In preparation for this project I decided to sit and write the beginnings of some short stories, to help express something of what I might want to explore and to feed the subconscious minds of the collaborators.
So i am sharing a few extracts from these short beginnings.
1. The sprinter
I am a sprinter. A short burst, no holding back, living in the moment, fifth gear turbo acceleration kind of girl.
Long distance, sticking with it, pushing on through and in for the long haul just isn’t in my make-up.
Will it ever be? I don’t know.
Am I bound to an eternity of being this way? Or can I keep a steady pace, slow down and trudge through time, space and experiences.
I wanted to find the answers.
I met a guy recently who made me want to stay still, let time pass. Time after time after time.
He made me want to climb back into bed on sunny afternoons and bask in cotton sheets. To read a book, lots of books. To learn the guitar and spend hours perfecting a single chord change. To write a song. To write this story.
This is a story about a baby who never crawled. Who ran fearlessly towards icy waters. Who never lost a race. Who never lost at anything, but ran open and unprepared into the world and never looked back.
2. A Happy Christmas
As I lie naked on the cold kitchen tiles, next to a pool of my own vomit, I get to thinking what I’ve always known: we really should have installed that under floor heating we talked about. But then we never would have agreed on that, we never agreed on anything. He thought it an unnecessary waste of money and energy consumption, a luxury not to indulge in. The case was closed, no further discussion needed.
The revelation came at Christmas time. These things always surface this time of year, buried under a mass of twinkling lights, celebratory drinks and dark nights huddled up on the sofa. I was not in love with him.
I was well programmed in the art of celebrating Christmas. I knew that for the kids the anticipation began on December 1st. I knew I had to book babysitters early to avoid disappointment. I knew that putting up the tree was a full family affair. And I knew that things would never be the same again, no matter how hard I tried.
3. Inside his Ribcage
I’m running hard and fast now.
The cold air burns. It hits the warm air inside my lungs and both hot and cold begin to compete for space.
That’s when I feel it. As it enters into me I feel the pain and tightening.
And I remember what you told me.
I’m inside you, and you’re inside me.
I’d been storing you up, little by little, filling the cavity with pieces of you.
It started with small almost un-noticable fragments, splinters,
and then moved on to larger bite-size portions as I became more brazen and brave.
Like an addiction I could not stop, and there was always room for more.
But I don’t want you there anymore, I can’t breathe.
I want the space back inside my ribcage.
4. Empty spaces
This room is empty, accept for me.
This home is empty, accept for me.
The space between us is growing, like forest clearance, exposing the earth to the sun, letting light flood in where once there was a thick canopy of green.
I have a table and four chairs, but they are empty, accept for me.
The walls are white and bare, and the air around me moves slowly and gently. No cool desert winds, no hot steamy nights, thick and humid and ready to burst.
I am invisible, behind these white walls, and yet they are like mirrors bouncing back at me. No escape. No hiding place.
I am not running, I am still. And there will be no chase. No adrenalin rush or sprint to the finish line.
I have already been caught.
I have already been caught.