petite anglaise

April 21, 2006

the superficial

Filed under: navel gazing, single life — petiteanglaiseparis @ 11:16 am

I choose my outfit, my undergarments with care, because I know from experience that a drink, with him, will lead to much, much more.

In the bar, I bask in the glow of his attention, happy in this moment, knowing full well it will be fleeting.

He seems most comfortable recounting anecdotes, in that theatrical way of his. His stories seem to form part of a cloak he draws around himself; a shield which I don’t even attempt to penetrate. Superficiality is an integral part of the unspoken pact between us.

I lie in bed, his sleeping body curled around mine, his arm around my waist, marvelling that someone can be so close, skin against mine, but simultaneously seem so remote, so inaccessible.

When we part the next day and I hear the words I fully expected to hear – “well, I guess I’ll see you in a month, when I get back” – I feel a twinge of something I was determined not to feel.

A brief pang of remorse that I may have been selling little pieces of myself to the lowest bidder.

April 18, 2006

limewired

Filed under: navel gazing — petiteanglaiseparis @ 1:01 am
the red eye seems appropriate here

A New Order obsessed fifteen year old is still trapped somewhere inside this thirty-something body: I will never cease to be a sucker for an old school synth.

Which goes some way, but by no means all, to explaining why instead of sleeping right now, I am listening to some freshly downloaded Tiga on my headphones with the bass turned all the way up, revelling in the richly layered synths of “High School” and wishing I could be on a dancefloor, eyes closed, skin tingling, letting the sound wash over me.

This petite anglaise wants to go clubbing. Soon. To let out all of that pent-up naughtiness fizzing beneath the surface. The only ingredient lacking at the present time is willing, like-minded partners in crime (as I can’t exactly ask Mr Frog and his gang any longer, can I?). Any readers who might be partial to electronica in the Vitalic/Tiga/Miss Kittin vein, feel free to drop me a line at the usual address.

April 13, 2006

en veille

Filed under: navel gazing — petiteanglaiseparis @ 8:29 pm

Every day I don my mask and go about my business. On good days, the happiness is not merely skin deep, it wells up from the very core of my being. I smile with my lips, my eyes and my heart.

On bad days the cheerfulness is forced and brittle, a thin veneer so easily shattered, my smile almost indistinguishable from a grimace.

On in between days I flit between the two states, one second positive and confident; the next casting around for something, anything, to break my fall.

People tell me I’m supposed to be revelling in this single state. Making the most of the time I have alone to form deeper friendships, give more of myself to my daughter, to learn how to be simply me. Undiluted, uncompromised, no longer bending to the will of a partner.

There are days when all this rings true and the world seems such an intoxicating place. When uplifting music on my iPod will make me smile in the métro at no-one in particular; when I want to hug myself with childish glee. Ahead of me lie inviting blank pages just begging to be covered with lurid, bold strokes.

There are days when everything feels utterly pointless if there is no special someone to share things with. Someone who hangs on my words. Someone who holds me tightly and buries his face in my hair. Someone who cares deeply about what is going on inside this head of mine. Someone to whom I can entrust my soul for safe keeping.

The mad social whirl, the party clothes and negligent new underwear are just pathetic ruses. I use artifice to try to trick myself into forgetting what is really lacking. I feed on superficial pleasures to fill the void.

I may be fooling everyone else.

“Switch me onto standby mode,
Until someone presses play”

Happy Violentine – Miss Kittin

March 9, 2006

confetti

Filed under: navel gazing, parting ways — petiteanglaiseparis @ 4:12 pm

I was tempted to name my last post “epitaph”. A part of me had been brutally severed. My hopes, my dreams now lay smouldering on a pyre. It seemed fitting.

When I typed those brave-faced words, they were an expression of how I wanted to feel, a few days or weeks or months from now. Something to aspire to. Then, somehow, after hitting the “publish” key, I realised I was genuinely beginning to feel that way.

Taking a step back, looking critically at the last few months, I see that much of my time was spent waiting, feeling despondent about being apart, dealing with the guilt of Tadpole’s impending separation from her father, smothering my doubts with a pillow. Negative feelings which crushed my spirits with all their ominous weight, preventing me from enjoying the here and now.

Now I find myself appallingly fragile, but intact, and somehow lighter. I no longer have to do battle with those demons any more; the weight has lifted. Only now do I see, with startling clarity, how impossible it was to continue following that ghost of a dream.

All the same, much of the past few days remains a blur. As I go about my daily business, my mind is elsewhere, playing my favourite memories in a continuous loop, until I’m ready to lay them to rest. On the surface, I laugh and joke, say positive, brave things, make plans for Tadpole and me. I’m going to buy a little flat, I say. On a whim, I’m going to the South of France for a few days, a holiday of sorts. People are rather surprised at how much better I seem, already. An indecently rapid recovery?

But I can barely bring myself to eat. I go to bed only when I’m thoroughly exhausted, so that I cannot lie awake craving his warmth. His touch. All day long there is a fluttering inside my chest, a constant edge of panic I cannot shake off, but which no-one sees.

This morning, in the crowded métro, a couple caught my attention. I saw their embrace out of the corner of my eye, and something inside me twisted, pulled. I couldn’t tear my masochistic eyes away from the woman, the way she looked at her companion, with hunger. I know I looked at him that way too, once. Sometimes, all I wanted was to crawl inside his skin.

Then, when I reached my destination, I saw another woman, elderly, confused. She stood by a rubbish bin, manically tearing up a piece of paper into smaller and smaller pieces, scattering them on the station floor like ragged confetti. Every few seconds she repeated the same two words, in an identical strangled voice, as if a needle were jumping on a record and playing the same disembodied phrase over and over.

“C’était magique.”

It was. It truly was, for a while. But I refuse to believe that it was my one and only shot at magical. Soon, I will renounce living in the past tense, move on.

Soon.

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