MOTEL

He stopped swimming, and floated in the middle of the pool. I watched him closely, the long thin line of body broken by the blue of his swimming trunks. Then I imagined the trunks gone. It was easy, really, but almost unbearable. He started to swim again, towards me, then tumbled over at the end, and started up the other way. And he kept on, lap after lap. It was good to watch. Mesmerising. But that’s all it was. Over and over. I became a little bored. Maybe not bored, but it wasn’t going anywhere, so I went inside to … Continue reading MOTEL

River Sigh

The others leave, one by one, and it ends up being just me and Ginger at the steps by the river, sipping from the bottle in lukewarm turns and staring out to the monstrous city lights that seem close but are worlds away. ‘Let’s get some chips,’ he says. ‘You go,’ I say, resigned. I knew it couldn’t last, just me and him. ‘I’ll wait here,’ I say. He takes the bottle from me, and takes it with him. He won’t come back. He’ll start talking in the chip shop. To another, more interesting, more attractive. He won’t be back, … Continue reading River Sigh

HENRY

It’s the usual cafe, every Saturday. Today, Aaron asks for a banana milkshake, and his brother says he’ll have one too. “He always has the same as me,” says Aaron. And it’s true, the brother always has exactly the same, whatever it is. “Why do you have to copy me?” says Aaron, riled by his brother’s smile. “I decided to have banana before we came in,” says his brother. “So maybe you copied me.” “I’ll have strawberry instead,” says Aaron. The waiter looks at Henry, who turns away. Henry tells the boys that he’s going to the toilet, and to behave … Continue reading HENRY

Sometimes, I Wish

Sometimes I wish there were a bed at the library. In a corner, out of the way. Or not a bed exactly, but something bedlike. A pile of cushions would do. A place set up for a drowse. For half an hour. Or twenty minutes should be enough. The length of a tea break. Time to lie and think, and drift upwards and out over the rooftops, to a green and warm place. I’ll set my alarm so I don’t outstay the welcome. No one will come over and poke me with their toe, and tell me that you can’t … Continue reading Sometimes, I Wish

the first day of summer

The heat came early in the morning from nowhere, and by the afternoon it was pressing down on all sides. The first day of summer, I called it. Roddy said it was just a phantom. We closed the curtains and sat around without clothes. My back was slick with sweat, and the backs of my knees. He touched me there, but made a face and wiped his hand on the couch. We argued about it. I went to the garden. He stayed inside. He sent me an SMS, from the house to the garden, full of typos and nonsense chat. … Continue reading the first day of summer