Childhood Kind of Blue & Gold

7th August 2019

Journal, photography

‘That’s what adulthood does to you… And it’s the same with snow. As a kid I fuckin’ loved snow; now I hate it. Fuckin’ hate it.’ It was that childhood kind of blue and gold. When no one was looking, the grass died and became spiteful to the tender skin of sliding knees. Whatever time it was we would look out the window in the living room. Why did we not check through our bedroom window? That kind of blue & gold. Our mother would come down the stairs around nine. Power Rangers at nine-oh-five, after Maxi’s World, then out. We leaned against the wall next to Craig’s door, knocked. We needn’t say a thing because if Craig answered he would run out immediately, and if his mother answered, she would call up to him and walk away, leaving us waiting on the step. Six weeks is a long time. The trees gave some shade; around the back of the houses, near all the garages, there was diagonal shade there where we cowered or ran darting in laughing lines. The dead spiteful grass wore away underneath our trainers, and then the football lost its leather, the canvas went and finally the balloon puckered out; the ball was done for.

To be thought of romantically, how unusual! All along this existence and its case is subject to the most scrutinising of one’s eyes in the bathroom mirror, the quiet nights getting changed for bed. And how short it falls! The smallest error of growth and development is torn apart by the shy viewer. This body is only a vessel, you tell yourself, then you poke fun at its little large imperfections.

The heat is so good, like heaven-sent, and only us children are equipped to appreciate it. We play and sweat scentlessly, nonsensically we roll & wrestle, argue over a goal, one that disrupted the discarded t-shirt. There are those working and keeping things ticking over but we don’t give a thought to them. In the evenings our fathers return home and the colour of their perspiration is different to our own. We eat hurriedly because Craig ate dinner forty minutes ago, and time’s a-wasting. The smell of dinner from his house; between summer and winter it is the same, it warms the body regardless.

She bought me lunch and met me outside the pub where we began our fifth date. She wouldn’t tell me how much it cost. The churchyard had played host to a meeting between her and her boss some months earlier but, charmed, we returned there. Within the church there was a slimming class, between twelve & two, so the clientèle came, poked a look at us in the corner, then went to do their thing. It was amusing to me that she should be so glad to see me that she should forget her lunch, clasp my hand between her breasts then kiss it and ask—‘How are you today?’

He’s waiting for us, on The Green — the bit of grass we call our own (warring neighbourhoods have their own) — and we play until the sunset obscures us. When our mother (his or ours) calls children, they are in the back garden, with the doors wide open, basking in cold booze and syrup’s smell. There isn’t a bedtime, not really. It’s all the biology that makes me imagine the blades of grass smushing under my mass, spitting their beautiful greenness over the wrinkles of my limbs. Love chlorophyll!

‘Kiss me!’ she says. I wipe my crumbs on her black jeans. She has shaved around her ankles. ‘I’m Greek Orthodox,’ she says; I no longer know what that means, how it translates into sexual acts. I watch the people who want to be slim, they watch me. We’ll be good friends. They’ll write speeches of how I disrespected the churchyard.

My knees taste of sweat. If we sit there on the grass and pass pants between our diagonal bodies, then I lick my knees, sucking the flavour of them; of course I am poked for it. The taste of sweat is so good; I never imagine tasting another’s. The route home is an avenue I understand but flinch from.

On the sixth of August, she bought me lunch and I wonder whether I thanked her enough in the churchyard where the slimming people stared and walked away.

A collection of writings, poems and stories by the anonymous author ~  contact

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