Sunday, 13 June 2010

Five Random Incidents, Sunday 13th June.

We set off on the long and tedious drive back from paradise, even if paradise seems hellish and incomplete. Immediately we hit a trail of cyclists, triatheletes, racing. It takes twenty minutes to pull onto the main road. They are all going our way towards Bala. I overtake, heedless of the admonition of the double-line, a buffeting and concertina sway of speed and slow, speed and slow, an eye always on the sudden overtaking manouvre of the racers, another eye on the blind bends and hills, a dance of sorts, a cha-cha, a strange mixture of danger and consideration. I wish them all the best as I pass each one. One chap is a mass of scabs and scratches. He must have taken a fall, or been unlucky in the swimming, or something.

Standing beside the car, the children sleeping, I roll a cigarette and smoke, gazing over the valley that extends from Bala towards Corwen, between Bethel and Glan-yr-Afon. The trees are moving strangely: there is a breeze, but the trees move in slow-motion. They undulate and whip as if the wind was strong, but the wind is not strong, and their motion, although exaggerated, is unduly slow. They are not trees, they are underwater fronds, strange coral-tendrils, or anenomes, seaweeds, curling and swaying in the bellydance of the waves. The light too, is subaqueous, despite the sudden honey-coloured sunlight. A grey-green-yellow, dappled, chill. The wind pushing gently on my back has an insistent tangibility that is incommensurate with its force, again, a push and swash of spectral water. I cast my eyes down, expecting to see my clothes defying gravity, and rising and falling around my limbs. It is true, and not-true, simultaneously. It is beautiful, and terrible too. It is the precise sensation of watching a gorgeous animal that you know could turn on you and you would be helpless to defy its rending. I take a deep breath, finish my cigarette, and stare through the windows at each sleeping child in turn, focusing my attention on them. Glaucous angels, in their submarine. Drive safely, or steer thy boat to shore.

Another halt, the dreary miles between Oswestry and Shrewsbury. I leave my phone on the roof of the car and roar away, and recollection hits me twenty minutes later. Damn and fuck and blast. My whole life at present is stored on that damned bit of plastic and silicon. I pull a ridiculous u-turn: the boys loved it. Any cheap seventies crime series would have smiled on me. I speed the way back to the lay-by. Not quite the ton. Don't know the cameras or traps. Another screeching turn to spin at rest to where my scrubbed into brown-smear fagbut humiliates me as I stare at the empty tarmac. I hunt the verge, well past the distances of likelihood. I restrain my headbutts to gentle backbutts on the headrest as I swear at myself sotto voce again and again, before setting off. An hour and a half later, through squally showers, wipers flicking furiously, I see the first phonebox between that point and this. I decide on the offchance, that whoever had picked up the phone from the lay-by was worth a chance at calling, even though I knew they would be the most malicious blackmailing bastard in the whole of christendom, who also would dedicate their entire life to phoning everyone in my contacts, reading my texts out loud on the radio, publishing my entire drivel stored there on the internet... The phonebox took neither cash nor cards. I did not vandalise it, but stood and stared it into its elementary particles. I walked back to the car, and there, balanced on the hub of the rear wiper, my telephone. It had stayed there, poised, for over two hours of violent driving. One touch and it slid down to be caught by my other hand.

The children greet their mother. I have already said my goodbyes. I hand her the car keys. She hands me a rose. I planted the bush. Complicata. A pink bloom, fragrant and heady. I tuck it in my moleskine, and note it neighbours  a pink hairpin.

Home, hungry, I open the fridge. Something is dead. There is an evil spirit in the house. I investigate and discover a camenbert, sun-cooked for over a week, and now distilled to vileness. I wrap it in clingfilm to the size of a football and put it in the bin. It feels at home.

3 comments:

Morte said...

lovely post this D, the phone story is amazing. I just love it when stuff like that happens.

Will be in touch regards you know what.

Karen said...

Oh I love your writing. Ever written a book? You should.

tweednut said...

Thanks both.

M: around august 14th is looking most likely in terms of when the place will be free - how does that sound? Hope you're well.

K: Thanks - I have actually, and thankfully have either shredded, burned, or lost all incriminating copies! Take care and hope you feel better soon.