to Singapore. I’ll pat you down and make sure you speak only German with me, recite not one HK law case or write not one affidavit, and the only judge you see will be the absent stars in our night sky when we are telling each other stories on a balcony. We shall take our own trains.