Wednesday, November 21, 2012


I remember that moment of vague consciousness, when our bus steadily wound round the steep cliffs of Como. It was night and I could no longer see the lake or the mountains, only darkness and distant pin-pricks of light. We weren't saying anything to each other, we were just listening to random selections from the folder, Italo Disco.

I put on Lost in the Night by Costas Charitodiplomenos. I had been singing it constantly in Milan, especially, much like I had sung Roxette's Fading Like a Flower in Stockholm. He would never tell me to shut up, in fact he'd often join in, perhaps in an attempt to create some future musical association.

In spite of my singing its lyrics over and over, I had never paused to consider its poetics: lost in the night, walking alone, lost in the night, left on my own, lost in the night, looking for love, lost in the night, drifting I'm looking for your love...

All of a sudden, I became inexplicably captivated by the tragedy of Lost in the Night. I fell in love with the idea of wandering through a city's back streets, disorientated by grief. There was something beautiful about his desperate and relentless imaginings, hearing her voice, seeking her ghost.

I would soon drift off, but I would later revisit those lyrics, again and again. I doubt I can ever faithfully identify why I am so drawn to it, especially since it had taken so long to develop that personal resonance. It somehow means more now.

He is condemned, forever haunted. Never to find his way back.


Wednesday, November 14, 2012


I don't understand how, but I felt my feet bleed tonight. It was a sensation I am familiar with, the sting of a raw heel, the mesh of school tights stuck fast. But I haven't touched my feet in days, I promised myself I wouldn't. I convinced myself I could.

The truth is I really don't care to stop, I really don't want to. I'm comforted when I pick, rip and cut my feet. It isn't particularly painful, not like it was when I was much younger. I'd whince and hobble as I'd walk, but I would never say why. They knew why I'd walk like that and I knew I deserved no sympathy.

I'm unclear when the habit even started Maybe I was 12 or 13 or maybe even 11? I started ripping my toenails and over the course of many years, I lost my nails in their entirety. They don't even grow now, but I could hardly care less. I paint nail polish over the barren, uneven skin and no one seems to care.

It's neat to think up some super compelling, wildly cohesive explanation as to why I do this to myself. I could be destroying my feet in an attempt to attain a kind of smoothness, an unattainable raw perfection that could be confused with normality. Yeah. Whatever. Why should it matter? Why should I stop? Why should you care, anyway?

I will try for the week though, as I've promised myself that I'd refrain from this and other bad habits: excessive sleep, painful photographs, Mint Slices and Google Analytics. I'm not convinced that any of it will help with very much, but I'm willing to see what it might feel like to heal a little bit... if only it is for a few days.

Thursday, November 8, 2012


I once realised that you only need a sentence to survive. A succinct statement of the sadness and brutality, enough to push you forth into rational thought. It would always take several notebooks to work out its construction and strangely enough, I would always forget the exact articulation upon later reflection.

It's come far sooner than I ever thought it would. I didn't need to write reams of pages to work out the sentence I must live out, I managed to exhaust every word in excessive thought. It makes me idle with nauseousness: he convinced you of my meaninglessness, like he convinced me of your meaninglessness.

I think of it purposefully and wait for the arrival of indifference. It was meant to come much sooner than this.

Jiving at the Long Bar by Kevin Lear

Monday, November 5, 2012


He would turn to me for absolution. He would email from internet cafés and text as soon as they'd get off stage. He would confess every debauched antic, temptation in Leeds, lust in Edinburgh. He admitted everything, even his fears that he would cheat on his girlfriend and ultimately transform into the rock star cliché he most vehemently detested.

I was in the studio when I received his text. He had just landed in London: "I'm in love and everything's totally seismic. I haven't told anyone else, I don't know what to do..." He was always terribly dramatic, but even then I wasn't aware of the gravity of the situation. I didn't respond with comfort, as I had done in the past, I responded with anger. He had never told me about her.

He largely withdrew from contact, knowing of my disapproval. He'd sometimes call when he got really desperate. He bemoaned endlessly about the implausibility of the affair, she lived in New York City with her husband and he lived in London with his girlfriend. I let him talk for as long as he needed to, but I still felt his detachment increase. When I suggested we meet in London, he said, "I'll only see you if it means more to me than it would to you."

Needless to say, we never met.

He messaged me to say that it was happening. She was to come over for the week. The affair was to start. My jealousy resulted in a long week of silence. His band had their first appearance on Jools Holland that Friday and on Sunday, they filmed a promo clip, wandering through high-rise commission flats. He looked weak and sallow, tired and despondent. I always felt like I knew why.

I received my last email from him when I was in Hull, explaining that I would never hear from him again. They were together at last and it was time to grow up, it was time to stop knocking about like a child and giving bits of himself to lots of different people. I grieved as I saw him perform, only metres away from me. He never would have recognised me.

He never bothered to know who I was.

Disappointed Love by Francis Danby