The

Evening

Party
Filed under — 
JOURNALPHOTOGRAPH


AT FOUR IN THE AFTERNOON


Fig.X — SEPTEMBER
(2019)





Summer is dying, or otherwise it is writing its last will & testament from the comfort of a South American bed. Picture it — sitting up against the pillows (three, plump), sniffling, staring out the window, masturbating between cups of lemon tea, reminiscing and pulling the covers up over its shoulders. The temperature is dropping like pound sterling. It may as well be summer at dinnertime, meals that sound like August but aren’t fooling anyone. The windows are pulled to. There is no pepper left in the pot to rattle. Soon the fruit will turn.

In the morning things are much darker than usual, so hard to make out my door, to know where to heel the wedge. The warm water that had once slugged from the noisy tap is gone; so cold it runs now and a shock upon my face! A proud sufferer of nostalgia I slept with the breeze coming over my bed as though a lover, and the blinds rattled, the homeless fought amongst themselves, things slammed into bins that no longer simmered stench over everything. Not even sweating that bad when I get to work, but my temper more frayed than usual. The summer colour has drained from everyone, no longer attractive or sparkling but grim, they’ve come tumbling to the ground and I tumble with them. I am angry. Summer didn’t seem to last long but everyone else says it did.

‘This time of year always reminds me of uni.’
‘Me too… Although I remember it being much warmer.’

The last time I saw the dentist it was May. She booked me in again near the middle of September. How far away it had seemed, and yet tonight I will brush my teeth with particular care. That will be after summer, I had thought, but don’t be sad because the days change so gradually you won’t even notice it. That last week in August, when I age more considerably and am with my family, then I acknowledge that time’s up. Summer calls last orders. The pint glasses sweat a little less, too. At a time when my tender youth pained so much at the realisation that school would begin within a matter of days, and all the fun & happiness of summer holidays would perish immediately, as one was cloaked in the stiffness of new uniform or the embarrassment of not having outgrown the last one. That first bus back to the gates hurt in the gut.
My sister-in-law sent me a photograph of my niece starting school: she was stood at the front door of my brother’s house, holding her bright pink scooter, smiling widely, all fresh in her uniform and wearing adorable little patent leather buckled shoes. I wished my sister-in-law luck, to see her off. (I remember distantly my first day at school, my mother crying stands out, and I remember the doormat, which was brown and bristly sharp, as I had never seen a doormat like that before; yet both of those — my crying mother, the doormat — echo through the years & otherness.) All day I thought of my niece. At four in the afternoon I received two photographs of her running through the school gates, beaming, holding her little folder of papers & what-not. ‘She loved her first day. She can’t wait to go back!’


The edge of the building opposite my office is brick and, because it does not reflect much, one can judge the sky against it. All day it had swung between blue and dim white, not good to look at; you could tell who was winning. On the walk home people brush past in coats, thick coats. The grocery aisle of the supermarket is no longer as appealing. Someone smoked that taste into the air.  




— a collection of writings, poems and stories by the anonymous author

︎  t w i t t e r
︎  i n s t a g r a m
︎  e - m a i l

UNLESS NOTED OTHERWISE, ALL PHOTOGRAPHS ARE TAKEN BY THE AUTHOR

Ah, we’re an ungrateful race! When I look at my hand upon the window sill and think what pleasure I’ve had in it, how it’s touched silk and pottery and hot walls, laid itself flat upon wet grass or sun-baked, let the Atlantic spurt through its fingers, snapped blue bells and daffodils, plucked ripe plums, never for a second since I was born ceased to tell me of hot and cold, damp or dryness, I’m amazed that I should use this wonderful composition of flesh and nerve to write the abuse of life. Yet that’s what we do. Come to think of it, literature is the record of our discontent.

T H E   E V E N I N G   P A R T Y  Virgina Woolf