Music is a strange animal. There are the songs hit your spine like a lightning bolt, earthing themselves in your feet, forcing you to dance, laughing through the sweat at the simple joy of being moved by a beat until you collapse of exhaustion.
The letters start to swim before your eyes, your lids begin to droop. This is it! Quick, turn off the lights, lie in bed. Immediately, you’re awake again. But that’s just momentary, from moving, right? Stick it out. Lie there. Count the seconds, then the minutes. Turn the pillow over. Fluff the duvet. Too hot, too cold. Throw the duvet off the bed. Retrieve it. Turn over. Lie on your front, back, side. Turn round so that your feet are where your head used to be.
So, what about writing ourselves? Every day, our thoughts, words and actions conspire to create the way that others perceive us and influence the ways in which they understand us. We create “texts” through which we ask others to interpret us, and we hope that we do it well. We’ve all been misunderstood, and often can’t quite grasp why.
It is one thing to be proud of who you are; it is quite another to deny that you are nothing more than your sexuality. Reducing yourself like this only feeds the hatred that so many are eagerly waiting to heap on you.
We had a window of time, limited, contained, enclosed, isolated. Kept safe. Those days were sweeter for their certainty. Nothing more could have happened; nothing less than perfect. I didn’t love you. It was better than that. Love is hurtful, damaging, ugly. Love barbs you with its poisoned thorns, altering your internal circuit board, electrifying you.
The downside of air travel is the bit where you actually have to travel by air. The mild irritation that comes from close proximity to strangers at sixteen-hour stretches? That’s what kills me. I have noticed there are certain “types” of people you could end up next to on a flight, and I’ve noted a couple of them here.
Probably neither of those. We define ourselves through our relations to other people. We are mother, husband, lover, sister, teacher, friend, son, enemy. Without links to other people, we disintegrate. We need anchors to society. To label someone is not to negate them. Even derogatory labels, whilst unpleasant, acknowledge a place in society, somewhere to belong. An identity.