DAUGHTER by Jane Shemilt (Penguin, 2014) And so far, it is bloody awful. Seriously disappointed. Review to follow…
I sit here in my heartache, waiting on some beautiful boy to save me from my old ways. I play forgiveness, watch it now, here he comes. He doesn’t look a thing like Jesus but he talks like a gentleman, like I imagined when I was young.
Ah, the weekend. It feels weird not to be in a rush. I woke up and had a coffee and a cigarette out on the roof, in the sunshine, with my cat, staring aimlessly out over the City, thinking of the dream that woke me with a start. Saturday. I am waiting for my niece and nephew to arrive. They are my whole world. They are totally unaware of how they save my life on a weekly basis. My angels. My reasons for being. But then they will leave, and I will be alone with my books and music again, fearing tomorrow.
Sunday is always the hardest day. I miss you the most on Sundays. I just found some old bank statements from when we were happy.
27/04/12 The Monkey’s Forehead, Egham £20.30
08/05/12 The Blue Olive, Cockfosters £55.30
08/05/12 Vue Cinema, Finchley £18.75
09/05/12 Arapaho Spur, Staines £32.50
14/05/12 Vue Cinema, Staines £18.75
18/05/12 Loch Fyne Restaurant, Egham £37.70
21/05/12 Chimichanga, Finchley £38.50
30/05/12 Alfresco Restaurant, Whetstone £30.50
Every night was date night. I spent a lot of money at Ann Summers that month too, ha. We were so happy. And now you terrorise me in my dreams so that I am sad even when I am asleep. Fuck you, we were so happy.
I never really gave up on breaking out of this 2-star town. I got the green light, I got a little fight, gonna turn this thing around, can you read my mind?
I am what the CMHT call “functioning.” I wake up, get out of bed (!!!!!!), throw clothes on, jump on the bus, fall asleep on the Piccadilly line, wake up at Baron’s Court when the train goes overground and the phones of my fellow commuters start ringing, thank Baby Jesus that I haven’t woken up and found myself at Heathrow Terminal 5 (or even worse, on the train back to Cockfosters), clamber up the stairs with the other sardines/zombies/office workers, grab some form of caffeinated beverage, work, fag break, work, lunch break, work, fag break, work, make some excuse as to why I have to leave RIGHT NOW, run to the station, endure hideous commute, try and fail to concentrate on The Luminaries, jump on the bus and argue with a Bulgarian builder who won’t give up his seat for an old lady, go “home”, take meds, pass out. Sometimes I manage to sleep, sometimes I do not. And then my alarm goes off. Functioning. Fucking functioning.
But I am not alive. I am dead. Alive? No. That will never be me, that will never be me. Fucking functioning.
The stream will cease to flow;
The wind will cease to blow;
The clouds will cease to fleet;
The heart will cease to beat;
For all things must die.
All things must die.
Spring will come never more.
Death waits at the door.
See! our friends are all forsaking
The wine and the merrymaking.
We are call’d–we must go.
Laid low, very low,
In the dark we must lie.
The merry glees are still;
The voice of the bird
Shall no more be heard,
Nor the wind on the hill.
Hark! death is calling
While I speak to ye,
The jaw is falling,
The red cheek paling,
The strong limbs failing;
Ice with the warm blood mixing;
The eyeballs fixing.
Nine times goes the passing bell:
Ye merry souls, farewell.
The old earth
Had a birth,
As all men know,
And the old earth must die.
So let the warm winds range,
And the blue wave beat the shore;
For even and morn
Ye will never see
All things were born.
Ye will come never more,
For all things must die.