The Winterfood Diaries

The Winterfood Diaries

Wednesday, 4 July 1990

Memory Trap

EARLY AM, 12am-ish?

‘Oochy Koochy’ – Baby Ford

It’s almost a year since our last meeting and our all too sudden parting.

She’s always there in my heart; a nagging little doubt.  A part of my emotions that I cannot hold down for very long.  We sat in her bedroom last year.  Why did it all have to be so sudden?  I lolled around on her floor, looking at her Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy books, avoiding a spider and listening to Vangelis.  I could see her watching me, out of the corner of my eye.  I recall, without making any reference to previous diaries (which I cannot, here in Kellington), that we spent 3 nights together.  The first in reminiscent lovemaking, the second in the Friday nite pub (then talking in her room), and the third at Castle Rising, at which time we parted (just outside Blackberry Narrow after coffee at her place).

My memory traps the Friday night.  We did ‘mind’ experiments.  I was on the floor, she was on the bed.  I was so tired from work and if the conversation lapsed I’d suddenly drift off into sleep.  When she spoke again, it was like hearing a voice that came from a great distance; a tunnel or a well.  To address this, I said that if I drifted again, she should say things that might affect whatever sub-conscious dreams I might have wandered into at that time.  If you know what kind of nodding off experience I’m talking about (without me having to elaborate) then you’ll make sense of my prattlings.  It was a strange, lazy, hazy night.  We should have been making love…

