Moments in She

*

You’re on a train to Brussels. The carriage is almost empty. You have a side of two seats to yourself. You pretend not to notice the small “No feet on seats” sign and stretch out your long, spidery legs, resting your feet against the glass of the lower window pain. Max has the adjacent two seats to himself. The two of you sit side by side, with a gap between you – moving in the same direction, but on completely different journeys.

The countryside is beautiful. Green, fertile and rolling. In spring time. Not so dissimilar to the English countryside really, except for the houses – look different – or something. The roof tops mainly. And the cows appear stumpy. Dwarf-like. The result of a diet too rich in cheese and chocolate perhaps. It gives you a feeling of fullness.

The scenery moves past on a high-speed conveyor belt and makes the muscles in your eyes work over time.

The boy adjacent views the same scene through a lens. Always through a camera lens these days. A tidy barrier letting in no-one. Except technology, and Science, and scenes with no people in them.

“Can I accidentally stand on it, Maxxy, and smash it into a thousand tiny pieces?”

Snap.

You wouldn’t even be able to tell someone the colour of his eyes anymore. Should someone happen to ask. They used to be brown, you think.

DSLR. Digital soft lens reflex. Digital slave left retarded!

Don’t say love rules.

**

You let yourself in through the gate and step up onto the porch, hoping you’ve got the right number. “36” it reads on your hand. But the sweat has partly rubbed it away. The “6” could have in fact been an “8”…

It’s a beautiful, warm summer’s afternoon in Melbourne. North Fitzroy. There is still an intensity in the sun. You can feel it most on the back of your neck. It feels incredible: hopeful, sensual. A welcome contrast to the cold beginnings of winter in London. No loss in leaving that behind at least.

The front door is open, the wire door closed. Will you knock, or call out, or ring the bell? Too many choices with everything these days. Calling out seems knaff. But you’ll try all three. The bell doesn’t work. That narrows it down. You haven’t felt butterflies like this in a long time. Feels silly. Exciting too.

You peer in through the wire door and view, through wire, a long, empty corridor with rooms coming off it to the left, in typical “Victorian terrace” style. You knock a couple of times and back away from the door. And wait. You stare vacantly, a little self-consciously, into the garden… at the letter box… at the roof-top, and the scorched leaves poking out of the gutters… at the floor… back at the doorway… And you see that same open face, same brown eyes, but longer hair, her physic perhaps a little fuller. God, you want to kiss her. The two of you embrace like distant friends.

It takes five hours of polite restraint and fond, uninterrupted conversation, and four pots of black coffee, only to be told:

“I’ve started seeing someone.”

You were two months too late – or two years and seven months living in delusion. The reality: one moves away, and everyone just gets on with their lives. But to you, it feels like time’s stood still. Everything should be just as you left it. OF COURSE relationships don’t work like that. Course they don’t.

*

Moments in She

CatBarker

Joined January 2008

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