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I do not know how he became such a fragile plant. At school he was called Nettles. I was not called anything, but I wished I could have been something similar. Did he sting? Was he delicious? The other boys were loud, he was swaying in the wind beautifully.

By the time he was eighteen he had found a job at a warehouse. A welcome respite away from the house where his father opened the first beer before breakfast.

I never liked his coworkers. One of them had beady eyes, not like a rat but like a doll, lifeless and strange. Another one liked to show off his muscles. He used to walk with no shirt on even when it was too cold, and in Wales it is almost always too cold.

Once we went to see a film together, the four of us. The one with strange eyes had a nervous handshake, it felt like the whole man was shaking. The muscle boy kept eating sticky toffee, but every now and then he would spit it out, moaning about how sweet it was. Why eat it then? Perhaps he needed the energy. Then there was Nettles, as delicate as human beings are, looking like he wanted to say something but never finding the words. I cannot remember what the film was, pictures are not important, only people.

Now Nettles is in prison. The two others got off lightly because they did not accidentally kill anyone. If the guard had stayed quiet it would have been all right.

In prison Nettles has taken up weightlifting, but he does not walk around without a shirt. Maybe it is not allowed. Maybe he does not want to show himself to me. I would like to know nevertheless because I have promised to wait for him here. He pretended he did not know what I was talking about. As long as it takes, honey, we are two of a kind. Delicious, fragile, beautiful. My friend.


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He left his car by the side of the road and headed across the field towards the woods. His shoes got muddy, although in the moonlight he should have been able to see where he was going.

It felt like he had just woken up after sleeping for years, that only now he was seeing everything clearly. However, it made him ignore the discomfort and the cold, he hardly noticed his surroundings. They were not important. That was his revelation, that wherever he went he did not have to mind what was going on.

It was all beautiful, but all beauty is meaningless.

He only desired friendship now because he wanted to make these moments glow with the glory of mutual understanding, but there was no one to reach out to. The fields were empty, the town lights in the distance looked like a frown, all the cities were rusted, decayed and shut down because people no longer sought anything outside what they were used to. But the woods ahead of him were dark, inviting.

He wanted to dive into the darkness to see if it concealed any secrets, any fears left to overcome. Even that seemed quite trivial. He did not have to prove himself, he simply wanted to see what remained in the unexplored area.

When he got into the woods it turned out that there was nothing more exciting than his own heartbeat. It was such a disappointment that for a few moments he felt an urge to burn something down, the car, anything, because destruction can create a momentary impression of more intense living. Real life is the opposite, it is not very dramatic and the significance of flaming moments fades over time.

But he was in love with the landscape, everything should be just as it is, even the sickening lights on the horizon. He felt sorry that he was crushing the grass under him, possibly trampling on snails without even noticing it.

This was his moment. One who is alone seems to own everything and nothing. It is horrible, but he also felt pleased with the idea that he would always be alone. The moon watched him hungrily. One of these evenings he would truly disappear, devoured by the night.

Like with last week’s story, now that I read this 11 years after writing it, I’m wishing there was more action, but then I ended up reading it many times, trying to figure out the character and what is going on. Despite its flaws the vignette still fascinates me, because it’s possible to imagine a larger story around the character. Writing a continuation would just mean explaining too much.


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In his head it was always autumn. His legs were tired from walking through the fields looking for beautiful images he could hang on his wall. He did not need a camera. He was sure that the right landscape would automatically fill the empty space between the window and the cupboard.

Perhaps right outside the window love was spreading its wings, waiting for breadcrumbs to fall from the sky, but when he looked out he merely kept cursing the bird droppings on his window sill.

At night he was eagerly waiting for the sound of the rain, it sounded like a mistress gently trying to get in. Happily he lay there wondering if he would let anyone in if it came to it, but of course it never did.

When he saw the moon he thought about whether it was a hole in the sky or if the sky itself was a hole. He was certain it was the latter, after all space is almost empty, it is a probability, a distance between fugitives. But if it is like that, everything is really a hole, or many holes, and existence is an anomaly.

Some days he certainly felt like nothing really existed, but that was only when he looked into his flat from outside and could not see himself sitting in the armchair as expected. Maybe he would have felt sorry for the lonely man in an old cardigan. But since he was not there, he must have escaped into the crispy morning, lucky man.

He touched the glass and tapped cautiously, resisting the urge to flee the scene. He did this every morning, but no-one ever came, except the police turned up once. He had some trouble convincing them he really lived there. When he explained that he was only trying to see himself, the policemen looked at each other and walked away. They were full of holes too, in fact the whole world was a big Emmental cheese.

Words floated around him like planets or plankton. In his own way he must have been happy, perhaps even happier than most. Now nobody sees him anymore in or outside his house. The holes have finally taken over.

The Spinning Room

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It looks like the room has turned into a vacuum. Outside in the darkness lamp posts are leaning toward us, beeches are torn off the ground, their roots heavenwards, spiralling faster, reaching the speed of human love.