‘Chung Kuo’ – Vangelis

She looks at me with those eyes; those yes that belie all her hopes, fears and worries; eyes wet with nascent tears that won’t fall until more of this evil day has passed.  Castle Rising towers above us in the dim near-distance.  We haven’t spoken for ages.  Barnes Bysea had been bad: two cars near the sand dunes and Miranda and I, silent.  Touching, but silent.  Silence that kills me later in her car, in the darkness, cold.  Telling her how much I love her, how much I care; how much I could hurt her, hurt me, but won’t.  How much I want to be her friend.  Realisation sinks in and she reels off a list of boys’ names at me.  I’m in there three times.  I’m her first love and she’s crying, crying for me, for herself, and for secret anxieties that she will never reveal to me.  She is crying.  And it feels new to me.  So many tears fall.  I convince myself that she’s never cried in my presence before, but I know she has.  A year earlier, in Magazine Lane park.  We almost parted then, but delayed the death of our ’88 romance for another month.  My mind’s eye is all over the place.  She’s crying and then it’s 1985 and she’s smiling as she climbs into the car to go to Walpole Rollerdrome with me.  Her teeth are beautiful.  She looks, fresh, young and beautiful.  And then it’s 1989 and she’s older.  Her face is tired and sad, but still beautiful and her teeth are still gorgeous.  ‘Teeth!’ she exclaims.  ‘No,’ I reply.  ‘But it does,’ she says.  ‘It looks like a golden mouth and they’re the teeth!’  I’m not convinced.  The cover of Prince’s Batman LP is a bat design – it just doesn’t scan like a mouth to me.  Not at all.  I’m on the floor again.  It’s the next evening and the spider has gone.  I look at her on the bed and go to the toilet.  Then it’s the night before again.  Two minutes ago, we kissed and I’m in the bathroom not believing myself.  I return to the bedroom and the light is out.  She’s in bed – naked, almost – and, painfully at first, we make love for the first time in a year.  In 1988, in the park near Alexandra Road, she’s wearing her dad’s old leather jacket and I’m kissing her vulva.  I rise, mount her, and we make love properly for the first time.  It’s the first day we’ve spoken to each other in over two years.  We rise and fall.  It is beautiful.  We’ve promised each other it will be special, and it is.  We see each other almost every nite for the next two months and make love at least twice on almost every occasion.  I come.  A copious supply of semen falls to the floor, cascading onto the cardigan Miranda and I are being animals upon. It is dark and we are in a graveyard.  I withdrew too late.  I should have come on her stomach.  I mistimed.  She is distressed that it might stain the cardigan.  It doesn’t, so we leave the graveyard sticky but so bloody happy.  Happily, I smile, looking out of her bedroom window.  She’s telling me what she’s been doing and says she saw me in the paper.  Embarrassed, I look outside and across the wall by the river.  On the wall sits Ebenezer, Miranda’s cat.  Next to him is a boy with long, crimped and back-combed hair.  He has a piece of paper in his hands and he’s writing something.  He has a racing bike.  The boy is called Jez.  His relationship is on the rocks because he is still in love with a girl called Miranda.  It’s dark, but he’s managing to write a poem called The River.  ‘All things at once are here,’ he recites, looking up at Miranda’s bedroom window.  The curtains are closed.  What he doesn’t realise is that from behind the curtains, Miranda is watching him through the zoom lens of her camera.  Removing the lens-cap, Miranda pulls the duvet from Anna’s spare bed, and now I’m exposed, brushing my back-combed hair from my eyes as Miranda photographs my naked body.  When I have photographed her, we turn off the lights and step, almost naked, into the street.  Then I am alone, walking to her house in 1989, full of anticipation at the thought of seeing her.  It’ll be the first time in a year.  Under twelve hours later, I am awakening to see her beautiful face smiling beside me.  I fell asleep on her.  Funnily enough, she fell asleep on me, too.  She’s got to get me home in time to start work.  We clamber, now dressed, into the car.  On the back seat are Rod, Alice and Mooney.  We’re driving home from Castle Rising and it’s pitch dark outside.  There’s been a power cut and there’s no street lighting.  We can only really see anything when the lightning flashes.  Miranda is worried about me.  Then it’s 1985 and Miranda and I are in the derelict house.  She’s telling me that she’s worried that I’m fed up with her.  I’m telling her I’m not.  She repeats this concern, but now I’m at home in Blackberry Narrow and she’s at home on North Brink talking to me over the telephone.  I tell her it’s the end of our relationship and she cries.  It is 1986.  And then it’s 1988 in Magazine Lane.  And then it’s 1989, and I’m sitting in a rust-brown Renault outside the bungalow.  I’m dying inside.  She’s in horrible hysterics.  I have to go, I can’t take any more.  I tell her I love her.  And I’m at the funfair with her in 1986, saying goodbye.  I step off into the night, alone, and then it’s two weeks later and I’m visiting her in her home, talking together in the study, looking out onto the garden – dark and empty – where we are kissing in 1985.  I look up into the sky, and when I look back down again, I am walking to the old Wisbech Cinema, where we shall have our first date three months ago.  She’s walking towards me in 1985, and walking away again outside The Angel in 1989.  I look up into the dark sky, listening to Propaganda’s recording of Edgar Allen Poe’s ‘Dream Within a Dream’.  I am in the back garden of Blackberry Narrow with Make-Up, naming a star after a girl called BMW.  For me, ‘Dream Within a Dream’ becomes ‘our’ song.  If I close my eyes, I know I am listening to the song on Miranda’s bed in 1989.  But when I open my eyes again, the music stops and it is my own voice reciting Poe that I can hear.  The stars look down on me and Flash whispers in the darkness.  In the undergrowth a little further away, Stan is looking for a flower.  I silently wish to myself that I’d made love to Miranda in this, the Wasp’s garden.  Standing, I still look up at the stars.  When my eyes return to earth, I’m outside my house and I’ve got tears in my eyes, and so has Miranda as she drives away from me, into the night.  I step into my home and pray I shall see Miranda again, but when I open my eyes a year has passed and I am alone.  In Yorkshire, my diary in my hand.  It’s almost 1am.  I wish it wasn’t.  I wish it was sometime else.

[Images subject to control of individual Copyright Holders including works originated by Elton Townend Jones, but excluding any images or design attributed to ‘The Situation’ which are copyright of The Situation (see specific acknowledgements in the ‘Thanks to…’section below) / ‘Berwin Groomstool’ is an iteration of the Situation character ‘William Whicker’ and falls under joint copyright of Elton Townend Jones and Waen Shepherd / Based on true events and designed as a study of parochial British cultural and emotional life in the late 20th century, this blog is a work of fiction – cultural icons excluded, all characters and incidents featured are entirely fictional / This blog is non-profit; all video clips are used for illustrative purposes and almost always come from YouTube / No copyright infringement is intended – just trying to get things into context. Never forget: no man is an island. If you think anything I’ve used is damaging you in any way, please comment and immediate action will be taken to minimise offence / This notice was amended on 1 July 2012 and is intended to cover this and all posts on that precede it]

Next time: ‘Yorkshire Slides…’

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