Category Archives: memories

Amelia Unedited


I was writing in my diary today – I need to do this before I set about ACTUALLY writing, to clear the layer of mental grime that collects routinely and needs to be scooped out. I sometimes feel a touch of…guilt? That my diary is such a collection of superficial ridiculous thoughts, when so many great thinkers use their journals to document all things profound and witty. I’m sure the content of my diary aged 8 is the same as aged 28, my mother doesn’t annoy me as much but that’s about it.

Anyway, I was just documenting last night’s adventures at some warehouse in Dalston, when I decided to flick back to the part of the diary I never look at, the Golf-Boy section.  I’ve thought of him a lot over the last week, even writing to a friend yesterday that I miss him like crazy and would do anything to go back to this time last year.  Well, thanks to my diary, I could. It really wasn’t what I was expecting.

Sunday 28th 2010

On Wednesday had an argument with him because he invited me to his friend’s birthday but insinuated I’d be going home alone. It worked out fine in the end, but ended up at THE most boring party with his BORING friends, was literally falling asleep and then there was Monday night when I was so bored I went downstairs to write on my own. What is this saying to me? Am I holding onto something that really doesn’t mean that much to me? I’m going to note down every time I leave him feeling happy and every time I leave him feeling sad starting with this morning

SAD

Why? Because he rushed off to his friend’s house instead of wanting to spend the day with me

Because he made a joke about Claude being dead when I was genuinely worried about her not calling all weekend – he’s immature and insensitive!

He left me to walk home on my own

He’s so damned prissy!!!!

Because he has no interest in the homeless shelter, and won’t donate a PENNY!!!! (less to spend on what? Golfclubs? His stupid cooking spices? That god-damned Le Creuset frying pan?!  He’s STINGY!)

Because he doesn’t know me at all. And now I think I don’t want him to.

He doesn’t think about anything

He questions NOTHING

He exists in this little world, this little blinkered world

Golf

Cricket

SPORT

Sport!!!!!!!!! Nothing matters!

What it comes down to, in 10 years, will I look back and see him as the love of my life?

 

It’s funny, the things you remember, and the things you forget. Last night Claude told me about a random memory she had of being six years old and naming each newt in her friend’s pond. There were eighty five newts in total that she remembers fishing out of the pond and putting into a bucket before proceeding to ‘christen’ each one with a name and plopping it back in the pond. The memory forms part of her story of childhood, I’m sure she can’t remember what she had for dinner that day, but the newt naming ceremony will remain with her always.

Perhaps we all write a kind of mental autobiography of our life, where we pick the best bits, how we want to remember things.

When I was thinking of this time last year, I wasn’t thinking of Nov 28th 2010, because I’d already forgotten it. The memory I had was actually November 14th 2010, a day I remember clearly… not so much the details but just the way I’d felt. I’m glad, that of all the memories, I chose to keep this one.

So…it was all in my head, and I need to remember this moment and make sure I NEVER act like such a tit again.

Had a really nice time with him over dinner tonight , we shared a pizza and I had a glass of rose, we talked about all kinds of random things…

What would it be like if we woke up tomorrow and men wore women’s clothes while women wore men’s…what if women used urinals?

He walked me home pointing out a dog with a really fluffy bum. We laughed.

Outside my front door, we hid under cover from the rain and he bent down and kissed me. I could hear the sound of the rain on the road

It was magical

Whenever he kisses me it’s magical

I want to always remember that I once felt this way about him no matter what happens

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Night of the Living Dead Dogs


It was a cold night, the last days of summer marked by a distinctive bite to the air.  The shelves of my local supermarket were stocked with pumpkins, and orange and black sweets twinkled from the till. Halloween was near. Outside my window the leaves on the trees had turned orange, as if they too were preparing to celebrate old hallows eve, the night that the world of the past and the present collide.

But this year, that day came early.

It was a series of accidents that led to the resurrection of my past,  and dead dogs long laid to rest came back to haunt me.

The first dead dog came to me in a dream. It was the night before my big conference at work. Perhaps it was the stress of the event, or the detailed account Claude had given me of Paranormal Activity 2 (when I’d purposely sat out of watching it) but I woke up at 4am to a scratching noise behind my headboard. Springing from my bed, I flicked on the light and listened intently. No scratching.

