Outside the streets were washed with rain, lights rarely lighting up the puddles in powerful neon designs. There was a stillness in the air even though everyone was out for the morning commute. Sandwiches were bought and sold, coffees were carried on to trains and left for the next person to look at all the way to Preston.
"We'll just do what we always do, man" - said Nick, who was a tired little south Indian Sikh with a turban, who nevertheless got into all kinds of mischief stuck in a kind of vortex of aggression that led him to various crimes committed around the parks and footpaths of the inner city. It was the raging twenties. Survive this and you'll have survived hell. Suddenly drawn from your privileged life as a child, into manhood, in the big bad world, where people bump into you then call you a prick just for being in their way.
"Turn that damn radio off!" - Roared Joan to her daughter, afraid that she might damage her eardrums and finding the invasion... "...of space infuriating. Mental space, emotional space, and just simply territory. Now back to homeopathy: I'm going to be putting one of those ads in the paper and getting an 0845 number - no-one ever thinks of doing that. With the resulting exposure I'll put Amanda into a private school where they're going to really give her the attention she deserves..."
In reality though, Amanda was killed at the age of 57 by cancer, but in all her years - her fight with cancer being only the last of a series of great struggles that had left her with the wisdom of the ancients - she never learned a thing from her mother's harsh self-conditioning. None of Lady Amanda Pie's wisdom was gained in private schools - which happily bounced her around as she was expelled and suspended regularly through high school. She had already been through two terms in one, the previous year to the year when these events take place. Her mother could only but hope, concerned as she was for her to be able to avoid the surrounding slums.
Huge long skyscraper - towering above, almost swaying with pride at your smallness. You look up and all you see is white paint cracking in the distance on a huge mass of grey stone. In that last term, she'd seen a girl get raped, when she was out camping. They slashed her in the face with a knife after that. Why did they do that she thought. What bastards.
She lies gazing at the same spot of plaster on the wall, for minutes at a time before shifting and getting back into her magazine. But look into her eyes and maybe catch a glimpse of the colourful world inside. Words melting and abstract forces clashing and flowing alongside each other. Music, movement, muscles and dancing were her way of talking and breathing. Charlotte was still on her mind, but that book and it's visions were convincing her that she would not be the only one to dream up such situations.
Sunday, October 24, 2004 1:41:00 PM