I wake alone to noises from the square. People I don’t know are setting up the market. It’s 4 AM. The light outside is soft neon and already the stalls are laid out with rows of orange, red, green.
I can’t go back to sleep. At ten after four I am boiling cabbage for the dogs, flicking through a poetry book, and for no sane reason trying to think why it ever was a parliament of crows. A what?
I feel old and fat. I haven’t had a drink for a month, I haven’t eaten out, I’ve walked and ran every day, but every day, like today, the scales ping into life and the line goes round to “ancient.” Nothing moves.
I want to start my life again. OK, this one may be a short one, but I need to be alive, to feel alive, find love again, be in love again, want someone just for love itself, not the dark call of sex, but just being, feeling, wanting.
This is dying, I think – a kind of dying. I would rather be sad, feel lonely, feel empty, feel unfulfilled, but instead I just find the days too full, too duty-bound, too prescribed, too quickly slid away under the boat.
I do not need to look in the mirror. My was is fog now, invisible, so my am struggles to be different, a beard, lamb-chops, the hair already shoulder-length. I am becoming someone else. I will be old, strange, eccentric, a character. I am building towards the man who pretends he wants to be alone.
I am going to be a virgin, a loner, different. He’s a poet, isn’t he? Didn’t his family die in a plane crash? He was in prison in Turkey – never got over it. Always has a book in his hand – free coffee in Waitrose, makes it last two hours. No, harmless, I think.
I take a photograph every day. A “selfie”. I record the death of was, the many births of is. I read books about how the present doesn’t exist but is only the border, the instant between two edges of past and future.
The camera lies like a watch salesman in Teguise. There is a man in there, shaggy, a cauliflower of white hair erupting below each ear, eyes dull-whited but staring, a chain-sawed Santa. A Fucking Weirdo.
I would like to buy a tank, go to Patagonia, get a poem in The Guardian, volunteer for Mars, have one last suicidal, magisterial fuck, but I am boiling cabbage.
Focus! Focus! Focus!
I turn down the cooking, curse the weighing scales. No, really, I need the gym. No really, I need the dark call of a woman. No, really, I need a shag. No, really, I need you to take your fucking jackboot off the pale throat of my dreams and let me fucking live again.
I want someone to think I am worth it. I want someone to take a punt. I want to matter, just for a week or so. I want you, you, whoever you are, and wake to your scent, and want to make love to you but know that it’s good even if we don’t.