Well back in good old east (of) dulwich. I look across the gardens from my £750 a month studio and think about paris. Terri cheered up a bit before I left. Last night we ended up in a club (can’t remember the name) and we danced like latin lovers in a disney cartoon.
When we got back to her tiny little flat in the seventeenth, she could barely walk up the stairs — I held her up and she put both arms around my waist which didn’t make our upward progress any easier. when we got in she collapsed on the sofa where I was supposed to be sleeping. i thought for a moment about just getting into her bed but, o i don’t know, i lifted her up and put her in it. I took her boots off — not as easy as i thought and left her to sleep in her clothes. As I left she said in a slurry voice, come here brad. then she said your a good man brad and pulled me towards her…i pulled away although…i don’t know.
In the morning she said nothing about it. I left about ten and she kissed me goodbye, in the Parisienne manor, on both cheeks, no lips necessary. As I got on the train at Gard du Nord, I had this awful feeling I’d left something behind. In her flat.
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Terri turns up, tells me where I put the key, in my wallet where i wouldn’t lose it. women notice these things. i offer her dinner to make up for my stupidity. Fantastic three-course meal in [name of Restaurant] washed down with a carafe of Vacqueyras. And then another…
I wake up early as ever. A bit of a krapula (Finnish hangover) but not too bad. Terri sleeps and so I decide to skype Pekka and see if they still want me to any more work. No, he says, what I did is so perfect it can’t be improved on. I wonder if he’s taking the p…
Note to self: when you do a piece of work. Make sure there’s some little thing that’s wrong with it. Something the client can’t blame you for — like a little bug — and won’t mind paying you to put right.
Isn’t that what the Islamic Artists did? The ones who made all those intricate patterns in mosques, always containing one little imperfection so they didn’t imitate the perfection of god.
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So i decide the best thing to do is to get out of the country for a couple of days. Actually that’s not quite true, Terri asked me. Terri is a journalist who lives in Paris. I met her years ago when she was going out with a friend of mine. and before you ask, my friend was a woman and so is Terri. So Terri is feeling miserable and lonely and asked me if I would come over for a couple of days. She wrangles me a cheap ticket on the Eurostar, and here I am.
I wouldn’t mind — i’ve got very little else to do since finishing the LAD work and the Finnish stuff ticking over, and you can only revise your CV so many times. something’s gotta turn up.
Terri meets me at Gard du Nord, she’s already on her Nokia 6288…
— god i’m really sorry, i’ve got to go and meet someone. she says
no matter that i’ve only just got here but she puts me on a bus to Place de la cliche telling me that it’s house number 6, punch in code 4027, 5th floor on the right. with my fantastic sense of direction and incredible numerical memory, i find my way, no problem. But only as far as the door. I forgot to ask her for a key.
Or did she give it to me. She’s not picking up. I head out again and find a bar on the Rue des Dames, drawn by the name and the lack of smoke. It’s called Lush and there’s a Mancunian behind the bar. I ask if he has wi-fi and he tells me to sit as close as I can to the window and take my chances. I start with Perrier but as I wait longer and longer the classsic cocktails look more and more lushious. I wonder what a ‘ti puch would taste like…
Then I notice that someone’s left a book on the next table, a Penguin Classic. And guess what? ethics by a certain Benedict de Spinoza. I pick it up and open at random to the line:
The object of the idea constituting the human mind is the body.
Filed under: Alcohol, Paris, Spinoza | 2 Comments
Finally finished the LAD project and sent it off to the client. James, the marketing manager has asked me for a meeting next friday afternoon to discuss it. he didn’t seem to pleased over the phone…look ok…it was nearly 2 months late but i had a number of unexpected technical problems. well, like tiina for one.
haven’t heard from her and i’m not going to contact her. pekka on the other hand phoned me this morning at 7am. pekka — if your reading this — we’re 2 hours behind helsinki not 2 hours ahead. luckily my insomnia’s back so he didn’t wake me. i wake up when it gets light now, around 5am.
anyway, pekka and i are best of friends suddenly. you, sorry i mean, he has said sorry for posting that comment on my blog and asked me to take it down. i told him what happened on friday and he said the most profound thing: “women, can’t live with them, can’t live without them.” When I asked him where he got such marvellous wisdom from he said ” Animal House…great movie, i’ve seen it 27 times”.
