Tuesday, August 08, 2006

summer of low cleavage

because something I've often wondered, is, if you could get through to that point and, kick your heel up onto the other ledge, you should be able to, jack up on to the perimeter where those weeds are, and all the mess of sticks, that's where I'm convinced, it is. Should we

Geoff's shorts were crumpled, his brown stick legs untidy with hair. Hairs curved from his nose and ears, he had a long neck and glasses that needed cleaning, and an array of antique possessions, a stout knobbly walking stick for example and a knife in his belt. I liked looking at them.

This one, said Geoff showing it to me, is rather interesting. There's a story attached to it. I made that part from a plug, of mammoth bone - oh yes, you can get it quite easily, there's so much in the ice, and the wood is, some sort of elm, but the blade, that's right, it had two edges originally, damned difficult process to file it down, not something you'd ever do, but. No, the other way; it only sits one way, or you cut the stitching. Well, I, inherited I suppose you'd say

I jumped from stone to stone under the cliff, splashing rock over rock. I was dozy today and as I watched birds in the zenith I felt up there with them. The stream fell through to the canyon, eventually it flowed into the green country, to gossiping fowl on grain-slides, to mills and vans and all that haughty, noisy concourse.

Every couple of days Geoff's grown-up daughter drove up in the jeep and that was all the company we saw. Her name was Charlotte and she didn't wear any make-up, she had big calves and she was expecting and she had a wide face, dark straightened hair, and a cheese-cloth top. I didn't listen attentively to Geoff and his daughter talking; it was sheep and the show and banks. Charlotte was far from good-looking I thought besides being at least twice my age but she was nice and when Geoff went to unload our milk and potatoes she asked me, are you liking it - really? Which I certainly was so it was easy to nod. You don't say much but it's all in there, she laughed and up and down they went like the ground when you pulled up the chimney.

The tent heated up all day but I was still dozy so I said goodnight quite early. My Camels had got wet in the pocket when it poured so I ripped off the filters desperate for a smoke. Eventually I managed and lay there on my bag with a rolled-up jumper for my pillow and as it still wasn't really dark I could see my skinny pale self with thigh-high sunburn looking like a girl's in red stockings, that's if I narrowed my eyes to swimming. When I lit up the tent seemed a bit darker, all but that brightening and dimming stub. The jumper was too low really to make a sitting-up pillow so I had my other arm behind my head and I suddenly bent my neck and began to nuzzle along the smooth part of my arm like Julie Smart and me in the coach at the end of term but she kept laughing so much I don't know if we got off exactly.

It's more of an off-width for me, Geoff said, but I didn't ask. The grip had worn off my stinking shoes and once I nearly went, sweeping a toehold of gravel-stones down into the air, I hung on and kicked around in nothing for an awful time while I thought about it and my grips were starting to die on me, so I stopped thinking, I forced a stretch that I never would have because it put me in a new shape, my leg willed to lengthen, and a little piece of grit caught between my worn sole and the face. I was shocked and my hands so weak it never felt I'd move again. I watched the trembling country and zoomed in on a new waterfall, a deer browsing in grey willow, I almost forgot I was in space, I KNEW it but in shock and I wanted to drift down and just kiss into my feathery warm dream, one feather bouncing slow motion onto a bed of feathers... And later Geoff told me he was shouting at me to get going the whole time, but I never heard him.

It was a massive broken nest, lime-caked but not too smelly, and still with a bit of bowl-shape that I lay in and had my secret Camel, my ear-drums boom-booming. I was going to a festy when I got back, I too would like to give an angel to no-one in particular, have them swaying up there with my neck gripped in loud, happy sweat like I'd seen on the news.

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