Funny feelings due perhaps to the time of the month, to coin a phrase. At some point in my mind, the memories of only a few months ago. Solemn heartfelt words in the hospital, and all the prayers I cannot recall saying but know I felt, and all the tears pouring from my heart. And this will be the first birthday without my gran which is a terrible thing to realise. The faded face I would sit next to and listen to for so many years came back to me unexpectedly a few weeks ago as I checked my new mobile phone, loaned from my mum. A photograph of my gran was left in the files, a small avatar, blurry, but the face I recall, and it knocked me quite significantly.
In one dream recently, the bedroom I called my own for so many years was featured very significantly. I cannot say with much validity that I can recall the smell or the feel of the walls or anything like that. But the feeling, that barely easily explained sense of recollection, I suppose that remains. It is a hand just above the shoulder; a sense you can feel but cannot describe. The sense of the heavy air between the potential assailant's hand and your flesh. The time a cigarette lighter was found in my bottom drawer, which caused my mum to tell me off much stronger than when she found the dirty mag under my bed. And my bookcase, which was metal, and red, and not screwed tightly enough. The dry smell of comic books and computer magazines, mixed with dust along the windowsill, which was white and painted and never much cleaned.
There is no good to come from these trips along memory lane. One has to wonder if the guide book has ever been updated. Of course there is no argument from this side if the only smell now evident is one indicating even slight hypocrisy. The theme here is connected to the word "intrinsic". All my fears and thoughts were once written down, but the diaries have been locked away, left alone from much else, even the most sporadic bursts of sunlight in triangles or squares snatched have vanished. Relics from my days which seem unnervingly distant. Greying and dissolving like the memories of late night television, sound down, towel against the bottom of my bedroom door. "What are you watching," I remember my mum shouting. "Athletics," I lied. The television show featured a couple who had agreed to have their sex life filmed by a camera crew, and this included having a camera inserted into the woman to show, amongst other things, what happens to the sperm at climax. It was on the BBC and had been trailed with many "BAN THIS SICK FILTH" stories in the tabloids.
I recall, many months later, walking through Wigan town centre, where an old shop had been boarded up with posters advertising the couple's appearance at a club night or selling their new sex video or somesuch. It was tantalising and erotic and arousing, maybe in some ways it still would be considered so. The innocent arousal of young teenagers, where flesh is always willing, where the parts of the equation never fail, where there are always ripped clothes and passionate kissing and fluids and sweat and climaxes. The times of such clarity are fading, and on the eve of a birthday I wonder how further distant these emotions will ultimately become.