I got back into bed and finally got back to sleep when I was woken again by a scratch scratch scuttle. I jumped up, now truly terrified. Not because of the mouse that was likely just frolicking in the wall but because I’d dreamt about Chris (AKA golf boy).

I couldn’t get back to sleep that night, and the next morning was filled with a dread that like that poor girl in Paranormal Activity, Chris was my very own poltergeist and would be haunting me forever

The second dead dog  came to me through a case of mistaken identity when outlook decided to auto-enter Prince Charming’s e mail into a forward I was sending to a client with the same first name. I bantered politely, a little excited every time my e-mail inbox pinged and a message from him popped up. He re-added me on facebook and of course I had to have a snoop. As I looked at his wall, a mixture of stupid status updates, passé anachronyms and cheesy grinning pictures with various thin blonde girls, I wondered what I ever saw in him anyway?

The third dead dog came to me by chance at a night out in Brixton Academy. Dressed in a white lace dress and pushing my way through the zombielike sweaty faces in the crowd, I bumped into the Swedish One. The same dead dog that asked me out for drinks twice and didn’t bother to follow up on it, the same dead dog that was positively cruel to me last summer. I must have been very drunk because somehow I found myself spending most the night with him. And last night, me and the Swedish one had our first actual date. It did take a lot of help from my friends vodka lime and soda, but we were actually having a good time. I mean, he did laugh a lot at everything I said, even things that weren’t really funny and he was a rather simple sort of guy,  but we did bond on a mutual love of Metalicca and 90’s power metal bands. He was really very pretty to look at, probably the prettiest man I’ve sat across from that I had no interest in whatsoever. The chemistry was non-existent and I ordered more and more drinks out of boredom. I had no interest in his memory stick that was worth near £3,000 or his laptop that cost £2,000 and as sweet as it was to see a slideshow of Sweden covered in snow, and various dishes his mother had cooked, there was a point where I wanted to suggest going back to mine to watch Entourage.

Two of my three dead dogs had walked in my present and were laid to rest in my past, there was no room for them in my world. Perhaps had they not acted so badly in the first place, the anacronyms or the pictures of Swedish fish would not have bothered me. But the thing about a dead dog, is that once dead, it cannot be resurrected. Your respect dies along with said dog and while the ghost dog might bark and run around like an ordinary dog, it will never really be one

Though two were gone back to their world behind the facebook screen, one remained.

Chris

The original dead dog. The king of dead dogs and the one whose memory won’t let go of me.

But maybe Chris was never meant to be a dead dog. I didn’t want to be with him, and as a boyfriend he was terrible but then, it wasn’t the memory of being with him that haunted me, it was just that I missed HIM. One thought kept returning to me; I didn’t want to lose him from my life, as a person, a friend.

I had to try and resurrect the friendship if nothing else.

Friday 14th Oct

Sad that we’re not friends after all the fun times.

Had to delete you from FB, it wouldn’t have been nice for either of us to see pictures… etc.

Know this is inappropriate for work e-mail but don’t even think have your phone number anymore….

Would be nice to go for a drink sometime, or just keep in touch.

Really hope you’re doing well 🙂  x

Like a spirit floating round in limbo, my e-mail remains unreturned and possibly unread. This should have brought some kind of rest to the last of my remaining haunts, but it hasn’t. Instead, it has made the ghost of Chris very much present and real.

Xx Amelia

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One Thousand and One Nights


I’ve always loved Arabian nights; the story of Scheherazade and her never ending story. I remember being little and picturing the billowing drapes, the night slowly turning into day and Scheherazade weaving her magical storytelling threads captivating the sultan in her web and keeping him there, transfixed, always wanting more.  Serial killing sultan aside, it’s a beautiful story.

When I think back over the summer, it’s the ‘Arabian Nights’ moments I’ve loved the most…

A day I’d wished would never end, the last day I’d spent with Chris (AKA Golf Boy) we listened to Wathering Heights on audiotape, lying side by side with the corpse of our relationship between us, neither speaking. I’d put my head on his shoulder and smelt his scent, knowing it would probably be the last time I would see him.

Then there were the three nights with the artist, drinking vodka, chainsmoking cigarettes and talking until my eyelids drooped and my head fell onto the sofa.

There was a brief encounter with a French trader I’d met at a party in a carpark. A Sunday night in my kitchen eating Uncle Ben’s micro- rice with spinach while talking about Sartre until 1.30am. There was not the thought of work, or sleep or life beyond. There was just that moment and the way his boyish hair fell in his face.

