No food or drink
On the windowsill
Some days are more difficult than others and on these days I, in convulsions of frustration and my own ineptitude, wonder if it’s possible for mental to transpose itself completely onto physical health? * Yes This is not a question I need answering. Science has done so already. But, if this is true, which we have ascertained it is, then why must I wait for the former to grow to such an extent that the latter is effected? Why is the latter, the physical, the diagnosable and the symptoms of the former not valid without it? * Society But do we not live in a society where the former is gaining power? * Apparently Take, for example, social media. I can’t look at instagram without words on a pretty background informing me that; it’s okay not to be okay. That we need to care for both our physical and mental health equally and that it’s okay not to be okay. * It is But why, then, must we neglect one to such a degree that the other becomes apparent in order to have any recognition? * You’re repeating yourself What I mean to say is that the body recovers much quicker than the mind. Is that societal? That society cannot allow the time needed for the healing of the mental as it can the physical. Put simply, that too much time for it’s recovery or it’s constant tending cannot be compatible with the economy * Something to do with intangibility Exactly. As humans we love tangibility. If social media is subjective expression then reality is objective. If we throw up 48hrs is required for recovery and return to work. The common cold is not a big enough reason to invoke sick days but add in a temperature and dizziness; graduate it to flu- * Are you inferring that depression is the common cold? Perhaps the flu common cold was the wrong analogy. What I meant by it is that in a society ruled by the binary, the tangible, there is not room for specturm, the intangible. * The first being physical and the second mental? Now you’re understanding. * Then what of the recovery? In its regard to tangibility? Yes, the road to recovery for physical health is much more, but does this not just show, again, that mental should be tended to more frequently. Symptoms allowed the space before they climax * And the fakers, what of the overplayers? You ask such a question on the basis that they do not exist in those requiring physical recovery, or claiming to require physical recovery. In this case, I would argue that, claim to mental recovery is never invalid, it’s treatments are just different, more personal. * Expand There is not universal treatments to mental ailments. A person knows best what they need. * And in reality? Society teaches us that the best corse of action, in cases of mental weakness, is to plough through. Just to wake up and get the fuck on * And in this way, you believe it most likely to become physical Most likely. The issue is that people require a period of introspection, continues periods to understand what is best for their mental health. And for some this is getting up and out. That much is true. Our instincts in this area are often veiled by, well by our mental state or ideas, to wallow. * And wallowing is bad No, sometimes wallowing, too can be good. But when we are dehydrated we seek water, food in hunger, warmth in cold, you see where this is going? * Clearly In times of mental strife our body does not always crave the things it most needs. Because we are told to plough through. IN reality we are not given the time to really understand or allow anything but it’s repression. * So you wish to live in the alternative? Not entirely, although if society, if reality could at least begin to breach the gulf between what we know about the importance of mental health and self care, of introspection and love, of its importance. Then maybe we wouldn’t have to wait for the physical.
Today I would have collaged the trees
I’m a mammal
I’m a mammal!
Look for the rainbow
Home at home
named after the special theo-
Subversive and edgy
Two instances of dust really stand out in my life. Like the sleepy dust one in each eye; the first and third. First because stream of consciousness is fashionable and third, because stream of consciousness is fashionable. Through the left eye we are playing. I am thirteen and in a red dress. I arrive first and change out of my school uniform, it is from a boutique and was bought several years previously but as most expansion has occurred in my limbs it still fits. He is 8, because he was and is, 5 years younger than me. His bus is small. A van with seats in its cavity. His school uniform is turquoise and he doesn’t change. It is dry and dusty because it has not been raining. It is rare that it does not rain for long enough for things to become this dry. Our sister in the middle is 11 and a film star so she is in England with our mother. Our father works at a school that isn’t really a school, but where adolescents who have been kicked out of carehomes, or on the brink of prositution and drug trafficking are sent. He usually has 1-2 students at a time, sometimes 3. His school is further away than ours so for this moment, an hour and a bit of moments, it is just us. We go through the house and into the garden. Although at this time it is between being a garden and being a garden. It was a garden, that being an area of grass and trees defined by fence and attached to a property and will be a garden, that beautifully designed and landscaped grass and trees, defined by a fence and attached to a property. But at this moment it is neither. It is a series of mounds of earth, where natural and gradual slopes used to be, now made dramatic as entirely horizontal or steeply vertical. We have realised that is what landscaping is. But at this juncture, before the grass is returned and steps pressed into the vertices, the mini diggers are parked and little yellow tripods tucked in the woodshed: it looks like a BMX track. The allotment is already formed beyond the bit defined as garden, but this is allotment and later we will go here to play the potato game and then dinner. We have big lids, the kind that go on top of compost bins and as we skid down the slopes the dust comes up around us. It is dry for days, even weeks to our memory, and we follow this routine, sometimes skidding and others taking turns to go in and on the unused plastic tank as we run across fields. I like how the dust mingles with my dress and the feel of barefoot pagan glamour as I am the guardian. When we play the potato game the dirt goes deep under our nails but, like the dust, it all washes out. Then when Dad gets back we are clean and tired and there are potatoes in a pan of boiling water or baking in the oven. We eat a lot of potatoes. In the right eye she has aged two years and a few months, the dust is back and she doesn’t wear the red dress anymore. The mother and sister came home, then the father moved to a different village and someone else and his father moved in. She has left, aged 16 and is now looking at some other dust. The dust marks the end of the journey but it doesn’t touch her from outside the car. Her school uniform stays clean to sight, but it smells like sweat and cannabis. The journey started at the same school as the left eye. Started on foot and across the road. He is 20, because he was and is, four years older than her. Sat in the leisure centre car park, she gets in the car and exhausted after a night of no sleep falls into his lap. The elderly ladies on the path stare in judgement until she realises what they think is happening. She sits up and pushes her school shoes into the footwell, she does the other thing too and the feeling sits in her jaw and makes it click up to her ears. Which she tucks into her knees as they pull out. They travel fast over the country roads, too fast and overtaking rush-hour traffic in multiples. The exhaust has been made loud and the track at the end is a little less than a mile. They skid down it, the handbrake pushing even more dust up around the corners until they arrive, far from everything but the house and then the wooden cabin beyond. Soon the dust will have settled and the evening haze ignited. Then it will be 4am and she will sleep for a few hours. Then rolling out and too tired to be clean, back into the uniform. She will leave while he sleeps, on the bus and back to the school.
