Monday, 15 November 2010

Experiment

Leave the lights on in your flat. Put your coat on, go downstairs and sit out in the square under the trees and look up at the warm glow in your own windows. Imagine it's not your house but that some other girl lives there. Think about that girl - does she live alone? She must have some kind of wonderful job to live in that big flat by herself. Maybe she worked hard to get there but I bet she loves it, doing what she always dreamed of. Perhaps she gets to travel to exciting places and see things she'd never even imagined. A girl like that is clever, good at what she does: she never doubts herself for a moment.

She'll have a sweet boyfriend who is crazy about her: he'll come around on his day off and help her fix pictures to the walls of the new apartment and together they'll buy a huge rug from some hippy shop in St Gilles and carry it home on the metro, giggling and beaming at each other. The warmth streaming from the windows carries with it the growing warmth of the flat as it slowly becomes a home. Another armchair, a tall plant in a ceramic pot, a dining room table. A Sunday afternoon spent drinking coffee after coffee on Place St Boniface or the Parvis de St Gilles, stealing kisses and pretending to be shy when nobody really notices them at all. They'll take pictures of each other and make silly faces and laugh at how goofy they are. Secretly they'll both imagine tottering infants with ginger hair and huge dark eyes and a dewy garden in the spring sunshine some time in the hazy future. Their lives spread before them full of love and laughter and everything looks perfect.

And there you are, sitting out alone in the square in the cold and the dark, pretending.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Pinolona, I was hoping that the story was going to have a happy ending but the story isn't over yet I hope..............maybe she goes to a cafe to get out of the cold and meets a handsome man etc. or just has some fun chatting to the old guy who owns the place behind the counter or simply enjoys the simple thing of having coffee and ice cream, relaxing, having time to herself to be poetic .........

That was a killer punch line at the end though.

Decoy said...

Wow! Deep, poignant and touching, even with the 'punch-line'. Seems to suit for the time of year though, to be in a reflective mode of what has been, is and could be.

Michael Dembinski said...

Leave the lights on. Go downstairs and imagine a couple rowing at one another - shouting and shrieking. You can see through the window the anger, the frustration, the hatred. The once-sweet boyfriend has his own agenda - he can't abide her nagging any more - she sees him as a smelly philistine who farts in bed and drinks too much. The warmth is long gone, goofiness remains only in those old photos.

You look up at that window and snigger at your good fortune.

pinolona said...

Michael - oh come on, not all couples row and fight all the time. And I'm the very last person to nag... I'm probably too easy going and give the impression that I don't care.

Decoy, thanks, you're right there has been rather a lot of reflectiveness on these pages recently.

Anon, I've spent far too much of my life in recent years flouncing around being poetic and generally acting fey like Amelie bloody Poulain. I'd quite like to settle down now!

Michael Dembinski said...

Pinolona - the 'perfect match' is statistically one couple in seven. The rest muddle through somehow, with between half (UK) and a quarter (PL) of all couples eventually calling it quits.

pinolona said...

Right. But you're married, so you must agree that it works!
What are you saying? Only one in seven couples is meant to be and the rest of us shouldn't even bother trying?! What did I do wrong to make me unworthy of a lasting relationship??

scatts said...

Too many Hollywood rom-coms, Pino!

Nice post though, if a little sad. You'll find someone - if you stay in one place long enough!

Jeannie said...

God, I love this. Michael, this was her "dream"; it wasn't a reality. She was imagining the future. Give a girl a dream, would ya? ;)