Desire. The most important thing in the world and here it was lying quietly by my side while you were breaking into day. I thought how I also wanted coffee, and that had me rising from the floor away from you and into the kitchen where I boiled the kettle and, hidden behind it’s hissing, began to quietly hum. There were your feet. I could see them through the hatch separating the kitchen from the living room behind the table where you lay, makeshift bed. Bony feet. Like all of your limbs, clumsy movements made elegant by them and totalling a sort of brattish ease. Exaggerated when tired, at your best when at your worst. I wonder what dreams had occupied you through the night, you wouldn’t remember them. Didn’t that make you feel like you’d been missing something? I was missing something, somewhere within you that I could not touch and so it was the very thing I wanted.
I left to shower in my own house walking slowly with my face upturned to the sky, the sun warming the back of my top. I had nothing on underneath and every time the breeze lifted it up I blushed. I peeled the film back from the packet of pomegranate seeds I’d stolen from the fridge, popping individual jewels between my lips that stained my fingers in pricks of blood. When I walked through my bedroom door I stood still staring out through the window at the tops of the houses, their patchwork tiles each laid with human hands, and at the bluing sky offsetting them. It reminded me of that desert postcard I bought in Oslo that disappeared. I stood quite still in a sort of trance thinking of almost nothing at all, just watching the sky shifting its way around the globe.
Often when I left you I went in to a state of perpetual shock, it was so much and then nothing at all. I felt like I did not need anybody else in the world. I couldn’t think so I set about cleaning my room for the first time in that frantic way all the women I loved do. I even bought a headband. I copy these small things but would never admit to doing so and with defiance say, “I’ve always worn one.”
The wooden floorboards underneath me were separated by cracks and I noticed how each time I tried to sweep, the dust would fall straight down. Crouched down with a pencil, I stuck it between the cracks to test the depth below. The tip touched nothing and the pencil fell through my fingers and into the abyss. Years and years of things swept and lost. I would write a letter and fold it into the crack beside the pencil (would it still be there, do things disappear?) But then I felt a sort of fear at not knowing what lay below me; similar to the feeling i got while standing street level at Oxford Circus, aware of all the frantic heads directly under my feet and how I’d just been one of them. I wrote a few words to nobody about the love I felt that day on the back of a Egon Shiele postcard and posted it through the crack in my floorboard for the next girl with her head in the sky to find or think about and felt suddenly, quietly good.