There are mice flying through the sky, only recently they found their wings, utterly surprised that they could soar in the clouds on these cold moonlit nights, unafraid of owls because all the predators are resting tonight. They are either too tired or too amazed that something like this is happening.

Perhaps the room itself is spinning, it is difficult to tell in the darkness, but there is a multitude of colours swirling around us, all of them different shades of our affection for each other, and for the world, as her body has become the epicentre from which beauty radiates to cover the whole planet. The Earth has become the place where darkness and light are one, perhaps they always were, only I could not see it before now.

There are no shades of grey because it is all beautiful. The rain is falling upwards to meet the clouds and the beyond, it is starting a journey through space, landing on other rooms, other moons. But this is our sanctuary, safe under the duvet, let others find their own, except that all the rooms are really the same, all homes shining with happiness that many are unable to see. It is always there in the cups of tea, at the bottom of jars of blueberry jam, in every sudden touch without demand, in a sprouting dandelion and the face of a highland cow.

Everyone is the centre of this happiness, everyone is the beauty of this moment made flesh, but right now all that matters is that the world spins around us, or we spin around everything, two people clinging to each other like it is the end of time, or the beginning. And this feeling is always the beginning.

The River

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Right where the river flows into the lake, see? That’s the perfect image of contentment. I do not think a human being can achieve anything more than what comes to the waters naturally, the release that is a completion of a journey the river is not even aware of.

You would not believe from the surface that my love drowned herself in the lake only a year ago. I should probably stop coming here every day, but the truth is that this is the only place in town that is truly peaceful. I never noticed it before, although I knew she liked to come here when she felt sad.

Sitting here I have too much time to think about her, and sometimes it feels like her spirit must still be in the waters with many others like her, looking at us from just below the surface.

She did not believe in her existence without the help of others, their gazes, their praises. No wonder she was unhappy. I realise now that I should have tried to make her find an existence of her own, but of course she only saw a reflection in my eyes, my words, my smiles.

But how could I have made her whole without ruining it all through my own perspectives, as much as I loved her? It is such a difficult thing to encourage someone so lost because she would have attached herself to any views I had of her. The hunger was too great, she was too impatient to find anything else.

Maybe I was too sure of myself and she should have been with someone equally lost, someone whose passion is not so overwhelming. It was never meant for someone like her, she was engulfed and disappeared into my love, and what first was bliss quickly turned into a total annihilation of hope. How destructive it is, wishing that the space between two people disappears. My boundaries should be mine alone.

But if anyone had told me then that my love was too great to heal her I would not have believed. How can love be too great? Now there is nothing left to do except to watch the river flowing and every now and then letting my eyes wander on the lake, not too often lest the dead might be disturbed or my mind becomes the blank slate it always should have been.

My passion has been spent now and yet I long for a release, not that of death but merely forgetfulness. I want to forget I existed, that there was indeed a journey which brought me to this place. Perhaps the river can teach me something. Listen, can you hear it singing?

Comment. This was written on the same day as the previous one. I can’t remember my intentions anymore, but in retrospect it looks like the two pieces could be connected, the same event seen from two different perspectives. The themes of disappearance, sacrifice and suicide are present in both, even if ostensibly they’re about love. It’s not supposed to describe healthy love, but rather this strange confusion of self-sacrifice and narcissism, which is fascinating while disturbing.

Never Enough

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The truth is that writing will never make me as beautiful as you, whoever you are, even though at times it almost seems possible to find a view that would not shift. If I write too much about love it is only because I feel so much and see so little of it, there is too much selfish desire and plain boredom.

You may say that you are not beautiful, that you should have even teeth and clearer skin, but when you give me a smile there is no other definition of beauty. Why then judge myself with different standards if there is so much to love about you and everyone else?

Maybe I simply want to avoid becoming conceited. I do not want to be proud of my mediocrity even though sometimes I admire it.

Even if I manage to discover a perspective, a sentence that brightens the room for a few seconds, the moment is soon over and I am left in the darkness again, scribbling blindly, unchanged except for the growing knowledge of how many ways one can fail to achieve what you can do without effort, the charm in speaking and hesitating and putting on your glasses to see better, although not me, unfortunately.

Words do not achieve anything, they only create impressions, but in the end – when your body is close to mine – all the words scatter into space, they are like stars and I see the vast emptiness between them. All impressions are false except for your fingers moving on my skin, my hand on your hips.

There really should be no reason to write anything, but there is not enough love in this world to turn the head of anyone who does not want it. But love is never taken, it can only be given, and if we are lucky other people have something to give as well. There is no acceptance or rejection either with love because it is not a gift as such, but an exalted perspective that may or may not be shared. And there are no real arguments against love, only rationalisations and empty words like “You don’t really know me,” which more often than not simply means “I don’t find you attractive enough”. But I find that when two minds truly touch each other then suddenly everything turns attractive, the oaks and the brown river and the foaming sea.

So maybe there is a need for words after all, they do not create or reach beauty in themselves but maybe they can help us see it in others. However, there is always a limit to how much one can achieve and at best I can try to change myself.

