Wednesday, September 28, 2005

What, sweetie. I hated France quite a lot.

I would like a typewriter.

There are pink curtains in my bedroom, not my bedroom. They are pink and white. There are tiny flowers on the curtains. There is a blue ink stain (my stain, mine, not my bedroom) on the bedspread, next to a yellow rose. My room, with the little boy upstairs, little French tears, en larmes, larmoyante. I'm clumsy (dirty face, beneath the bed, hide). I like navy on a dirty white eiderdown.

I'm sitting on my bed with Graham Greene and Rosamond Lehmann for company. I have a desk. I have a desk and dust everywhere, covered in dust.

There is a lady at the end of the road who makes alterations to your clothes. I'm going to take my favourite jeans and a skirt that I liked, which is size 16 for my size 10 (and you).

(I am 8 years old, I'll be the Mummy and you can be my child.)

I will be a paper doll and you can cut out the clothes.

London to Paris, Paris to Nowhere: to southern Brittany in September, October, November, December, January, February, March, April. It's fucking bleak.

I'm spending my time avoiding loud floorboards and wishing I could write: for her birthday we went out dancing. We danced to the hits from the 70s. She knew all the words and I felt so tired and her feet hurt. Her shoes were beautiful. This and that in London first.

Everyone's glad they're more in love with her. I'm all talk. I don't want them to find this out. Write love letters! Kiss her!

I'm sorry I didn't kiss you.

I'm going to write a whole book of gibberish.

I wish I kissed you that time in the park.
O xxx

I'm all talk. It's my closely kept secret. Write love letters! Kiss her!

Everyone's ill. I made the child spaghetti. He threw it all over the floor and all over the sofa and the ham all over the floor.

I should have kissed you at the train station. I wish I had.

I mustn't wake anyone up with my banging and clanging body. Are we all calm now?

It's all so unhappy. I don't like having my meals made for me. Let me eat the tomatoes in the fridge. Let me have money to spend on food and I'll cook for myself. The phone.

Dinner tonight: fried veiny chicken, cauliflower with green salty seasoning. I couldn't eat it all. Cram it into my mouth while she's not looking, swallow don't choke. My lips are salty and dry and my stomach is bloated.

I walked with Bloc Party in my ears, with xylophones and painful deaths. I didn't really feel like a French accent today. I'm tired of France.

I still think my favourite part of going to Lorient is the bus journey. I love it so much. Because I ran out of the house this morning, on the bus I could taste my moisturiser and my lip balm. Can you tell from the terrible handwriting that I'm tired? I just want to go home.

Le Gare D'Exchanges, the worst part of the journey: off and out of the bus: walk along side the building, cross the road, (laundrettes, hairdressers, property developers), Carrefour, gauche: tabac, tabac, photo studio, grey, grey, concrete. The cinema to your right, the song in your ear, louder, louder, louder. No music, cross the road, a new landscape, nothing, nothing, nothing.

Home, home, home, even with headaches.

That little terror in the mornings: has the child gone to school. The day terror, the telephone and how loudly it rings and who is ringing, like what's the time Mr Wolf. Le Loup! He's coming! The child learnt a story today about a wolf who cried and cried and cried.

I don't know what to do for my birthday. What should I do? I would like a beautiful party, with a beautiful birthday cake with roses and blue icing. I want him to come, late, with friends, I wouldn't mind. At a party so many things can go wrong. My birthday party, we would have Adam Green and Cocorosie and I would wear a dress. There would be beautiful food and my friends would stay until morning. He would kiss me and not forget me and text me and think of me and the way the blue icing tasted in my mouth, with pink champagne. And probably XXXX would see and feel terrible and turned on and confused. In the garden, Anna and Katie would smoke and I will put up Chinese lanterns for them the day before.

He ate a plate of crisps and a croissant and a baguette and a plate of crisps and half a baguette and half a box of la vache qui rit and a whole cambert and he drank my tea and ate my ham and swallowed a baguette.

Je veux te dire quelque chose, the child says. What sweetie, I say. Je t'aime. Oh thank you.

Mamie, est-ce que tu l'aimes, Olivia ? he says. Mais oui chérie, bien sur.

Je l'aime, Olivia, he says. Je sais, chérie. A fat, big three year old. The child crawls over the kitchen chairs, climbs onto my lap and I touch his nose and say, no sleeping, little boy. Where's your little hand. Round and round the garden, like a teddy bear, one step, two step.

Today I read the newspaper and underlined the bits I thought were important and I cut up magazines and things like that. I didn't write any letters. My aunt said in her letter that she is reading Lord of The Flies. Mum said, how did she miss it in her childhood. How strange to be reading it now.

Non, c'est Olivia. I put on his shoes, scarf, coat. It's cold again, rainy. He walks to the back door and then runs back to me. Olivia. Oui? Bye, bye. A toute a l'heure!

The beautiful startling petite lady runs with no make up and no lovely red lipstick to the bus. Her face is so fine. Je peux payer avec un cheque? Where's her purse, her coat? She looks at me. I imagine that the bus driver says no, cash and she says, oh but I don't have any you know, I just need to go to a cash point, I was in such a rush and the bus driver says, well, and she should get off the bus if she can't pay, with her unlipsticked lips and fine face. I say, it's ok, I'll pay, no really, you can pay me back or something later (I would not say because you remind me of _____________ and you remind me of someone careful with their words and pronouns) and she says, oh let me take your address.

Eleven days to go- hardly anything! Nothing at all! It will fly by. And a whole day to myself on the train. A whole day. My birthday on the train.

Today we looked for shells in the back garden. We found four and I washed them and some of the shell flaked in the basin. I looked for pebbles for the child's yellow pick up truck and tied a piece of string to its front grill.

We found a ladybird. The child nearly squashed it with his big fat fingers. The ladybird crawled onto his hands and we took it into the kitchen to show the grandmother.

At lunchtime I walked to the supermarket listening to Yeah Yeah Yeahs. It was windy and hot and dry and cars drove past me. There was no pavement. I daydreamed about being a famous and talented author; I've been working on a piece that speaks of sex and desperation.

I clatter about, my bags and my coat. My teeth brushed in the kitchen sink, spit washed down the sink. I make a la vache qui rit sandwich.

Later on the bus I don't listen to music, and later on the train I can't read. A wordless, thingless boring journey starts. The circus rolls into town and bus stop. The circus, the circus came to town on my birthday, I think. There’s a change of buses. I wait, wait, wait for No.5 in Pleuvivy. It's a horrible dead end. Worry, worry, worry. I am 19 today. I had a headache when I woke up and a strawberry mark on my forehead when I was born.

I wrote in my pink bedroom, in a tiny French village. There was all this too.

There's blood on the zebra crossing: an old man cycled into road works, into a hole. There is blood on the road. The firemen took him away to hospital for the blood on the road and on the zebra crossing.