There are tiny flecks of blood on his fingers. Engrained but not yet oxidised to brown. And they are only there if you look close. Like those little red creatures he used to find under stones, under slabs and squash. But the flecks don’t move, at least not independently. And he can’t find a wound. The origin. Not even a small one.
Tiny Flecks of Red.
If I could remember what the polystyrene squares were called I’d use that instead. But she doesn’t use it anymore and it’s more of an oblong anyway. Initially the weather prediction was for the sun to be full only between eight and ten, this morning it changed and at 8.50 when I entered the lido it was, as it had stated it would be, from my bed; hazy. I thought roll out those, and briefly that the sun was the moon because I could could look up at it from the water and it was a perfect sphere. The look and crisp edges being the deceiving characteristics here, but then I squinted and understood it to be the sun, the moon doesn’t cast so bright in its reflection. Yes, it was definitely the sun, defined and hanging more 2D behind it’s hazy scrim. If a mime artist, a shadow puppeteer were to come between the two, it would be a performance of hyperbolic magnitude. That is, if the audience were fond of mime or puppetry. I found it odd that she did not bob, anymore preceded by, her oblong. Because if she had stopped needing it, then this progression must have been achieved after months, in the few days I was not at the Lido and before it closed at the start of the year. I then thought perhaps it was a seasonal thing, she only needed the oblong in the winter months. I remembered how much more the cold made me feel like I could drown every time I reached a point, mid length, where both pool sides were equally far. But her outfit had not changed, she wore just a black swimsuit year round. Her thick hair, so wiry and piled in its masses on top of her head, balancing as she moved, steady and slow through the water. Without the oblong she moved sideways and not touching the floor. After musing for some time on the possible reasons I realised something much more peculiar, than the disappearance, even than the near impossibly of swimming for that length of time and at such low speed on ones side: she was always there. I remember very few instances of swimming without seeing her in the lane to my left, or right, depending on whether my lap was odd or even. This alone is not peculiar, many people swim most days; many of the early morning people swim several times a week. I also always imagine she lives in the flats that tower over the edge of the pool, behind its Art Deco ramparts. In a flat so full of expensive trinkets and plush fabrics, like her; a relic, betrayed by minimalism. I also imagine her to have a husband, he is wealthy but I don’t know him much beyond this, as he only features episodically in her life, and was much more of a presence when she was younger. He still cares and loves her deeply, as he did those former years, and conveys this through making her comfortable in her latter, but does not yet join her. I most often swim between the hours of 8 and 9.30 and she for a time much greater than any others, at least when the season is cold. But sometimes I go much later, I go in the later morning or afternoon, when I can’t get a booking because I’ve left it too late. Or when work or other commitments prevent me being there at my usual times. It is these instances, her presence in these instances, that I find most strange, although I have only put the pieces together to understand why. I thought I had found a solution to this, my peculiar and somewhat unsettling predicament: perhaps she was imaginary to me. Why I might imagine such a person I do not know, but have mused on it being some sense of continuity or stability that I find in the lido being projected into a being, that as the squeals of newcomers at the temperature make me feel myself colder, or less comfortable in my laps, to view it from her perception is to feel calm and comfortable once more. I thought I saw her outside of the lido last week, walking with another woman and two small dogs. I pointed her out to Alexander and told him she is a lido regular. And he nodded and smiled, which would indicate he had seen her, also her being in the company of another adds to this. But now, a week later, I am not sure it was her, I thought she looked more her in the lido this morning and less her in the park that day.
The case of the disappearing oblong