I wrote this story, when I was teenager, from the curls in my hair and the melancholy in my heart. I called it September and the main character was a woman, not totally unlike me. It was probably only around three pages long, but it contained within it a whole world of romance and pain: a life in a nutshell.
The hippy girl meets a suitably hippy guy, they fall in love, make love and sell seashells on the sea shore. She falls pregnant and the scene cuts to the burying of a tiny box filled with letters and a moon shaped necklace. Shortly after she finds herself at a train station waving goodbye to the suitably hippy guy, a little sadder than when she first found him. By the end she finds herself an old lady, sitting in her favourite chair, her hair still long and her curls still strong. Smoking a spliff with the slow flames lapping around her like the brown autumn leaves a friend had doodled around the edges of my notepad.
I had no idea what I was writing about, it came out of the mist like everything else does. But suffice to say, I’m now a lot more careful what I write about. Uncertain whether I fully believe I’m a jinx or a just prophetic or whether there are only a few unique plots in existence for all our stories to base themselves on.
But September was always significant, because for some reason I decided I wanted it to be. It was the month I met him, the month we got married, the month we broke up in, the month Dylan was supposed to be born and the month that we organised our divorce. Amicable throughout, never raising voices or acting like total pricks. This irreparably tangled ambivalence is a soupy broth that does nothing for a well defined pallet.
So we’re saying goodbye, by signing bits of paper and drinking tea: the way everyone who has ever loved anyone should do it. Otherwise you run the risk of completely breaking your cool, and once you’ve done that there’s no going back. Otherwise you’ll be disappointed you didn’t stay on that wild horse right to the finish line, squinting as you watch it far off in the distance instead. Put pen to paper and let the ink do the talking for you. Sign on all the dotted lines and be thankful that not everything in life is War of the Roses catastrophic or Kramer vs Kramer depressing.
Love and marriage goes together like a horse and carriage. Loss and divorce like a river of remorse. And now, when I think of it, that horse was never as docile or as subservient as everyone assumed. It was only a matter of time before it buckled, throwing both the carriage and the people within into complete disarray. I can still hear, if I try really hard, the crackling warm voice of my dad, singing about the two horses: one white like a youthful dream of a life to come and one black like an ill-fated destiny fully lived. It’s no wonder I see serendipity in every event, no wonder I was drawn to the lover of horses and to the sadness behind every old eye.
In the aftermath of narrowly missing everything that everyone ever wants by a fateful whisker, I realise I won’t forget about all the coldplay & clips days, all the lights guiding us home, the losing of things we can’t replace and how I’ll always do my bit to fix them, no matter how far removed I may be.
Why? Because I’m an inexcusable cunt in all other facets of life and I need to do something to restore the balance.
How? By drinking copious amounts of tea and foolishly wishing for the best.