“She’s Slightly Strange”, She Said.

“I used to think anyone doing anything weird was weird.

Now I know that it is the people who

call others weird that are weird.”

[Paul McCartney]

Enter my mind. Dim lights. Open Curtain:

A monday mid afternoon. Closer to four than to three. In a fading grey light. Not an unfriendly, threatening grey. Rather a grey, that can’t be bothered with being anything apart from being. A grey, that wakes up in the morning and says to itself “I’ll be a blank page.”

An italian restaurant on a busy shopping street. Little bistro tables clinging to the old brick wall. The wall’s earthy red fat and satisfied. Swollen with the passing years it has swallowed. Too much, too fast. A greedy, though not unfriendly, dark red brick wall.

The tables don’t mind. But than again, they wouldn’t mind anything keeping them from falling. Their placement on the dark charcoal pavement, with all its lumps and gasps, doesn’t allow for a secure footing on their sturdy metal feet. So they embrace the wall, who in turn leans in onto them.

Tiny bistro chairs. All huddled together in a corner. Each trying to hide behind the other. Each trying to evade the energetic breeze, that in its delusionment, believes to be a wind. As the wind it believes itself to be, it tries its voice at a vibrant roar, much like a child trying to converse with the lion at the zoo. Whereas the lion has no sufferance for little children and goes back to counting paces behind iron bars, the old oak branches in the trees above stifel a chuckle.

Passerby’s shuffling the sounds with their leather soles. Filling the void left in between honking cars and opening doors, gracefully, with a deeper bass of activity. At times, some voices may find their own frequency in disturbance of this subtle rhythm, but since there is no purpose to this disturbance, the setting decides to overlook the rude interruption of its being.

Afterall, it is occupied with its own excitement.

Centre Stage, just slightly to the left. Enter two young women. Not young enough to be blissfully unaware of the ever ticking ticks and tocks of time, but young enough to still believe they have endless of them left to hear.

As they settle at a table, one of them drops her scarf. I know this without looking. It’s one of the things she does. Almost like a tribute to the ground, she is about to rest her steadied feet on.

The scarf, which is not light and airy, but firm and honest wool, honoring the rules of gravity, drops where her fingers disconnect with it. It cuddles together in a comfortable heap. Knowing it will remain there, until she parts from this place, swooping it up from the ground once more and slinging it around her pale, frail neck in one fluid motion. Thus it can practice the art of patience peacefully and quietly, in unspoken affirmation, that it won’t be left behind until the first crocus break through the dried skin and emerge like golden rays between a grassy green heavens.

The two attend to their coffees reverently. One lump of sugar? Maybe two? Just a drop of milk. And then the stirring commences and doesn’t falter, until the creamy liquid in the cups will turn without their assistance. Swirling around despite itself. Chilled hands clutch the cups. Letting the warmth seep through the china and enter them through their fingertips.

Red lips turn upward placed vis-a-vis from each other. Automatically. Unisono. Then one of the pairs may open and politely inquire in regards to suitable, expected matters. To which the other will reply with an equally apparent perfect pronunciation. They don’t know each other well enough, nor do they feel comfortable enough with each other, to swallow a vowel or good forbid omit a word.

Time passes, through the streets. Through the bustle and the noise. Through the quiet and the darkening.

It may stop shortly to greet the oak for they have known each other for more than a second, but not too long. Passing time is like a shark. It can only exist in motion.

The gray, tiring of its paleness and feeling overlooked, claims more attention through the application of a darker shade around its rim. It smushes it a bit. Blends it in. Artistically.

Moving eyes set in moving heads on moving figures change their movement upwards in recognition of a slight change in pattern. The light falls darker on the charcoal pavement. The grey, having thus received its desired reverence, contents itself once more with fading, lazily, into the background.

Two luckless bistro chairs carry on carrying two women faithfully. If it weren’t for them, they could be huddled up with the rest. Comfortably boring themselves to sleep. One of the trembles slightly. The years have made him less tolerant to the cold.

This goes unnoticed by the two occupants, which are forced to direct their concentration exclusively on one other. Otherwise the treasured custom of politeness could crumble, revealing

– faint boredom. This is a womans sense of duty.

So after the exchange of the required amount of syllables, both instinctively twitch their bodies homewards. Swiftly kisses are breathed on stone cheeks. Greetings exchanged strung together with faux promises.

And here it ends. Here it could end. If not one suddenly halteres her step and turns. The other feeling the ripple, mirrors her movement.

“Dear, I’m sorry. I ment to ask you. Are you still in touch with her?”

“Yes, I am. I’m seeing her tomorrow, actually.”

(A question lingering won’t come to life, because the other smiles. Dark dimples in her cheeks. You could hide the world inside of them and never find it again, if she so wished.)

“Really? I’ve always found her to be slightly strange.”

And then she turns, calling out regrets over her shoulder – ah the limitation of time! – to the other one still standing. Staring. Stuttering thoughts inside of her.

Swiftly, carelessly, the dimpled she flings her airy silk scarf around her pearl covered throat

(for this delicate throat cares not for the earthiness of wool),

– taking me with her in her dimples.

