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But Paris was a very old city and we were young and nothing was simple there, not even poverty, nor sudden money, nor the moonlight, nor right and wrong, nor the breathing of someone who lay beside you in the moonlight.
A Moveable Feast, Chapter 5 - Hemingway



Out of my thoughts! You are part of my existence, part of myself. You have been in every line I have ever read, since I first came here, the rough common boy whose poor heart you wounded even then. You have been in every prospect I have ever seen since - on the river, on the sails of the ships, on the marshes, in the clouds, in the light, in the darkness, in the wind, in the woods, in the sea, in the streets. You have been the embodiment of every graceful fancy that my mind has ever become acquainted with. The stones of which the strongest London buildings are made, are not more real, or more impossible to be displaced by your hands, than your presence and influence have been to me, there and everywhere, and will be. Estella, to the last hour of my life, you can’t choose but remain part of my character, part of the little good in me, part of the evil. But, in this separation I associate you only with the good, and I will faithfully hold you to that always, for you must have done me far more good than harm, let me feel now what sharp distress I may. O God bless you, God forgive you!
Great Expectations



What is in a week?

It was only a week ago, what is in a week?

A week is the daily stream of rain down the window or the deep descent to the train, the repeated tread of the escalator, leaves collecting at the bottom.

A week ago you were here, and we sat outside, looking for spots on the roof that weren’t wet.

A week ago I lay on your shoulder, which felt unusual and fleshy. I am surprised how any part of you can feel foreign.

I lay back and gently poured memories into your ear, none of which I remember now. I could make up what I told you, plucking memories from the intricate spiders web of our relationship, but I won’t. I imagine my words crawling up your neck, into your ear and through your mind.

A week ago you placed your hand on my shoulder as you read, pausing everything. Everything stood still, poignantly, even though what you were reading was trivial and fleeting. I felt the tips of your fingers heavy on my shoulder.

A week ago you left, your quick lips full and warm.

I imagine you on the bus and you imagine me where you left me, you told me so.

I imagine your ascent and a week ago I heard your voice quick and full and sweet on the phone.

It is a week ago and I imagine you are still here. 




The low womb of the sun hangs heavy in the autumn sky.

The damp light makes the rain seem more transparent as it falls and falls.

The days are short now, and the nights long and hollow.

You ask me what time I woke up; you tell me when you woke up.

We trade fragments of information, like cracked pottery, piecing together an image of the time we are apart.

Are we apart or are we together?



In the lift we occupy different corners, like ivory pieces on a chessboard.

Your eyes dart, your eyes linger and I think I can see sadness in your eyes. Pushing and pulling, fingertips touching as I get off the train.

I want your words in my head and to think about them next to my words.

Your ideas in a sentence next to mine.

I write to be closer to you. 






Your sentences drag through my mind like never ending cables.

Your words drip, drip, drip like percolator coffee.

Our conversations spin and whirl in a cyclical motion.

Stop spinning me, just love me.




I am sat with my back against the wall; across the hall a girl sleeps. I push my head against the flat cool paint and trying to straighten my spine and hold my head high.

The girl sleeps across the hall, and with her, her baby sleeps, unborn. The baby of this room, it’s owner long departed.

I try not to bang the door, she is close.

Earlier we sat downstairs, hers a face of white powder, me with a few empty hours just within my grasp.

We chain drink black coffees and talk of the baby. Nothing but the baby.

I wonder if, in years to come, when the baby is years and years old, she will think of this house, I wonder if she will ever know of this house.  The consequence, the paper chain of events created from her conception.

I will be leaving this street and this house. Everyone will leave this street and this house.

Maybe it doesn’t matter.

Tonight the two of them sleep elsewhere, but the house is still quiet. It holds us well, the stacked rooms are all occupied with different people, the corridors are still and empty.

The rattle of keys in the street.



The Great Gatsy

"Oh, hello, old sport," he said, as if he hadn’t seen me for years. I thought for a moment he was going to shake hands.

"It’s stopped raining."

"Has it?" When he realized what I was talking about, that there were twinkle-bells of sunshine in the room, he smiled like a weather man, like an ecstatic patron of recurrent light, and repeated the news to Daisy. "What do you think of that? It’s stopped raining."

"I’m glad, Jay." Her throat, full of aching, grieving beauty, told only of her unexpected joy.



She was sitting up now. My arm was around her and she was leaning back against me and we were quite calm. She was looking into my eyes with that way she had of looking that made you wonder whether she really saw out of her own eyes. They would look on after everyone else’s eyes in the world world have stopped looking. She looked as though there were nothing on earth she would not look at like that, and really she was afraid of so many things.” Hemingway, Fiesta

Oh Jake,” Brett said, “we could have had such a damned good time together.”
Ahead was a mounted policeman in khaki directing traffic. He raised his baton. The car slowed, suddenly pressing Brett against me. 
“Yes,” I said. “Isn’t it pretty to think so?

Hemingway, Fiesta




The sun doesn’t always rise in the same way, when the light leaks across the sky it doesn’t create the same morning dapple.

As the day ebbs from the corners of the sky, it is different from yesterday.

Perhaps as a writer you are a failure if you can’t present the whole spectrum of light in its variation.

Repetition stacked on top of cliché on top of banal description, if it all sounds the same, you. fail.

Snow has fallen today, rich cotton sliding across the sky, but still it melts into grey. The sky tinged with a rose hue.

I have spent a year and a half waiting for you, so maybe the earth is always the same, rise and dusk only daily carbon copies of each other.

You won’t change, the world doesn’t change, and we should cease to write.