I never have. it came out before i was born. but i don’t say that because it’ll just make him feel even more older and wiser.
to make it up to me (what?) pekka is going to send me a book that will tell me all about women. i tell him i don’t read books, can’t he send me the dvd. he says, “what you never learned to read in the school?” . i’m not sure if he’s being serious when he says, “here in finland, everyone learns to read.”
talking about books, i see that dulwichmum is going to be available in hard copy. i wonder if there’ll be an mp3 audio version?
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An old friend who’s into poetry, hearing i was going through a bad time sent me one by lavinia greenlaw
To persevere in hope of summer.
To adapt to its broken promise.
To love winter.
To love winter.
To adapt to its broken promise.
To perservere in hope of summer.
Filed under: Finland, finnish, poetry | Leave a Comment
I once went for three nights without sleeping at all. i wish i could say that i was having such a great time i didn’t want to go to bed but that’s not true. i just lay in bed hour after hour after hour. my thoughts raced like an electric train.
Ive beenawake since round about 4 which isnt too bad. listened to the world service but it was too interesting so i turned it off. i just kept going over what happened last night. trying to remember and trying to make sense of what happened.
it was at 20:33 that the text came. Tiina. she wasn’t even in bloomsbury but at the tate modern. would i like to come and meet her and her friend. theyd be there for another half an hour. i thought about leaping in a taxi but instead i caught the first bus down to waterloo bridge, and went down the stairs in the south bank centre. i saw a RV1 and ran for it. the driver saw me but made a funny sign and drove on and into the distance.
when if got out of the lift on the 7th floor of the building, i was almost out of breath. i looked for them and
what an amazing view you get from the bar there. i can’t believe i never knew about it before. the lights had come on across the city skyline. but the best view i’m sorry to say was of teena bent over the shelf that ran along the window side, a crisp white shirt just covering the top of her jeans, as she stared along the millenium bridge towards the curvaceous dome of st pauls.
her friend, Monna spotted me first and tapped her on the shoulder then tiina turned slowly around. then flicking her head clockwise so that her long hair fell over the side of her face, covering her mouth.
she kissed me on both cheeks. mona shook my hand and said she had to go. she lives in london, married to an englishman. after she had left we ordered another bottle of wine, pinot grigio, her choice not mine,
[one second, my brother’s trying to skype me]
where was i? I was in the bar at tate modern and i feel like I’m a teenager – our of my depth with a girl who knows so much more than me and looks like shes in another league. I try to hold my own but am constantly distracted by the sound of birdsong.
Its tiina’s ringtone. she looks at her nokia N95 she frowns and kills the call. they keep calling and the calls get more frequent. i don’t know who they are from but one time she says the name “Perkelay” angrily and presses the button so hard the phone slips from her hand. I bend down and pick it up for her. She says, you’re such a gentleman.
This is the conversation that i’ve been running through my head for the last four hours:
I said: you wouldn’t say that if you knew me
she said: i would like to. i would like to know you better. what are you really like?
— i am like a fish that hates water (why did i say that? did I say that?)
— thats a pity. i am an aquarius. but really i prefer to bring fire better than water. i am sure that pekka has told you that…but you mustn’t believe what pekka says about me. i am not such a bad person.
she stared straight at me and there was a silent connecting. like when your laptop picks up the signal of a wireless network. behind her a couple clinked champagne glasses.
i tried to think what to say but tiina parted her lips as if she was going to speak. but no words came for seconds and seconds and seconds…
— i think i should go home
— yes its late, i said
— i think you should take me. i’m a little drunk and you promised jorma to look after me.
again the bird. this time she answered and at the same time her face changed. she was talking angrily in finnish…not that i could understand a word that she said…but i saw her eyes, green, so very very green, glimmered, somehow made me think of the sweat on my hands. I left to go to the gents.
when i got back she wasn’t there. i waited for ten minutes until i picked the bar receipt. on the back she had written
>> This bird has flown.
i went to a pub i know round the corner. before the bell went for last orders, i’d downed three whiskeys. i wanted to talk someone about what happened but who? i started wondering, what would East say?
Filed under: East of Dulwich, translation | 2 Comments
i can see the guture. and it is not going to thank me for that last whisky i just drunk
wot a night- pekka if your reeding this im sorry you were rithg all along about
about everything. that is one gucked up woman sorry i gotta go
Filed under: Alcohol, disillusion | Leave a Comment