Have these words brought me any comfort? I already knew what you signify to me, the beauty of the whole world concentrated in one person. So nothing new there. It is what I choose to see, although the fact that it is you was not initially a real choice. I was always helpless.

I should let go of these words now, let them fly and scatter, they have failed to touch me, they always do.

Goodbye, I love you.

Reading this now I’m somewhat disturbed by it, which is good. The long paragraph is the most controversial. No acceptance in love? The feeling described is more about something universal, a mode of being rather than a mode of moving toward an object.

The Dancing Violinist

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She really should have inspected the flat more carefully before signing the contract, because on the first night she realised that the room was actually on fire. At night it was tolerable and the flames were not too hot, but usually in the evenings she had to strip down to withstand the heat.

After a while she got used to it and felt quite liberated walking around with no clothes on. Sometimes she tried to read in a corner where the flames did not reach, but more often she danced, arms high above her head, swaying her hips, swirling around and making sudden kicks, jumping over and around the flames as though they were just rocks.

Other times she played sad melodies on the violin and watched darkness descending into town. She began to get admirers who stayed outside casually taking walks on the other side of the street where they might catch a glimpse of her dancing, but nobody dared to approach her. She complained to her friends that it was not her fault, she was perfectly normal, it was just the flat playing tricks on her. But the friends soon stopped listening and suddenly she was all alone, a lighthouse in a sea of flames.

It was getting more and more difficult for her admirers to see her because her body was becoming effulgent and crimson from all the dancing and they could no longer distinguish her from the flames. It looked like she had become invisible in her own flat, but when she went out to walk by the river people stared and walked across the water to a safe distance because they could see little flames around her mouth and eyes, and dogs barked so furiously that their owners got quite frustrated.

But among her admirers there was a boy, there always is one, who stayed behind when all the others were gone. He did wait to see the apparition of her naked body in the window, just like everyone else, but what he really wanted was to hear her violin.

He played the cello himself and one day when everyone else was either dead or eating toast he gathered his courage and asked to play counterpoint for her. It was not that exciting at first, rather too mechanical, but the longer he stayed in her flat the more he learned to let go.

The walls of the flat are very thin and often I lie awake at night listening to the music they make. It is so beautiful that it still makes me weep in gratitude.

Obsession to Surrender

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Hers are the hands that sculpted me, under her touch I was created. This body had a shape before but it had no meaning.

Her fingers brushed against mine so carelessly that at first I did not notice what was happening, but soon I realised that only now was I gaining awareness of the love that resides inside flesh. Gently she put aside the first layer, the one of suspicion, and tried to see into the core, the possibilities of the material.

One always has to stay aware of the limits, because it is easy to get too enthusiastic and chop off a large piece that was meant to stay intact. Afterwards there would be no chance of ever making me a human being again.

Sometimes her chest was flushing, particularly when she was very certain of what she wanted but not whether I would yield. But of course I did, I wanted to be the water she drinks, the cat she strokes, the scarf wrapped around her neck, the shirt that made her warm. Maybe she was all those things to me, for when we were together I seemed to desire no water, no warmth and comfort, just the knowledge that she was in the same building.

Her pain was my pain but it did not help her at all. Shared pain brings solace only if both people care about each other. I would have gladly taken all her burdens but she did not want to give them to me, that would have been to intimate.

But I was not born to be a sculptor, I was simply made of energy looking for an outlet.

I thought she would receive me and stay happy for the rest of her life but instead I merely went through her, hardly changing her at all even though my own charge was utterly transformed.

Maybe one day she will stand in the rain and feel me in each drop. I will turn myself into clouds and water just to stay close to her, but even then I could never be as soft as her skin was.

I do not think I will be able to love anyone else the same way, but then again just because she created the love I never knew could exist, it does not mean that it cannot be redirected.

Yet, as the creator of the feeling she will always be in charge. I know that people cannot be owned, but I want to give myself completely. I am hers.

Comment. All the stories I’ve posted so far were written in a short period of time, the first one 19/02/11, this 25/02/11. That perhaps explains why there are similar themes, although writing about different facets of love are a pretty common theme anyway. At the time I was not in a relationship, and I cannot recognize these descriptions to be related to any real person or situation. However, since then, in the last 10 years, I’ve had some of the experiences I wrote about back then.

Surely in an intimate relationship it may feel like we’re being sculpted into better beings, and you can wish to surrender like that. But it’s not an attitude I wholeheartedly recommend. Of course this story isn’t prescriptive, but merely a description of a state of mind. Some of that feeling is inevitable in the early stages of the relationship when boundaries are blurred for a while. But then you find yourself again, perhaps more strongly than ever. That is also natural. Becoming a sculpture with clear lines and a smooth surface, more beautiful than ever.

How much the meaning of life is enhanced or even created by falling in love! It is intoxicating to the point at which we adopt attitudes that are not sustainable. That is also part of its charm, how we are ultimately in a flux, forced to re-evaluate our personalities, return closer to the beginning, approach one another again. This endless dance. Love is not just one approach and then being together happily ever after. It is constant movement, and it’s fine like that. Nothing to be afraid of.