rivers & rain (& rereading harry potter)

it’s been a breathless & accident-prone week. i have spent most of it rampaging around in rivers. the run-down:

-the past few days have been bright & golden-sticky. the other day my pal/mom friend caiti & i waded up a stream in rivelin woods, in a shady mossy spot of river where the leaves cut out funny shadows on the water. i was in flip-flops & she in granny sandals & we slipped & slid around on the underwater rocks, & splashed each other when we thought the other wasn’t looking, & had a shouty conversation about books, & once, up to my knees in water, i grabbed hold of a branch to steady myself & imparted to her my theory that my friends & i are actually characters in some sort of pretentiously quirky coming-of-age novel. i have stuck fast to this theory for five years now. it would explain everything.

we found a rope swing by a pool of bright water, & took turns on it, & when it was her turn i lay on the forest floor & stared at the clouds, one of which looked exactly like a huge hand with talons, or a piece of monster munch. i had rivers & roads stuck in my head. i thought, it can’t get much better than this; i felt that i had grasped the crackling centre of the universe.

-after a late-night harry potter marathon with ibby & eliza, i felt that i must reread the books immediately. i’m fifty pages into chamber of secrets. i’m enjoying them so much. starting to remember what it was like to read them as a kid, how edgy & dark & weird they felt to me. i keep messaging ibby at funny hours with variations on BABE OMG HARRY AT THE BURROW IS MAKING ME SO EMOTIONAL THAT BIT WHERE HE SEES THE WELLIES BY THE DOOR I CAN’T TAKE IT. ibby is an angel & has been very understanding.

-i have also acquired a job as a Spider Bailiff. what this means is that i go round the houses of the affluent upper-middle-class with my auntie & her magnificent array of cleaning equipment, evicting arachnids from corners & obliterating their homes with variegated feathery things on poles. there’s also a lot of hoovering & loo-cleaning & wiping down irritatingly shiny expensive-looking surfaces & also rich people seem to have serious issues with stacking dishwashers. i spent about half an hour cleaning suspiciously short, curly hairs off a toilet bowl on friday. i’ve been rattling through abbatoir blues on my headphones & trying to think about it as little as possible.

-i also dropped my auntie’s high-end hoover down a flight of stairs the other day. send thoughts & prayers. that hoover is worth more than my monthly rent.

-this ties into the part where i dropped my phone in a river on tuesday, & walked into a lamp-post on wednesday, & showed up to a party barefoot, grinning & soaked to the skin by a thunderstorm on saturday. spending weeks in Writing Mode does terrible things to my depth perception & motor control. there was this one time in year twelve when i got on the school bus with a cornflake stuck to my glasses lens because i was so busy working out a plot point.

(i put my phone in a bowl of couscous overnight, there being no rice in the house. i now keep finding couscous in my bed. this is deeply disturbing given that i didn’t even take the couscous into my room. does this equate to a recurring scene in my novel, wherein my protagonist wakes up from a visionary nightmare with grave-dirt scattered between his sheets? will i meet my final resting place in a coffin full of couscous? can nobody tell me what this means?)

-there’s also the part where i swallowed a fly whilst out running on thursday evening, & coughed it up two hours later. which… isn’t the grossest thing ever to ever happen to me, but it’s a strong contender.

-in more heartening news, ibby, eliza, rachel, robyn & i went to pride yesterday! we smuggled in peach schnapps in a fanta bottle, spread out a blanket, ibby planted her rainbow flag, & spent an hour scrunching up our faces at the waily awful singing of a drag queen who looked a bit like wuthering heights era kate bush, but kept on noisily mangling madonna songs. eventually even the heavens protested in the form of a colossal thunderstorm, & after ten minutes of valiantly huddling under a spindly umbrella we evacuated with a certain amount of relief & went back to ibby & eliza’s, where we marathoned merlin til three a.m & i nearly bust an artery laughing at the two-parter with uther & the troll. gay culture?

-i also spent about forty-five minutes trying to get my bisexual eyeshadow right, so you guys can appreciate it, goddammit:

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-speaking of the godawful music (much more upsetting than the evangelist nutter at the gate holding a giant cross with red crayon scribbles all over it & telling us we were hopping the fast train to the inferno), i seem to be some sort of Music Magnet. in second semester, i began to hear opera-singing outside my window (in particular, a rich & delightful tenor trolololing it out) almost every night. i wondered briefly if i was having auditory hallucinations of some sort, since lucy couldn’t hear a thing, but then again she was on the other side of the corridor. when i moved back here, the pub across the road decided what it needed more than anything else in the world was atrocious karaoke every night of the week. mostly this means some very loose johnny cash interpretations & abba renditions that make me sweat. yet in the past week or so i begin to hear- yes- the opera singers have followed me, clearly, & they won’t give up. that tenor is back. sometimes the singing worms its way into my nightmares. god only knows what’ll happen at warwick st. especially since i’m considering saving up for a record player (to enable my hipster soul to take wing as it’s always wanted).

-in light of the fact that a certain ANT BOILER & RECKLESS FOOL will be moving in together soon (saturday! saturday!) i have been gathering Things to Hang on Edric, our house. so far the collection consists of

  • a very cool retro-ish mulholland drive print of diane with a disembodied hand over her eyes
  • some black-&-white postcards i found at a rambling antiques centre, including one of a creepy old monument somewhere, & one of a gargoyle in leicester cathedral (caption: THE GRINNING IMP)
  • fairy lights! they’re all warm & twinkly! like little melty snow jewels!
  • a lewis carroll photograph of alice liddell
  • my melting clock
  • a careful selection of my favourite spn & crimson peak posters; i’m thinking we get a bowie one for the kitchen (jo? i know you read this blog, you gay piece of shit, thoughts?)
  • i may or may not also have started a tacky fridge magnet collection for when we get there but we don’t need to talk about that

god, it’s going to be good to have our own space. our own space where we can sprawl. it’s going to be full of books & music & silly lit students crashing about & watching david lynch movies & fighting it out for bathroom access & honestly just thinking about it sorta warms the cockles of my cold-ass heart.

-i woke up yesterday to the rush & scent of it bucketing it down. the rain fell so hard that droplets shattered on my windowsill & sprayed creamy seashells stacked on the sill, the notebook pile by my bed, my glasses. i moved my books out of the way & let it hit. inhaled. petrichor so strong it was dizzying, & god, i love that word.

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