My favourite piece of writing that I did ever. From August 16th, 2005.

Feelings…niggling feelings I can’t shake. Like a shooting star in the corner of my eyes. I saw one last night. Just as I stepped into black.

Tuesday draws a fresh parched veneer over the beauty of last night. And it was. I donned my long black coat (mainly to use as a carrying receptical for the Life of Pi), stuffed the book neatly into my pocket and stepped out into the breezy August night.

Contentment in the fresh air took up my feet and carried me towards autumn’s scent…a cool guiltless aroman of what’s to come. I drifted along on it’s spray and slinked through the streets towards that pub in which so many nights had been spent. This one however, was punctuated by beauty and laughter. The bar was busy, the restaurant flowing, and the upstairs was emitting clanking plate noises from the buffet.

I got my Guiness from a friendly Graham, whom offered to turn the lights in the garden on to facilitate my reading. I accepted this offer and walked through the back door into the concreted platform overlooking the garden, sitting at a big round pea green table to read. I delved into Pi’s world of religions and gods, about his love of god and praying bewildering his family and the leaders..about how they spluttered and got red faced when he said he wanted to pray to all their religions. Beautiful language threw up images of mosqes, temples, churches, pictures, zoos, cameles, lions and snakes.

I knocked off thirty chapters or so, as the children scattered around the garden not knowing which direction they actually wanted to stay running in. Children appear to do that; run about pub gardens and then…run back again. As they stood near the edge of the garden cooing at a few hedgehogs, the sky behind the Bell exploded with bangs and firecrackers. Oh yes, I thought. Nice touch. I held my book down and gazed as the night hurled colourful sprinkles into it’s pitch black and smiled, thinking how nice it was to just be here, by myself, enjoying my evening. So often I have stumbled and fallen in my new world, wanting things to be back the way they were, all the grace and giddiness, the excitement and adventure. But here in this little garden, I was content to be myself. And I was reading!

As I looked back to the pages I thought about my merits, about my faults and all the things i’ve done. Eyes drifted over paragraphs again, slipping down letters, arse bumping off punctuations. I thought about love, how it affects us, how it’s sought and lost, how it was I was sitting there alone again….part of me was happy and blissed, but the other looks back and forwards, into things I had which are lost, and things I might have.

I don’t want to be alone, it’s a sickening and awful experience, and one which I despise. But I also realise the need for nights like this, and indeed days, to simply be alone with a tome, and my own thoughts that I glean from those words. I concluded I am content to be lonely in my contentment, but a part of me will sink into the side of my gut and kneed me, telling me I still want to be held.

And it’s true. No matter how much I try to deny it.

I thought about feelings i’ve been having, and I stood up to let them pass through my entire body and scatter around the floor, like ninepins. These feelings are like a little nausea, nice, and many, but sometimes you have to take to your feet to cope with them, walk around a little, take the air.

I’ve been having these a lot. They’re not bad ones at all, just curiosities…a blink in an eye, a stroke of arm in the air, a motion.

I’m tempted to take certain steps in my life, but the spirit and body are wrapped in one, they won’t be rushed and I won’t rush them; i’ll let them sit back in their chairs for now, with cigars, wine and port. And cheese. They deserve a rest. Don’t get too comfy though, lads, because we’ll have work to do soon.

My hair – tangled and knotted in places – wisped about my head like a blanket on each side. I thought about that too. About how I love slipping into my dark overcoat and covering my vision with hair, like a kind of night demon. Scaring those inside the Bell with my frankly dark appearance. Draped around the pages all I could see were words now…I closed the book and took up my humble items; a tobacoo pouch with sprinkles in the bottom, a wine glass, a guiness glass and a lighter, and a wallet. All were gathered and I jumped down the wall, stepping into the noisy pub.

Now lit up with more light due to the exit of a few customers, bar stools were clear. I made for one and continued to read, happily tipsy on the glass of white Graham had given me earlier ( A mistake, I assume, probably poured it when somebody asked for red or something), and listening to Ian rattling away as his cigarrette plumed into the air. He showed me some lawyer comments taken from American courts, which were actually rather funny.

“You should email those to your girlfriend! She’d like ’em what with working with lawyers”

He didn’t know. Of course, I hadn’t told Ian, I thought simply that he would have found out through others, but clearly not. I told him the truth, and he expressed his sorrow about it, for which I was grateful. The buffet (an engagement party, ugh), drifted down and pissed about with helium balloons, drunken laughing and happy goodbyes. At the mention of engagement, a little pang hit me. Then I went back to my drink and thought about how far i’d come…lifted myself with my strength, remembered that for everything there is to be sad about, there’s a lot for me to be fucking happy about too. I set my bittersweet emotions aside and lit up a cigar with the now on break Graham.

The night continued to be fun and loud, until it finally petered out into the reaches of midnight. I found myself in the dark night again with stars and cigar. Graham and I went to watch Kill Bill 2 with Maddy, and Mighty Boosh. A few laughs and some wine, and I was ready to have my talk with the night again.

Strange, strage graces…I am amazed by nature’s ability to comfort those who choose to walk it’s paths in late hours. A shooting star streaked into my view as I stepped out, and I gasped. Like an awed boy I audibly said “WOW!”, and grinned, foraging for wishes. I had none, to make one without thining would be foolish, so I did not. Wishes are not there for me to use thriftly. Maybe there’s a nine year old with a better one. So I carried on.

I had a long talk with myself along one road. Slumped against the wall I picked out a star and chose it because it was now like I, a single pinpoint in the black. Alone and without brother in the void. Somewhat content, somewhat sad, always searching. I went home and lay in my bed once more, and the veil of sleep ended a good night.


About neilstilwell

Abseiling into trouble, a sewer rat staring at the stars. Disgusting. You can assist my search for the one ring by buying a Kindle version of this diary from here. It has some other stuff in it, and a dreadful cover.
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