I’ve recently moved into my new house for my second year at university, and I’ve been doing a lot of reading and not enough blogging, hence the shameful lack of posts (which I’m reminded of every time I check my page and see ‘September 2012 (1)’ staring me in the face). It’s unforgivable, really, so I thought I’d share something which I’ve been writing as a separate project. In a fit of inspiration I started writing a load of fragmented paragraphs about a character called Gee, who’s a lesbian fashion editor for a high end magazine. Don’t ask. Still, I’ve collated some of these fragments into something vaguely coherent. I may have overdosed on Virginia Woolf and come up with something completely derivative and pretentious which could do with about 90% less adjectives and 100% more imagination, but #yolo – here it is! Obviously I’ve prefixed it with an irrelevant Nan Goldin photograph, because I’m an idiot. One more thing: I’m totally hopeless at using semi-colons properly. I tend to panic about there being a lot of commas and throw some in for good measure, so correct me if I’m wrong.
A bit of background knowledge – Gee wrote a novel which was never published. A publisher called Benjamin Lefstein (I literally don’t know why I called him that) said that it was ‘a pretentious effort, but an effort nonetheless. Still, not for us’.
Gee recalled the first months of her romance with Anna. It was a time of rapid change, when everything suddenly seemed to fizz with promise and intoxicating beauty that filled her like deeply inhaled cigarette smoke. They spent one pretentious summer during their early twenties looking after a friend’s vast house in Surrey, reading queer theory and having long, loungey sex, fancying themselves two spider-limbed Edie Sedgwicks in the smog of incense and blue cannabis smoke with which they filled the house. It had been a heat-wave summer, and the air was abuzz with the chatter and splash of children playing by the river mole and the hum of beach-bound traffic loaded with surfboards, sun-cream and excitement. Anna and Gee relished the privacy of their situation, encountering nobody but the jumpy cashier at the nearby off license and indulgently sharing in the common ache of homosexual experience – and the delicious notion that it was them against the world. Anna was Gee’s first love, and in her company life began to grow with the puberty of experience; the burgeoning curves of breasts and hips, flushing with new colour and vitality, with glittering melancholy, red-eyed lust, voluptuous love and irresistible corruption. Perhaps it was the drugs, but they felt so spiritually about the experience that relaying its details to friends tipped it immediately into the realms of the ridiculous. It was best stored in the enchanted vaults of memory.
It was hard to recall exactly what those heady days felt like now, confronted with the white sensibility of their cosmopolitan Kensington apartment; with the froth of ivory gladioli languishing on long stems by the window, the neatly hung African relics and the unnecessary array of copper pans arranged above the oven, all set to a grand Wagner aria played quietly in the background as if it were a song about paperclips.
She had just got in from work, and Anna was already busying herself with dinner in a cloud of hot steam and stinging shallot fumes. She looked up optimistically at Gee.
‘I bought lobsters, look! I splashed out!’
Gee shrugged off her black coat and threw her bags on the worktop, dangerously close to a pair of pitifully twitching lobsters, their huge claws bound with blue elastic.
‘You left the doors open again.’
Anna was tipping a chopping board of impossibly fine shallot pieces into a pan of crackling butter. She was doing everything in the wrong order. The sauce would be cold by the time the lobster was ready. All that money for ruined lobster thermidor.
‘Gee, you left the back doors unlocked again. Anybody could have climbed into the garden and got in.’
‘Oh, I’m so sorry. I forget. I always forget something.’
She looked over to the wide concertina doors that took up most of the kitchen’s far wall. They were open now.
‘They’re open now. There’ll be moths.’
‘It’s okay,darling, you can close them. It just gets a bit hot when I’m cooking, that’s all.’
She sucked her fingers one by one. Gee said it was no bother, and attempted a quip about the moths’ taste for her Chanel. Impeccable taste, had those moths. Anna laughed as she always did and Gee embraced her from behind, kissing the slender nape of her neck, beaded with a familiar sweat. She was doting lover, reliable partner, always-there Gee. She tightened her grip around her partner’s waist and leant her cheek against her back, feeling the terrible jolt as Anna plunged a knife into the brittle armour of the lobsters’ heads. Tears began to pool in her eyes, and she imagined it was just the bite of the steam and the shallots.
‘I love you, Anna.’
A pretentious effort, but an effort nonetheless.
‘I love you too, baby. How about a glass of merlot?’