we went to see friends up in the Hollywood Hills for a long moment of reflection and quietness on a sunday evening and just before we turned into the driveway we thought “let’s take a walk first”.
so we parked the car.
got out on foot (sometimes we Do think we’re the last of the walking-people walking in L.A) and took the trusty camera and swooned under orange blossom and peeked through trees.
you see we spent Much of yesterday (after our lovely brunch at the Apple Pan with @mamzellev) WRITING and we needed to get back into corporal realm (we get quite dizzy and in-the-Zone when we Write).
we’re Almost Done.
a mad trip to the Seaside and the whole plot will be tied up neatly as if it’s a brown paper parcel fastened with string and given to Mr. Postman as he does his rounds of the Village of a morning.
a slim(ish) volume (we prefer those).
it feels astonishing to see the world unfold like this.
may we share a few lines?
you are Most Kind.
What could she do? You couldn’t interfere with the laws of the universe. When someone was dead, they needed to stay dead. But Elyse was so full of life and longing. It had never occurred to Marion that the chains of family could keep you close to the earth, not going, not leaving, not at peace. Distracted from her piece of paper, it started to unfurl open. Both Annabelle and Kelly looked at the same time, but Marion scrunched it up, lit it and threw it into the air.
It just hung there. Smoldering but oh-so-slowly. Not burning up. Not moving. Marion sighed and exchanged glances with Elyse who cheered up slightly for a moment. It wasn’t easy being metaphysical sometimes. She reached up to the paper and flicked it with her middle finger and thumb and then closed her hand quickly around it. By the time she opened her hand again a split second later it had gone.
“Was that a magic trick?” said Annabelle, admiringly.
Marion was irritated by that remark. “I don’t do tricks,” she said, shortly and broke the circle by getting up to find a bottle of Jack Daniels in the kitchen cupboard. By the time she returned the mood was broken. Lydia had found the bit of paper with the closing incantation and everyone’s paper had burned up, rattles had been used to break up the energy and feathers piled on top of one another in the fire.
Rather pleasantly drunk, the seven women drifted into the garden to enjoy the full moon and a surprisingly large number of twinkling stars for Hampstead. Elyse hung back and noticed Libby watching them through the fence. She knew these were her last few hours on earth and she had a pang – one of the first in her life/death – that she would not get to know her niece. Libby pressed her hands onto the fence and thought she could still make out the shimmering ghost of her aunt Elyse. She leaned her forehead on the night warmed wooden slats and wished she could get to know Elyse. She seemed like someone who would understand what it was like to be Libby.
Leaning against the trunk of the largest tree, Annabelle felt full and beautiful and sexy and glorious. She smiled beatifically at Marion who looked wryly back. It was amazing how congenial straight women were when they were tipsy.
“It’s a beautiful night,” breathed Annabelle, looking up to the top of the trees and the stars beyond.
“It certainly is,” smiled Marion. She touched the trunk of the tree with the tips of her fingers and all the twinkle lights in the garden suddenly lit up.
Diana clapped her hands. “Oh! How pretty!” Lydia crossed over to Annabelle and Marion and put her arms around them both.
“Marion, that was very thoughtful of you,” she said.
“I can be,” said Marion, “When I want to be.”
“I don’t believe you are as manipulative as you make out,” said Annabelle, flirting openly now.
“Your naivety is most seductive,” replied Marion, catching Kelly’s eye across the garden. Kelly saw her looking and thought sod it, even if the English rose is hanging around like a bad smell, I still like flirting with Marion. Marion raised an eyebrow and grinned. Kelly walked over, purposefully and then suddenly stopped. She looked at the trunk nearest Marion. There was no switch there. Kelly walked back over to the tree on the left. She touched the switch and the lights went off, very briefly. She looked around at Marion who put her fingers to her lips.
The full moon ceremony went late into the night. They drank, they talked and they danced, a little (but not to Joni Mitchell – Marion drew the line at that, despite Diana’s plaintive pleading). They talked some more and gently sunk into the dewy grass as the dawn started to break. Dead Can Dance was on the vinyl turntable, very low and insistent and gorgeous in its tonal quality.
we have a Mixed day ahead.
1. a new doctor to get an update on Our Situation after you-know-what
2. some work-related tasks
3. a swoon-y afternoon at The Library with our Requested Materials from the Special Collections (couldn’t be Happier at the prospect of quiet hush, pencils-only, notebook, white gloves, archival materials)
and then a celebration this evening of a fabulous friend’s milestone in life by candlelight which is always delicious.
and we’ve decided to take Personal Responsibility for the curves.
the scared bitchin’ about the you-know-what-and-subsequent-curve-emergence has Got To End.
yes, yes, it was horrid (can you believe it was TWENTY MONTHS ago now?!)
and yes, the medication is nasty (better than the original two they tried us on – synthetics have never Been Our Thing)
but we ate a lot of Cake (bagels/toast/jam/butter/cream/) over our scared feelings and Day Job stress and do-we-have-cancer-waiting and can-we-get-back-to-the-Other-Coast and will-the-Green-Card-Ever-Arrive *waiting12yearslater* (yes! it did!)
and we’d like to admit that.
sort of (like is a strong word).
so here we are – *waving* with coffee cup with non-fat milk and looking forward to those Bran Flakes.
this shall not become a diet blog (we never diet)
and there may be Cake from time to time.
but not as a regular thing.
because we’re Here now.
Starting Again with life.
and that’s delicious.
the 3rd book is Almost complete.
and then we need to decide what to write next.
we heard about this Clever “app-ness” called Atavist where one can Publish one’s Short Stories and add in maps and pictures and so on and so forth.
because we have a lovely short story called “Malachy’s Inn” and we’re Ever so Keen to share it in a creative way.
maybe we’ll pop that one into this little app-shop-wonderland and see if people would like to buy it.
here’s how it starts…..
The bleak road to Belfast airport was the last place on earth you would expect to find solace. But there it was, an old-fashioned inn, white-washed on the outside and a lamp burning to the right of the heavy door.
Kathleen had woken up at dawn to leave that miserable hotel, driving faster and faster until she could breathe again at the edge of the world. Away from the lonely old-fashioned room with that flocked wallpaper, strange tasting milk, burgundy threadbare carpets and bad coffee.
She had flown from New York to Ireland for a wedding. But perhaps the wedding was just an excuse to get out of her life. The wedding was beautiful but she barely recognized anyone. Everyone had children under six who ran screaming. Labradors slumped, depressed, by the grand fireplace. Fiery burning torches lit the gravel driveway where she scraped her hire car door trying to park in the near darkness by the flint wall. Driving down the gravel driveway she noticed a decadent lane of writhing couples pressed back into the yew trees, watched by a growing crowd of small boys, their eyes open wide and mouths in a little red o.
There was one really touching moment. Just as she picked up her coat, the bride appeared from behind a long red velvet drape in the anteroom leading to the house. Swaying, lost in her own bliss, she tried to place Kathleen. With a heavy heart, Kathleen realized she was no longer part of this world.
we’re Very Fond of this story.
and we’ve been writing and re-writing it and sending it out and now it’s time (due to the shocking lack of response) to Publish it Ourselves.
have a beautiful monday, darlings.
we’ll be thinking of you most warmly.