Blood Red



Sometimes Paris has a blood red sky. Like after that storm, so violent, so intense,never seeming to want to end, making you realise that the sophistication and control of the city is just a fantasy really, a dream.

No one owns anything. Understand the heavens turned red with passion. Strength that we could never know, everything was bathed in a scarlet glow, pink tinged on the outskirts, fiery on the inside.

Sometimes Paris bites back. Clearing the streets of all but the totally crazy, to walk in that torrent, to tremble in the viscous sound of thunder, exploding again and again. Power with the anger of defiance, drawing us to the window, yet making us back away.

And the next day, after the day had fled . . . . . the red.



In This Dark Cold Hotel Room

Take a line from a song that you love or connect with. Now forget the song, and turn that line into the title or inspiration for your post.

It’s surreal really, three times in one day I’ve been snubbed or hurt, a bit like Jesus. Three times, he said.

Bring it on!!!!  But I still don’t want to go. Still I stay, hold on, to here, to this dark, forgotten place. Like at school, when you find out someone has been talking about you and it’s such a shock, and yet you always knew.

Like when she said, go up to our room and bring down the cups. And I went and there on the chest of drawers, wide open, was a book. It was a double page spread of a mass grave, filled to over flowing with bodies, dead bodies, all skeletal and deeply emaciated, all had starved to death,

That’s your history, there you go. That’s your Who Do You Think You Are from the TV. That’s who you are. Hated!

But I wasn’t surprised, I always knew there was something, something strange about us. Some reason why we were odd, a bit different. Dysfunctional, my sister called it after she had studied families to work in Social Services. Dysfunctional.

Weird, sad. My mother jumped when the doorbell rang. My father said, who is that at the door, but neither of them wanted to answer it.

Did other people’s parents carry on like that?

Now I’m strangely numb. I chose this hotel. It’s dark and a bit ragged and run down, not too many people know about it. Just wanted a bit of quiet, that sound of quiet, so rare and fleeting but the sound that instantly gets you thinking, fantasising about something . . . .

All that sorrow. She always looked as if she had been crying, every day.

Mama, so sad. Her overwhelming sadness draining laughter from our house.

Even little kids frightened her, well many adults are frightened of children.

With good reason sometimes, they see right through to the soul. No pretence with them, it’s an open book.

Like that book. Bring the cups down, she said, find your history, who hated you, who hates you . . . . still. See where your forebears died, where they ended up, breathing out their bleating, desperate last.

Death was a release. But life goes on . . . . . in the shadows.


Out Of The Shadows

It was a bitterly cold winter. It had been snowing very hard that day and the snow was deep and icy. I was walking home alone from school, it was evening, it was dark, the only light coming from the whiteness of the snow. There was that hush, that feeling of isolation.

Suddenly he was there, out of the shadows. He just appeared and approached me, I didn’t know him but I had seen him many times. I used to watch him from my window and I had a very strong crush on him. He was tall with dark hair and he had a girlfriend, also with dark hair. I watched them getting in and out of cars, walking together. Their lives fascinated me and I thought about him a lot.

He stood in front of me now, like we were the only two people alive in all the world.  ‘I need to see you’, he said. I’d never had a boyfriend. I was fifteen, he was about eighteen.

My heart was pounding. I told him I would have to go home but I would see him afterwards. I couldn’t believe he wanted to see me.

I ate my dinner so fast. Went to my room and changed my clothes three times! I told my mother I was going out. She begged me not to go, mainly because of the weather, which was worsening. I have to go, I said, I have to go.

He was waiting for me on the corner. It was very cold. Our breath was coming out in icy clouds. We began walking and he led me to the corner. We walked down a deserted road, the one with the railway bridge above. An icicle or two hung from the old wooden bridge. Neither of us said a thing. Then he pushed me against the wall. He was breathing heavily. ‘I’ve split up  with my girlfriend’, he said ‘and I miss the sex’.

I let him push against me, there in the cold and dark, with a railway train hurtling across the bridge, shattering the silence and rumbling over the track. A crack of blue lightening temporarily lighting up the grey darkness.

He kissed me just once but I pushed him away, I told him I had to go. I felt useless, inadequate standing there, lost. I loved him so much but it seemed so grave, so totally desolate there. He moved away and I walked home alone, trudging through the deep snow, just not knowing anything.

We never spoke to one another again.