How To Build A Skeleton Heart: love letters
friday september 2009
Hello and I know what your thinking on reading this. You are thinking something like:
oh god! She’s written me a letter. Bitch, please! What does she think this is? A Jane Austen novel? I am by no means her Mr Darcy and she is no Elizabeth Bennett. Does she expect me to write back? Jesus, I hope not. Is there a return address? No, good. I can just send a generic text message. Something like, Hey girl, thanks for the letter. It was….descriptive. Good that should do it.
Ok ok I will stop being a mimicky smart ass. Greetings from Manchester! I have been writing this in my head for a couple of days now as I wander around getting my feet wet in puddles made by summer rain. I figure this is the perfect friendship for you. You do not need to see me, touch me or hear me. You just get the one thing you love above all else, words!
I am writing this from a pub in the student quarter of Manchester university. Its deserted as its summer holidays right now. This place is nice and the food is cheap as is the cider. You get pints everywhere in this country without asking, the bar staff assume I drink heaps because of my Australian accent. If you want a half (pot) of cider, you have to specify, otherwise I get given a glass of alchol as big as my head. The first time this happened, it was at the back packer hostel in Islington. I got totally smashed.
Bangkok was not good. I spoke to nobody and felt really out of my depth. I did take a lot of good Loner looser photos though.
I wandered around in the sweat inducing atmosphere, happily getting ripped off at the markets because I figured who the hell was I to haggle for a few extra baht?
Travelling alone has already allowed me to not only embrace my obnoxious side but also strengthen, extend and elevate it to higher levels. The first hostel I stayed at was organized in a desperate and niave frenzy as soon as I got through customs at Heathrow airport. I had not organized anything because that’s the sort of silly person I am. I asked a person at an information desk to help me. I picked a hostel randomly from my lonely planet guide and paid in cash.
It just so happened to be a hostel for wankers and ravers. The first floor was set up to look like an industrial night club. All futuristic blue lighting and metal. There was a room with a bar and dance floor and a small stage, all in the same blue lighting and metal industrial themed. Terrible music played all day and night at deafening volumes, techno.
My last night there I got incredibly drunk on three pints of cider. It was karaoke night and the song selection fluctuated between pussy cat dolls and Robbie Williams. In the lulls between singers I found myself clapping like a sarcastic bitch and shouting, ‘’Great singing! Awesome song choice! Someone do Celine Dion!’
When you are on your own and know nobody, you have nothing to lose.
Manchester is awesome and as amazing as its rich musical history led me to believe it would be.
I arrive on the Friday to find the front desk of my hostel decorated with mini rainbow flags. I had arrived to Manchester for gay pride weekend! I had booked an all girl dorm room and thus made friends with a bunch of lovely lesbians. Including a seventeen year old called Iona.
‘’Do your parents know where you are? I ask Iona.
‘No way!’ she answered. ‘’ I told them I was camping with friends.’’
Rachel was 22 and from wales, she had been openly gay for a year and was so excited to be open with who she was. Lastly there was two girls from Leeds who wanted to take me home with them by the end of the weekend. A short blonde called nicki with spiky hair and emmi who was taller. Emmi was straight and felt it was important that everybody knew this, writing in sharpie on her arm when we went out the words I like boys better. Rachel actually paid for my wristband which was a 30 quid affair to allow me into all the members only pubs and events.
We all went out together and got very very drunk. At one pub it was so very crowded and hot. Iona bought me a drink and shouted something in my ear that I could not hear.
WHAT DID YOU SAY? I shouted to her.
‘I said’ she shouted back. ‘’THAT YOUR ROCK LOOK IS QUITE CUTE!’
Rachel was such a lovely girl who was so very keen to pick up, it was her ultimate aim for the entire weekend.
As we sat on the kerb together watching people spill out and in to the pub we had just exited. I watched her smoke a cigarette with a sense of dejection.
‘Rach, you have to understand that when it comes to attraction you need to not give a shit. You are far more attractive when you are having a great time regardless of who you want or who is watching.’
But she is young and desperate to fall in love. I could relate, it was what I wanted more than anything as well, I just didn’t want to admit it to her. On this night I was happy getting drinks given to me by women I did not know but who felt like family. I am happy being told I looked lovely as I stand in the front of the full length mirror in the club toilets.
Rachel did voice a certain amount of jealous awe at my pulling power, a power I did not take advantage of. Rachel and I went to an alternative queer night at a place called Ruby Lounge. It was a night for LGBTQI people who hate the crap music associated with the Queer party scene. It was amazing. On stage you got to witness a drag queen do a portrait of their friend in six minutes while a guy plying electric guitar, wearing a t shirt that said too poor to be gay. The musician yelled over his guitar playing about hating the heterosexual politics that strangle main stream society. When the twisted surreal cabaret was over, the drag queen told the crowd in a dead pan voice.
’If you are heterosexual and here tonight, do us all a favour. Go home and kill yourselves.’ I cackled appreciatively.
After that it was time to dance our asses off to some great indie and punk music.
I cannot use the internet here at the hostel, it keeps screwing up on me. What I would do for a laptop of my own. I’d do anything! OK not anything. Maybe hand stuff. I would only agree to a hand job then as I am not putting my face anywhere near a guys sweaty ball sack.
Speaking of sexual matters I have no libido at all. I have not even used the silver bullet my friend took me to buy before leaving Melbourne. I have been too busy soaking up sights and scenes with a huge grin on my face. I may have left my libido in one of your pockets. If you have been feeling an urge to have sex with people that look like you, this could be an explanation. If you do find my libido, be a dear and put it in a labelled jar somewhere safe. I really am not missing it at all.
Its so lovely to be writing this to you. I feel like I can see you sitting at the table watching me. You are smiling and shaking with silent laughter at my rants.
The music scene here is so much better than I have ever experienced. Rare underground stuff that barely gets played in Australia is so much more accessible here. I went into Top shop yesterday and they were blasting Jay reatard. I was so thrilled! I am going to see The dodos and the mountain goats next week. Live music is so cheap! The Dodos gig cost a tenner and so did The Mountain Goats!. At the hostel I am staying at, they have free tea and toast all day every day. I have been living of it and am still not sick of it.
The bruise is getting smaller which worries me as I have become quite attached to it. Its not healthy. When its gone I am scared that you will be too, not from this world but from mine and I will disappear from yours.
Thank you for the texts messages you sent me whilst I waited in the departure lounge, I did bin the socks you left but I really wish I had kept them to wear around the world.
The fact that the word HEARTACHE was the word jumble in the newspaper that you read the day I left. That pleased me. It pleased me that you drew my attention to it. It made me think that perhaps I had affected you more than I dared hope.
When on the plane, when thirty thousand feet in the air, I read the letter c wrote to me. It was so beautiful it made me cry till I got a headache. I guess you were not completely being as sarcastic as I assumed when you said that he was a bit in love with me.
I really hope you are doing well and getting through your days ok. I am trying really hard to do what you want me to do. I am trying very hard not to miss you. It is difficult though and I am failing miserably. I think of how far away you are and these big black bats starts flapping their leathery wings inside my heart and lungs, and the pain is terrible.
Oh gosh my penmanship is terrible. I am sorry but have been drinking a pint as I write and its affecting me.
1000 hugs and kisses