I will always remember the night ‘Golden Boy’ came over at 2am after some party and we sat in our living room laughing at some guy who’d ended up back at the flat attempting to play the piano. GB whispered in my ear to go upstairs but we just lay on my bed laughing at how his middle toes were so much longer than the rest while listening to some beach boy band. I remember the way he’d looked solemnly at the wall and confided that his father recently passed away, It was the first time he’d told me anything about himself. I hadn’t known what to say.

If only the morning never had to come, if only those nights could go on for ever. There would never need to be the worry over him not texting back. I would never have to know that he posts ridiculous status updates on Facebook. He would never know I’m fundamentally neurotic.

Perhaps it’s true that “if you want a happy ending, it depends where you end the story” but what if the story never ended? If there was no morning but just 1001 nights. An Arabian night isn’t about sex, it’s about the minute you feel…  connected, and sometimes, when you look into each other’s eyes and the clock strikes 4am, you start to hope that day would never break the spell.

Romeo:

It was the lark, the herald of the morn,
No nightingale: look, love, what envious streaks
Do lace the severing clouds in yonder east:
Night’s candles are burnt out, and jocund day
Stands tiptoe on the misty mountain tops.
I must be gone and live, or stay and die. (Romeo and Juliet)

Every tale needs a prince charming, and I met mine last  bank holiday Sunday at a terrace party in Shoreditch. I didn’t immediately know it was him of course, I was distracted by the music, the MDMA and the drink in my hand. I remember liking the way he kept looking over and  though I can’t now remember what we’d talked about, I do remember he leant in and kissed me. It was love at first kiss.

The sun set and the day bled red into the night as we took a cab to another party, then there was just a jumble of kisses and music, and I barely remember how we ended up back at mine. Sleep wasn’t an option. Sleep would break the spell. I tried so hard not to fall asleep but when I opened my eyes I could see the sun falling through a chink in the curtain. Oh god. It was going to be the same nauseous feeling I have with Golden Boy when I look at him passed out and wish he would get the hell out my bed. The awkward conversation which always starts with “so… what are your plans today?” and ends with “I’d better go.”

I wondered if I had morning breath and if I’d remembered to even take off my makeup.

I turned sideways with dread.

The Prince was awake and in the shadow of daylight his eyes were the colour of the deep blue silk on my pillow.

“You fell asleep.” He said, kissing me.

“I did?”

The prince lay back and looked at the ceiling.  “I couldn’t sleep for ages last night,” he said. I thought those marks on your ceiling were ants, and they were racing to the finish line, I was taking bets on which would reach the finish line first.”

I laughed. “I think the left one. It looks faster.”

Though day had come and gone, everything was still the same.

I spent another long day and night with The Prince, so comfortable with someone I’d barely known 48 hours, so easily  lying on his shoulder as he watched sports on TV as if we’d been together five years.

As I fell asleep, he kissed the top of my head and for the first night in five months, I didn’t dream of Chris.

Over lunch the following Saturday I argued with my grandma over happy endings.

“Sad endings are easy to write… they’re endings are for lazy writers,” I argued. “A good happy ending is really special.”

If I end my story about The Prince and I where I did, it would be  a ‘happily ever after”  but, unfortunately unlike fiction, life goes on.

A week of panic over the date he hadn’t finalised turned into tears on my bathroom floor when he hadn’t called in days. There was the text he sent on the day cancelling last minute because he had to work late.

“Can we do Wednesday instead?” he texted.  “How about Thursday then?”

But It was too late. He wasn’t my prince anymore. He’s just a guy I met at the weekend. The spell had been broken, and the arrival of the day had nothing to do with it.

I hate sad endings, but I suppose…. Life does go on… and doesn’t end until it ends. So where does this leave me and the once formally known as ‘Prince?’

I’ll guess…. To be continued.

Then they returned to Scheherazade and displayed her in the second dress, a suit of surpassing goodliness, and veiled her face with her hair like a chin veil. Moreover, they let down her side locks, and she was even as saith of her one of her describers in these couplets:

O hail to him whose locks his cheeks o’ershade,
Who slew my life by cruel hard despite.
Said I, “Hast veiled the morn in night?” He said,
“Nay I but veil moon in hue of night.”

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