How To Build A Skeleton Heart: love letters

How To Build A Skeleton Heart: love letters

27 December 2009

Hello there

Been sitting on the floor of my
bedroom for a while now, my back against the radiator, that sits under the
windows. Doing nothing except watch the room grow darker. My Spanish roommate
sleeps soundly only snoring a tiny bit. I don’t know how much longer I can take
my extreme emotional erratics. I am running very low on my meds, and will soon
run out. Can you imagine my shame if I have to come home simply because I cant
get a mood stabilizer prescription?  The
doctors in London are fucked. They are so jaded they do not care anymore. I
burst into stressed out tears in front of one and she watched with contempt
before saying.

‘Your trying to blackmail me.’

So I sit here watching the
floorboards go from orange in the setting sun rays, to grey in the dusk and
finally black. The heat from the radiator seems to seep into my aching spine
and make me feel like not all is incurable. Its good just sitting here in the
dark thinking about myself thinking about you and how cute you look with a
lumberjack beard. Thanks for posting that photo on my wall. I know it was no
accident you drew my attention to a photo where one of your ears is in view.
Thinking about this year and what a total write of its been…again. I am so
apathetic right now there is no point in making up new years resolutions. Why
bother self improvement is just ego masturbation, right? 

It was great spending Christmas
in Brixton with Lauren, Jane and Anna. Doing what so many people are too scared
to try. Catherine was spending Christmas with her relatives in Scotland.  She had left gifts for us all though complete
with gold star tags that read with love santa. Too cute, though I felt like a
total stingy bitch because I got nobody anything and both Catherine and Lauren
got me presents. I was way beyond poor. It was so touching that after knowing
me for only a short time, the gifts I received were so thoughtful. I loved my
harmonica so much I kept it in my pocket while we had our delicious hot lunch
and champagne. Catherine had given me a punk rock colouring book! It has punk
band word searches and a dot to dot of The Ramones!

It was pretty exciting to see
Anna get an acoustic guitar from Lauren.

‘Oh ducky!’ Anna gushed in awe.
‘I have always wanted to learn!’

‘I know.’ Lauren replied as they
hugged with the guitar between them.

Anna had given Lauren a build
your own camera. Which was constructed on boxing day morning. Christ’s birthday
was celebrated with much drinking and 
music oh and conversations about those strange penis carrying creatures,
men. Its so weird saying men I know that now we are all nearing our late
twenties its probably the more accurate description.  As she strummed the melody to Lou Reed’s
heroin song, Lauren told us the latest vagary of her love life.

Alex had flown to Europe for some
travelling, see a music festival with Lauren and proceed to tell a stunned and
confused Lauren, that he still had feelings for her.

We were all speechless.

‘I know I know!’ She said fingers
strumming more angrily. ‘This is not in keeping with my men are more practical
theory at all! I mean how the fuck can this work?’

‘Sometimes you need to just take
things moment to moment and enjoy the 
wonder and bizarreness of it all.’ Anna suggested.

‘Well in the tent as the rain
pissed down I didn’t question it.’ Lauren replied with a smile.

‘So.?…what happened then?’ I
asked. I swear we all actually leaned towards her to hear well.

‘’I kissed him of course.’

We cheered and clapped.

‘I think I will skype him now.’
With that Lauren took her laptop into 
Catharine’s room.

When she reappeared her face was
troubled and she seemed grumpy.  She sat
on the couch next to Jane and said nothing. The room filled with sadness.

What’s the matter?

Lauren sighs and looks up in
frustration. ‘He asks questions and I give yes or no answers.

‘Unless we are talking face to
face for real. I can not elaborate, then I just get angry.’

It was decided cigarettes needed
to be smoked on the roof.  We put on
coats, scarves and fingerless gloves. 
The view of a deserted Brixton sprawled beneath us was truly eerie.
Dirty, run down buildings, Faded shop fronts and roads free of cars.  The 25th of December inspired a
complete shut down of everyday nuisances’. 

I loved this rundown part of
London so full of character and usually crime. 
For today at least, the borough of Brixton was peaceful and serene. As
the girls smoked I breathed in the icy air and took great pleasure in watching
my breath fog out.

‘Perhaps the phone and skype
thing is something you could get better at.’ Anna suggested.

Her frustration made her answer
sound a little petulant. ‘Its not something I want to have to get good at.’

‘What about letters.’ I knew it
was silly as soon as the words were out of my mouth. Everyone looked at me with
a mixture of pity and amusement. We made our way back into the tiny
apartment.  You walk through the front
door and can see the whole apartment from there, kitchenette to your left and
living room in front. ‘Lets play a game.’ Anna suggested. ‘We each choose three
songs on a playlist from the ipod. And then we try and guess who chose what.’

Lauren and I pounced on this idea
like excited rock savvy kittens. Once selections were made, which took a while
as Lauren and I took this game incredibly seriously scrolling through the  possible artists and songs for perfection.
The four of us danced around the small living area and I stopped only to refill
my plastic bottle with more vodka, lemon lime and water.  We were dancing around to Boys Don’t Cry when
Lauren stopped mid spin. ‘We have to watch some movies if that ok.’ She said.

Her dad had died a couple of
years ago. They had a Christmas tradition of watching National Lampoons
Vacation every Christmas.  We sat around
the laptop screen, munching on chocolates and crisps. I though of my own family
and felt bad that I had not been able to send any gifts. You were the only one
who received a gift from me. 

I grab my phone and text you
immediately, drunk.

I could eat you up!…but I to
filled with food. Am overwhelmed by kindness and vodka xx.

It while I am settled in
Catherine’s bed, trying not to fall into the sloping side of the mattress that
my phone beeps. It is from you and I grin fit to burst.

You could try to eat me up. I am
not much bigger but I have a higher body mass!

I fall asleep with you as my last
conscious thought.

The day after Christmas see
Brixton return to normal with ambulance and police sirens wailing and angry
drunks yelling obscenities at imaginary or real enemies. Jane had to work at
Debenhams for the busy Boxing Day sales. Ugh Debenhams is a nightmare of  stressed mothers and teenagers at the best of
times.  Lauren, Anna and I spent the day
drinking and dancing.

At about 8pm we glimpsed a lot of
headlights passing over Catherine’s bedroom window. We went to look out and
down. We found the street below backed up with cop cars and ambulance. The
street was completely blocked off. There was a body under a white sheet on a
stretcher. When Jane arrives home she is accompanied by a police escort. There
had been a shooting and the victim was dead.

‘How could you guys not have
heard the gun shots?’ Jane asks bewildered. She went to boarding school in
America and sounds it.

‘We were dancing pretty hard and
the music was loud.’ Lauren explained.

I helped Lauren make some dinner,
left overs.

‘So you will see Alex in two
weeks in Krakow. ‘

‘Yeah we have an apartment all to
ourselves!’

‘So you can elaborate on
conversation?’ I needled affectionately.

‘I just want to give him
cuddles.’ She replied smiling softly.

I felt a familiar sting in my chest. She had a point. Given the choice between writing these letters and hugging you. I would take you in the flesh hands down.  I feel so angry and frustrated with myself all I want is to sit by your side in comfortable silence. Perhaps Perhaps Perhaps if I was lucky you would allow my head on your shoulder. 

Happy Holidays

I do not think I am a harmonica playing natural. I fear it just makes me more annoying. But I like how it feels shoved in the back pocket of my jeans.

JX