dimanche 16 octobre 2016

I've been up on the roof (after a sleepless night)*

The story of a glass horse named Trevor

He started his life in Venice, on the island of Murano (of course).  He was given to me as a present.  We called him Trevor; I have no idea why.  It seemed funny at the time, as these things do.  His sister, Princess Sparkle, went with my sister.  Maybe she still has her - who knows by this point?  A relic of the past.

Trevor came home wrapped in my blue and white dress.  He lived in all of our flats with us.  I was careful with him every time we moved.  One of my favourite possessions and probably the most fragile.  I was so careful every time.  Four different flats, Trevor lived in.  Various shelves, tables, window ledges and bookcases.

I know that was 10 years ago.  Because I renewed my passport just before that trip to Venice, and it needs to be renewed again later this summer.  Yours will need to be renewed on the same day.  My face looks young in the photograph.  I had just turned twenty-five.  We lived in our first flat in Brighton then.  The post office where my passport photo was taken is no longer there.  I was wearing a black and white polka dot dress.  I would never wear polka dots now.  Well, probably not.  Never say never.  Goonies never say die (and obviously I am nothing if not a Goonie).

That trip to Venice was the best holiday I have ever had.  I hope it is only the best so far, that something - one day, somehow - might match or even top it.  It was honestly the happiest I ever remember being.  Everything has changed since then.

But I won't forget.  Croissants filled with apricot jam.  The train in the middle of the night.  Scrabble tournaments with the barman in a dodgy quartier of Paris on the way.  The pizza place in the square.  Taking photos in an Italian laundrette.  Watching comedy police shows on the hotel TV.  The gold sandals that came free with a magazine.  The best hot chocolate I have ever tasted, practically chewed.  The poster ripped from the street that is still framed on my bedroom wall.

I don't know when I stopped being careful with Trevor.  It was an accident, of course - but it would never have happened back in those golden days.

Still, my heart dropped into my stomach when he fell off the high shelf and onto the wooden floor.  I saw it happen in slow motion and I knew then how it would end.

He lost a leg, only.  It could have been worse.  But I knew.

'It's not a bad omen,' I said to you, in a panicked voice that didn't sound like my own any more.  'It's going to be OK.'

It wasn't.  I don't know when it became too depressing to see Trevor there on the shelf, off balance and a shadow of his former self.  I can't remember throwing him away.  But I know we did.  One of us.

I wish we hadn't.  Or, more accurately, I wish we hadn't had to.  But we did.

I do remember it was me who knocked him off the shelf, and for that I am - truly - sorry.  I'm sorry.

* Found in my Ibiza Notebook, written this summer.  Far too personal a little tragic tale, but to my eyes kind of perfect, in my new spirit of Getting It All The Fuck Out.


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