[ “Dumb”  –  Nirvana (In Utero) ]

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8 thoughts on ““She’s Slightly Strange”, She Said.

    • Thank you 🙂
      I was struggeling with this. Not the writing (actually rereading it, I should have gone back and edited, which I never do with my posts). I was struggeling with this girl (who I barely know) saying I was strange. It’s not the “strange” because I am. It’s just that it’s not ment in a loving, forgiving way.
      The thing that irked me most though, was that it irked me. I need to learn to let stuff just slide off of me. Not everything, but offhanded comments like this, yes!

  1. I really like the tone of this, I felt sad, but really I need to read it again, and again. I love how Kurt comes in and saves you, tells you to forget that bitch. Your blog friends are so onto her. Thanks for sharing and I love how poetic you are, (hiding the world in a dimple…love it)

    • Hah! I liked that line too actually 😉 She really has deep dimples – cute dimples actually, so it felt fitting. I think I was feeling very prufrocky writing this (I have heard the mermaids singing each to each, I do not think that they shall sing to me). It’s a bit rough around the edges and I’m not sure, this will be my style for future posts, but it felt fitting for this one. 😉

      Ah, Kurt! I spent one summer living only off of Nirvana, coffee, white russians, cigarettes, toaster waffles and caned tuna-salad. Great memories! 🙂

  2. Ok I’ll admit the first time I read this I didn’t think you wrote it… And perhaps you were quoting a passage at length of some long dead author… And the second time I read it, not only did I know that you *did* write this, but all of a sudden, I felt as if I was a waiter watching in, but then, the third time?

     I don’t know if I like being a bistro chair, or hungry wall, or shuffling feet, and china cups, sitting in their hands, cold and clamy wrapped around my porcelain extremities?   I do not think that I do.  But I was, insidiously so.

    But then.  Once I read it again?  

    I realized that the labels they use, the entity of them… Brings me to strange, brings me closer to strange and not that I am, but if I was, I, like time, would relish the moment, cherish being witness to the slightness, the oddity that dares escapes the pursed lips of dimples.  Without that kind of originating differentiation I would not be in such good company, I would not be able to call someone of this writing quality and depth ‘friend ‘, so after despising my role in this as a scarf finding comfort in itself, I have transformed in to knowing, and to a degree, belonging…although, I may not be so slight!

    • This made me smile 🙂

      It’s like poetry in it’s own right (I read it twice) – Thank you 🙂

      I was trying to come to terms with my reaction to an offhanded comment about me to a friend of mine by a mutual acquaintance (as I told Worrywart) and (as I told Patrice) I was feeling very prufrocky.

      Actually not so much the last mermaids lines of it, now that I think of it, but more the descriptive part in the first paragraphs

      (“The yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window-panes,
      The yellow smoke that rubs its muzzle on the window-panes
      Licked its tongue into the corners of the evening,
      Lingered upon the pools that stand in drains,
      Let fall upon its back the soot that falls from chimneys,
      Slipped by the terrace, made a sudden leap,
      And seeing that it was a soft October night,
      Curled once about the house, and fell asleep.”)

      If you haven’t read it yet (and although T.S.E. is a bit of a lenghty melancholist) you should give it a try: http://www.bartleby.com/198/1.html

      I liked your feelings reading it. Quite surprinsingly, that was exactly what I wanted the reader to feel (to be torn between being an onlooker and being a part of the scenery – we are all winds and grey and chairs and cups and walls at time).

      As for the not recognizing my writing: I understand. 😉
      This was the first time (here) I dabbled in the indirect poetic writing. Not sure, if I will do it again. But it seemed fitting here. Especially because I needed to find a way to disten myself from my emotions without boxing them up.

      The privilege of being in each other companies is mutual and although I consider myself more a reader than a writer, I graciously accept your complement 🙂

      Isn’t it cool, that a couple of letters in this big nothing somewhere in the webmess can make us smile? I think so! 🙂

      • It is cool! …. Your writing made me smile too.

        I can see mr. elliot writing this, scribing it out… Smiling as he pens;
        “Do I dare         
        Disturb the universe?
        In a minute there is time
        For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.
         
        For I have known them all already, known them all:
        Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons,         
        I have measured out my life with coffee spoons;
        I know the voices dying with a dying fall
        Beneath the music from a farther room.
          So how should I presume?”

        And thinking, as i do now, ” I dare say, that flowed quite nicely didn’t it?”
        But noting that other pieces have things in the margins, scribbled like,
        ” bollucks, what can I possibly do with –

        “Shall I say, I have gone at dusk through narrow streets         
        And watched the smoke that rises from the pipes
        Of lonely men in shirt-sleeves, leaning out of windows?…
         
        I should have been a pair of ragged claws
        Scuttling across the floors of silent seas.”.

        And thinking to himself, ” I do so love this part… But it doesn’t rhyme!”

        🙂

        • Gosh – you nearly copy-pasted 1/18th of the entire poem there 😉

          Glad you enjoyed it – I guess it’s one of the overused ones as far as TSE goes, but I still like it (I actually know the first couple of verses by heart, but that’s a different story 😉 )

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