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Thank-you (Re-titled/version II).

by laurafraser 

Posted: 12 April 2005
Word Count: 1439
Summary: Version II: Taking into ccount what Elspeth said (Thank-you) have had a tinkle with orginal version. Still think a little wordy in places, perhaps need to make a longer story...? Of all pieces that I've posted, this is the one that I feel I need the most help with as i am at a loss as to whether or not there is anything worthwhile in here...HELP PLEASE lovely WWer's!!! xx Also title needs changing but am at a loss-any suggestions?

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I fell in love for the first time, when I was eight. He wore large tortishell glasses. So naturally on learning that I too would have to wear glasses I was thrilled. Despite the fact that the make I had chosen, (they had to be exactly like his), were too big for my small face, I wore my new glasses with pure unabashed joy. My love wore tortishell glasses. I wore tortishell glasses. We were cool. Of curse being my best friend’s father I doubt he realised his role in my decision making process, where my eyesight fashion accessories were concerned. But I was eight, so I didn’t think about that. In hindsight I wished I had told him, for anything just to make him laugh. He had a heart attack a year after I made the decision to down size my glasses and lost his memory, so I suppose it would have come to no use, even if I had.

The next of my crushes was the MP Paddy Ashdown. He wore glasses too. But I have a fickle heart and soon developed a predilection for television soap stars, Billie Warlock from Baywatch being the face that graced my bedroom wall the most. Then there was Roger Moore, who was my favourite James Bond and the man who the mermaid falls in love with in the cartoon, Eric, I think his name was, I liked him too. Or rather, I liked the idea of him.

Being in love with so many men, none of whom I had actually met meant that it was increasingly difficult for me to actually fall in love with a real life boy. Fantasising and daydreaming can really be fantastic hobbies for someone with an over active imagination, especially when the person with whom they used to share it with died, when they were seven. For me this person was my father, whose ability to create a story to rival the old fables of Oscar Wilde and Aesop always blew me away and sent me into a delirium of giggles. He was in property; he should have been a writer. Though that is part of my fantasy I suppose.

The great thing about having a father who died so young is that you can create whatever image you like of him. He can be a hero or a villain and there are not many little girls who wish to make their daddy a villain, and I was to be no exception. My father was the funniest, kindest, most clever man on the planet and he loved me more than anyone else ever did or could, as well as being the only person in the whole world who could understand me. That was the story that became my reality. And really what is reality after all, but a bungled collection of people’s accounts of how things happened? Words tumbled onto more words, which strangle those that came before and give life to ones that follow. Reality, it would seem is merely a rather sophisticated fiction, a compendium of sorts.

As I metamorphosised into a someone who was no longer a teenager, I found myself repelled by these things that we are meant to have in our lives, the roles that we are to play; innocent, clever, stupid, successful, addict, hippie, girlfriend, boyfriend… It is as if the people in our lives are given a giant list on to which they must tick the category we, their friend, daughter, lover, idol fulfil. And when our identity seems intangible they get a little worried, the whiskers on their noses begin to twitch and their toes start tapping. To be a girlfriend annoyed me. I loathed the word, it was mundane, stale. Un-erotic. Far more appealing, to me, was the term ‘lover,’ and though I asked with a cat’s flicker of a smile, that one friend call me this, he would still introduce me proudly to his friends, as his girlfriend, causing me to blush and avert my eyes. It seemed wrong, over pronounced, like a show with amateur actors. And that’s what all my relationships were like, amateurish. Though this never particularly worried me as it did my mother, after all, when you live in your head, you know that your dream is just around the corner, going through the events in his life, learning the lessons he needed to learn, as you did yours, so that you could both be together.

And then of course you fall in love, totally and utterly for really the first time. Not because you have created something in your head that doesn’t fit with reality, but simply because you meet a boy whom you love. Completely. There are still things that irk you, sides of him you wish might not be there in a while, and then you realise that actually you don’t mind, not because he is perfect, but because he is not. It happens so simply. You go out on your first date, which starts in a rush, he arrives at your house, just as you’ve spilt cranberry juice all over the stairs. You both laugh as he calls his parent’s housekeeper, asking how to fix it and then spend the next ten minutes padding the floor with kitchen roll and rubbing salt granules into the stain. Everything chimes with the sound of your laughter, legs touch in the taxi and you are excited. You feel outrageous. Neither of you eat at the restaurant preferring instead to talk over Lychee Martinis, both of you spilling out details of your life, sharing them, laughing over them. Leaning close and smiling, not thinking. The alcohol goes quickly to your head. You go upstairs for double espressos and then climb into a cab to nightclub hop around London. Meeting old friends and all the time getting closer to each other. You feel more confident perhaps, your arm around the bottom of his waist, his around yours and you kiss each other on the cheek, on the hands, slowly making your way to each other’s lips. But he, shy in front of his friends. And then you go home and more kissing and a night of laughing and falling off beds and wrapping each others limbs around one another, as if you want to sink into one another. You wake throughout the night to kiss and giggle and move and adapt your positions, awaking in the morning at the other end of the bed, still tightly wrapped as if all this waiting for your dream, and you are scared to let go, should it suddenly evaporate.

And now, sixty-four days later, you are. Evaporating to somewhere, where the kites and the days in bed and the poetry making sessions on the telephone and the aimless walks around London and the espresso’s in café’s by streets that we’ve kissed on and wrapped arms around each other on, outside shops where assistants stare and smile at us laughing, where the paintings we’ve seen and admired and the London eye where we took photos and jumped around on, drinking champagne from cheap plastic cups and the restaurant where we shared a table with the couple from Greece who were having an affair, who we drank Tequila with and sang songs whose tune’s we paid no heed to, where the arguments about yoga and existence and philosophers won’t go. And where I won’t go. Where I won’t go.

Anicca, anicca, my meditation teacher used to whisper to us, anicca, anicca, nothing is permanent, every-thing is impermanent. So when I cry now, I recall this word and it’s meaning and repeat it to myself, over and over like a mantra. And yet inside I want to fight to say I love you and then I stop and observe this wonderful, if agonising feeling that you have given to me so unknowingly. It is what I wanted after all, what I used to beg for at night when kaleidoscopic dreams danced in my head. Give me everything, I’d plead. Love, hate, agony, death, life, waste, abundance, wisdom and loss. Let life and all it’s emotions rip through me, exploding apart the atoms that make ‘me.’ Give me love, then give me loss. Polar opposites, I’d say, show me polar opposites.

So, love has flung me here to the Sahara, and I stand here on the dunes, with my arms wide, as the wind whips me, forcing me don to the Artic, where my nude skin cracks like ice. So now I have nothing. My body is formless.

And for that, what else is there to say, but thank-you.

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Comments by other Members

Account Closed at 20:08 on 12 April 2005  Report this post
Hi Laura,
Lots of lovely ideas in here: the glasses story, the father fables and the first time she's really struck. At the moment it's a bit dense, rushed and I wonder if you could cut some parts or slow the whole thing down.

I don't think you need to state this:

"The great thing about having a father who died so young is that you can create whatever image you like of him." I almost think you could base the whole piece on this as it is very poignant but could be even more so.

"But back to falling in love, which I have done lots." I also think you could lose these kind of chatty asides.

"You both laugh as he calls his parents housekeeper," this made me wonder which country you were in, but then you talk about London nightclubs. The description of the true love is well told and touching. Be careful of bringing too many elements in - you talk about a therapy group and Buddhism.

Check your possessives = father's, parents' etc.

Hope this helps


laurafraser at 21:00 on 12 April 2005  Report this post
thank-you Elspeth, will have a look and apply all you've said.

really appreaciate your comments


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