I'll Be Leaving

I think you said, "you get to shave lines in your eyebrows."

Which is true. I take most things for granted, and maybe you do too, secretly. But I was sat in Clisold Park, bad back L shaped against some slender bark or other, reading Yellow Dog, bathing in the dayglo, photosynthesising. She was in my periphery for a while before I noticed she was a person, and not one of those shadows, those streaks of night that the explosion of tree behind which the sun temporarily hid flung in my reading direction. Once I noticed her, she was upon me quite suddenly, Casper white flesh in the first shootings of Summer, shrink wrapped in purple and smiling self-assuredly with a tiny red mouth.

She said, "Borderline is very pretty."

I didn't know what she meant, so I said, "yeah?"

She said, "you should work on that falsetto," and then I knew what she meant, but I still said,


"That's a really horrible book, you know," she gestured from above me, I cross legged, grinding my spine into the bark.

I said, "all his books are really horrible," and a bug bit me in the right armpit and I sneezed.

"You'd better take an anti histamine," she noted with a sudden and troublesome poker face, swiveled on a shampoo-green flip flop, and strode off into the shadow, back t'ward the explosion of tree. Soon she was small, and then she was gone, and I'd lost my page. To my right a group of men played one-touch football and swore, creatively, and to my left a cluster of lesbarians stroked and pecked at each other. Somwhere up front, between explosion of tree's streaks of night a couple lay oblivious to the small fire they'd started for a whole gang of minutes, before leaping to their feet and stamping on the thing, flinging their arms about like fourties cartoons, and at the same time a bee dropped in my lap and I made an involuntary noise. If I were to write it phonetically, it would go, "nyih!"

I adore the summer, and I adore the fluorescent yellow marker-ed overline of balance summer insists on, like everything else in the so-called universe. In return for sweet photosynthesis, the tree sperm insists on invading my person, sneaking in via nose and eye, burrowing hungrily like fast rust bugs. Have you ever had boy sperm in your eye? I haven't, but I am told it burrows, so it is probably a similar sensation. That and the tickly nose and the weird need to tongue the roof of one's mouth, knowing full well it will only lead to disaster. I still try and rub the tree sperm out , even though I know it will set my face on fire, and I still scratch at bug bites, even though I know they will, at best, hurt, and worst, scar. I am as stupid as the day I was born, and I still believe in magic. Sometimes in life you are face to face with eyes that beam, so wet you could drown in them, and you don't realise until much later that it is the closest you will come to being something other than just yourself.